Almost 4 years ago I've written about projects in Greater Taipei that were planned or underway in that period. It's one of my most popular posts among people who are very interested in what's happening in Taipei in terms of construction and development. At that time the largest and most talked about projects were the Gate Of Taipei and Taipei Dome. A lot has changed since then, though. The Gate of Taipei twin towers construction came to a halt due to a big corruption scandal (here the latest news on that), and a new bid is currently being prepared by the Taipei City government for 2017. The Taipei Dome project came to a halt in May 2015 with an order by the Taipei City government, who alleged that Farglory Group, who won the original bid, disregarded safety regulations. It's uncertain right now whether the Dome will be completed or not, there's a lot of behind the scenes exchanges that leave questions unanswered (here the latest on that). Fast forward to 2016 and the prime venue of new development is Xinyi's commercial area again. There are currently 3 new skyscrapers proposed or under construction, that will be taller than 250m (which is higher than the previously second tallest building in the city, the 242m tall Shin Kong Life Tower). In addition, an alarming new trend is taking place in northern Zhongzheng, which used to be the old walled Taipei during Qing Dynasty. It seems that every small piece of land will be filled with a mediocre medium-sized high rise, completely destroying what used to be the old center of Taipei during Japanese times. The few historic buildings from those times will probably remain, but they will look very out of place. This part of Taipei is a complete architectural mess, and shows the negative side of Taipei's redevelopment greed. Something similar is happening in Wanhua, but that's even a sadder story for another post. What's happening in the East District is much better, because it's a carefully planned designated commercial area. So let's have a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Taipei's construction projects in the period of 2016-2020.
TAIPEI SKY TOWER | 280m | 50F
This is the most recently announced project, and the below image is just one of the renders, it does not mean this is how the final building will look like. The building will stand on the site of former Chinatrust Group Tower, that was recently removed, while Chinatrust HQ moved to a new building in Nangang. Some sources say the building will be around 260m tall, so I will update this post once I know for sure. This is what Taipei Times reported:
“Taipei Sky Tower aims to be the local version of New York’s Fifth Avenue, refining luxury and efficiency in the retail and hospitality industry,” Riant Capital chairman Aaron Chan (詹偉立) told a media briefing.
With more than 50 floors above ground, the skyscraper is to have a retail podium, a luxury hotel, a lifestyle hotel and a state-of-the-art performance hall, Chan said, adding that his team is in the process of selecting partners from internationally renowned architects, hotel operators and luxury brands.
I'm looking forward to this project, and will update this post once I get some new updates.
One of possible designs of the future Taipei Sky Tower.
NANSHAN PLAZA | 272m | 45F
This is as of right now Taipei's second tallest building. It's not yet completed, but it's already visible from most suburbs in Greater Taipei (the header image was taken from my home with a telephoto lens). I've written a detailed post about the construction of Nanshan Plaza with lots of pictures. Here is a summary from my post:
The Nanshan Plaza is a 272m tall skyscraper currently under construction in Taipei's Xinyi District, right next to Taipei 101, Taiwan's tallest building and arguably no 1 landmark. The project's investor is Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., Ltd., who won the bid in 2012. The construction began at the end of 2013 on the former spot of the World Trade Centre Hall 2, which was mostly used as a parking space.
I really like this building, as it will complete the pedestrian area from Taipei City Hall MRT Station. It's the first building that is kind of visible next to Taipei 101, two more shall follow in the upcoming years. The times where Taipei 101 solely ruled over Taipei are over.
A render of Nanshan Plaza. Check real images on my post.
FUBON XINYI HEADQUARTERS | 266m | 53F
These are the new proposed headquarters of Fubon Bank, one of Taiwan's largest banks. Some sources claim the building will be designed by Renzo Piano, a world famous architect, that designed the new New York Times building in New York, which the render actually resembles. I can't verify that. The building on the render looks nice, though. I hope it will be built like this. Once I have more info, I will update here.
Proposed design for new Fubon Xinyi Headquarters.
CHUNGHWA POST TOWER | 50F-30F
Chunghwa Post Tower (short CHP Tower) is a proposed building, consisting of a 30F and 50F skyscraper, located right behind the old Beimen Post Office from the 1930s when Japan ruled Taiwan. The land is owned by Chunghwa Post, the chairman's vision is to have a new building right behind the old historic similarly to the one in Japan (see Japan Post Tower). The buildings will have a mixed use: Hotels, offices, cultural and educational content (source). Just like I said before, this is a very bad decision to put such building so close to very important historic buildings, but I guess money trumps everything in Taipei, and if this continues, northern Zhongzheng will become just another Xinyi, and history will be gone.
A render of the future CHP Tower.
CHICONY ELECTRONICS HEADQUARTERS | 180m | 39F
This building was just recently completed, but I decided to add it here, because it's the tallest building in Greater Taipei wast of Dahan and Tamsui rivers.
KITAI ZHONGXIAO | 139m | 35F
This is a new building under construction, located not far from Shin Kong Life Tower. The lower floors will most likely be a shopping mall, while the upper floors will be offices. You can see more renders here (in Chinese). I'm not happy that this is being built there, as I mentioned before, I would prefer a greater focus on preserving the historic buildings in this part of Taipei instead of cramming in new high rise buildings.
A render of Kitai Zhongxiao.
CDC "55 TIMELESS" | 127m | 31F
This residential building at the end of Xinyi Road has been designed by famous American architect Richard Meier & Partners. This is what they say about the projecton their website:
New York, September 22, 2015 – Richard Meier & Partners is proud to unveil the new CDC “55 Timeless” Xin-Yi Residential Tower in Taipei, Taiwan. Commissioned as an urban landmark by Continental Development Corporation, the tower rises 127 meters and will set a precedent in Taiwan as a private building that dedicates its entire landscape to the public realm. The building is currently under construction and on target to complete the superstructure by the end of this year with an opening expected in 2017.
Definitely looking forward to the completion of this building. You can see more images here.
CDC "55 TIMELESS" render.
AGORA GARDEN TOWER | 20F
This will probably be one of the most interesting modern buildings in Taipei when it gets completed. When Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut won the bid for this building in 2010, his design went viral in the world of architecture buffs. This is what Dezeen wrote in 2013:
On this site that is the last and only biggest parcel of land for residential use, the concept is to build a true fragment of vertical landscape with low energetic consumption. The building is thus eco-designed. It integrates not only the recycling of organic waste and used water but also all the renewable energies and other new state-of-the-art nanotechnologies (BIPV solar photovoltaic, rain water recycling, compost, etc.). The project targets thus the energetic performance so as to be officially approved by the Green Building Label, the norm for high environmental quality, delivered by the Home Affairs Ministry of Taipei.
This is definitely one of the most anticipated buildings under construction right now. I do hope the final version will look as nice as the renders.
Agora Garden Tower render.
FORMER MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS OFFICE
This old Tudor-style colonial building from 1919 is finally being restored after several decades of neglect and decay. As of September 2016, the construction on the outside is mostly finished, my image here is from spring 2016). The building will host a railway museum, and is scheduled to open in 2017.
Image taken on February 8th, 2016.
You can check out my map to locate these projects in Taipei (the marker is in orange color). I will update this map as well as the post when there is new information to be added, so you may bookmark this post, if you're interested in these things.