HSINCHU (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s top engineering school, National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Hsinchu, completed renovations in May to turn what used to be an old parking lot and abandoned study area into a luxurious, industrial-style student space.
12th Dormitory opened in 1991 and was relatively unused until it was decided in October 2018 to completely renovate the building. Construction began in October 2019 and it was finally completed on May 7 this year. Trial operations for the lounge started May 8 and it is now in full operation.
The original 12th Dormitory building was an 11-acre basement dwelling and is now a male-only dorm for first-year students, with 630 beds. The renovations cost NT$19 million (US$674,000).
NCTU's revamped 12th Dormitory (Taiwan News/Venice Tang photo)
Huang Sheng-suan (黃聖軒), an alumnus of NCTU’s Graduate Institute of Architecture (交大建築研究所), designed the new lounge area. Cement plaster has been used for the majority of the interior surfaces, with additional metallic decor, while the dominant color palette is gray and black.
The lounge space is divided into a boxing room, gym, dance studio, discussion lounges, multimedia room, kitchen, couch area, indoor lawn, and open study area. Large sky windows allow natural light to brighten up the space, while the use of artificial turf and placement of various ferns, vines, and plants gives the study area a refreshing atmosphere.
There's also an electronic darts area, complete with an artificial grass lawn, basketball arcade machines, foosball, and ping-pong tables. The boxing room has a number of punch bags hanging from the ceiling, while the dance studio has huge mirrors, Swiss exercise balls, and comfortable cushions. The dance studio can also be used for yoga, or meditation.
There's a minimalistic kitchen that includes an electric stove, microwave, and rice cooker, while the small-scale gym includes treadmills, stationary bikes, and so on. Multimedia rooms with huge television monitors and beanbags can be used for gaming, group project discussions, or movie screenings. There are also individual study lounges.
The cost of living at 12th Dormitory is NT$8,668 (US$308) per semester. This is just NT$153 (US$5.44) more than the cost of accommodation before the makeover. Some students said that while the renovations are impressive, the dorm rooms and bathing facilities have not been renovated since they were first built and badly need an upgrade.
NCTU’s Division of Housing Services said renovations to 12th Dormitory’s 2.31 acre, first-floor lobby and hallway area will start Jan. 4. It added NCTU is committed to creating high-quality student living spaces that encourage collaborative learning, enhance positive student relationships, and feel like home.
Electronic darts at NCTU's 12th Dormitory (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Basketball arcade (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Indoor grass lawn (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Table tennis at NCTU's 12th Dorm (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Foosball (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Boxing room (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Dance studio (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
The dorm kitchen (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
The gym (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Study rooms (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)