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New Taiwan landmark to be designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava

Far Eastern Group chairman spent years building ties with architect, pressing for project

(Far Eastern image)

(Far Eastern image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A multipurpose facility to be designed by world-famous Spanish architect and structural engineer Santiago Calatrava is set to become a new landmark in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan.

Commissioned by the Far Eastern Group, the Far Eastern International Convention Center will be located adjacent to Yuan Ze University. It will serve as a venue for exhibitions and cultural events and is expected to drive regional development with its links to transportation hubs.

The center will be Santiago Calatrava’s first work in Taiwan, made possible with the investment of time and effort by Douglas Hsu (徐旭東), chairman of the Far Eastern conglomerate. He has accompanied Calatrava on many trips to China, allowing the architect to get a grasp of ancient Chinese architectural aesthetics, wrote UDN.

Calatrava will infuse the concept of feng shui into the project based on inspiration drawn from the trips, in addition to incorporating his signature geometric characteristics. The center will consist of three buildings on an area of 36,837 square kilometers and will cost around NT$10 billion (US$351 million).

One of the most striking features of the center will be a vineyard-style concert hall that can accommodate 1,200 audience members and a theater hall with 480 seats. The vineyard style entails a seating arrangement designed like the sloping terraces of a vineyard, allowing for optimal acoustic and visual effects for attendees seated at various heights.

The project broke ground on Monday (April 12) and is slated to be complete in three years.