Guallart Architects


Taiwan 2003

Local partner: J.M.Lin The Observer Design Group

1st prize international competition

International tourist destination
Stay: four days
Batoutz is situated fifty minutes by car from Taipei, near Keelung, the city’s traditional port. The size of the port, its proximity to the capital and its landscape all facilitate it conversion into an international tourist destination while conserving its fishing activity. For this to be achieved, what is needed in addition to quality tourist provision based on cuisine are facilities geared towards a Conventions and Trade and Culture tourism that will provide the impetus for the desired shift in scale.
The proposal:
A. Facilities required:
Fish market, seafood restaurant and traditional shops
B. Proposed facilities: A hotel with panoramic views at the entrance of the port, Hotel-Spa-Convention Centre, reconstructing the mountain overlooking the port, a high-tech shopping mall and multi-screen cinemas, a traditional open-air market, an artificial sports complex.
C. Facilities in development: The Ocean Museum and the park

The aim is to strike a balance between residential and leisure uses.

The Port of Batoutz has potential for a wide-ranging and complex tourist development; the principal problem will consist in balancing housing with leisure uses, the variety and quality of which requires a critical mass of users bulk sufficient to make it viable. The proposal is based on the conviction that the successful development of tourist activity consists in making available a wide range of leisure uses throughout the course of the day, and these will have to be complemented by a sufficient level of accommodation to ensure a continuity of demand for the catering establishments and shops. Because the proposal is centred exclusively on the port area, it contains a limited development of the hotel capacity, which will need to be increased by means of interventions in the immediate periphery of the port. Once both phases have been concluded, the total accommodation will be not less than 10,000 m2, of which at least 70% will be occupied by hotels.

Port Batoutz as a component of the network of coastal tourist nodes.

The proposal is conceived from the conviction that Batoutz is the hub of a network of tourist destinations that extends all along the coast of Taiwan. These nodes will have to contain amenities that will satisfy the leisure needs of their own residents and at the same time complement the others, so that each of these, including Batoutz, will be able to add to its own extensive range of services and activities those provided by other destinations and by the capital of Taipei itself, places which tourists are likely to visit in the course of their stay. The provision thus configured will be sufficient to satisfy the spectrum of leisure needs for a minimum of 7 days, although the length of stay could be extended or the stay repeated in successive years if complemented with visits to other destinations. The loss of consumer revenue represented by the ‘loss’ of tourists making excursions outside of Batoutz would be compensated by the visit of others tourists staying in other resorts in the network.

The architecture of time: leisure spaces.

If success in tourism is related to the quantity, variety and quality of the leisure provision, what is needed is a programme of uses that can satisfy the multiple demands that may be made by tourists, in such a way as to offer a range of functional alternatives all through the day. The organization of these sequences is known as ‘the architecture of time’. The considerable size of Port Batoutz and its area of influence allows us to anticipate a wide spectrum of leisure provision that — although constituting no more than the embryo of what will be available once the subsequent phases of the project are implemented — will keep the visitor active, with at least 35 functions from 9 in the morning on, hours and with at least 10 functions during the night. These functions will cover all the needs for the use of time, enabling us to assert with confidence that the project fulfils all the functional requirements necessary for a satisfactory stay.

The organization of time in space

In order to give complete satisfaction with such a range of provision and meet the objective of satisfying the desires of the tourist, what is needed a spatial organization of uses that guarantee the functional efficiency of the system as a whole. To do this, it is essential to plan a distribution of facilities that takes due account of the potential and the limitations of each space. In the project that we are proposing we have organized 11 different spaces (Cultural Plaza, Fishing Area, Artificial Mountain, Shopping Centre, Traditional Open-air Market, Sports Centre, Museums, Leisure Area, Boat Access, Hotel Tower and Excursions), most of which contain a variety of establishments and options. The set of typical uses is estimated at 40 within the area, complemented by 5 proposed excursions: together these constitute one of the most important concentrations of tourist leisure provision in Taiwan.

How to Structure a Port

The construction of a port is one of the activities that makes most environmental impact on a territory, given that it changes its surface area, which is one of its basic characteristics. This being so, the question that a project for a port must resolve in architectural and landscaping terms is how to structure a very wide and largely unzoned horizontal platform accommodating functions that change over time for which the basic point of departure is the mobility of the various systems that operate there.

In recent years the traditional port activities centred on fishing, transport, industry and logistics have been joined by tourism and leisure uses, thanks to the exceptional conditions of climate, landscape and cuisine found in ports.

The logic that should guide the laying out of a port is grounded in the necessary multiplicity of circulation systems, rhythms, timetables and qualities of the facilities required by the port’s combination of activities. Our project proposes to establish a linear structuring sequence that defines a vibration between land and sea tracing dozens of possible coastlines. The resulting open system will order growth in keeping with the circulation of different functional groups (boats, buses, cars, bicycles crowds, individuals) and the implanting of functional attractors in the port.

This schema enables the process of developing the final project to take into account the negotiations between various conditions, demands and expectations of the various user groups and the economic criteria of the project’s developers as these arise. Starting a project by setting a pattern and the keys that can be used to intervene in it makes it possible to create a tension throughout the construction period (usually prolonged over several years), thus ensuring that even though not all the buildings are completed, a sense of unity prevails throughout the process.


Project Date: 2003
Construction Date: 2008
Main architects: Vicente Guallart, Maria Díaz
Local Architects: J.M. Lin The Oberver Design Group
Images: Laura Cantarella, Sabine Mayer
3D: Lucas Cappelli + artchitects; Lucas Jagodnik, Julieta Serena,Mariano Castro, Horacio Suaya
3D images: YLAB Tobias Laarmann
3D images Ocean Plaza: Néstor David Palma
Models: Fabián Asunción, Soledad Revuelto, Ángel Luis Gaspar, María José Bizama, Ruth Martín
Ocean Plaza Model: Theodora Christoforidou, Fotis Vasilakis, Andrea Imaz, Daniela Frogheri, Fernando Meneses
Collaborators: Christine Bleicher, Ester Rovira, Maria Osa, Kika Estarella, Ekhiñe Nieto, Michael Strauss, Rodrigo Landáburu, Melissa Magallanes, Carlos Valdés, Ricardo Guerreiro
Parametric Rocks Video: Oriol Ferrer


Tourism: José Miguel Iribas.
Sustainability: Rafael Serra Florensa. UPC.
Solar Energy: Oscar Acebes. TFM.
Structure: Willy Muller, WMA.
Port Engeneering: Vicente Cerdá, UPV
Crystallographic advisor: Albert Soler
Photography of rocks: Universitat de Barcelona.
Chinese translation: Lin Yi.
Chinese culture: Li-An Tsien