Work begins on MVRDV's public promenade and man-made lagoon in Tainan

We want to reintroduce to the city a space for socialising and also to introduce swimming into what lay in ruins
– Winy Maas, MVRDV

Work has started on a new green public corridor in Tainan that will replace a derelict shopping mall with a man-made lagoon.

The city’s mayor, William Lai, launched the ground breaking on the Tainan Axis, which has been designed by international architects MVRDV and local firms The Urbanist Collaborative and LLJ Architects.

The development is centred around the abandoned China-Town Mall – described by the architects as “the rotten tooth of downtown Tainan” – and the perpendicular Haian Road.

The city’s natural lagoons and water network fed the marine and fishing industry up until the early 20th century. However, a period of land reclamation and urbanisation in the decades since saw this water-based tradition diminish. The architects plan to re-establish this connection and stimulate the redevelopment of the neighbourhood.

The connection with the waterfront will be recreated by the construction of a tree-lined pedestrian promenade linking the mall to Tainan’s canals, and an artificial beach from which visitors will be able to see the sea.

A new public square will be centred around the lush, green artificial lagoon – created by flooding the mall’s former underground car park. Dunes and playgrounds will be flanked by commercial units such as retail kiosks, a tea house and an art gallery.

“With Tainan Axis, we want to reintroduce to the city, a space for socialising and also to introduce swimming into what lay in ruins,” said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. “It’ll be a versatile public space that connects the water back to the city and brings different types of people together, and indeed a lively oasis to cool down in for hot Taiwanese summer days.”

MVRDV are working on the project with a team of sustainability and landscape consultants, designers and engineers including Progressive Environmental; Urban Sculptor Planning & Designing Consultants; THI Consultants Inc; and Songsing.

The project will be completed in April 2018.

MVRDV  Tainan Axis  Taiwan  Winy Maas  architecture  design 
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Work has started on a new green public corridor in Tainan that will replace a derelict shopping mall with a man-made lagoon. The city’s mayor, William Lai, launched the ground breaking on the Tainan Axis, which has been designed by international architects MVRDV and local firms The Urbanist Collaborative and LLJ Architects. The development is centred around the abandoned China-Town Mall – described by the architects as “the rotten tooth
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A new public square will be centred around the lush, green artificial lagoon – created by flooding the former underground car park of a city mall / APLUS CG
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