Guallart Architects


Taiwan 2003

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

1st prize international competition

In 2003 the government of Taiwan decided to organize a series of architecture competitions in order to stimulate the improvement of tourist facilities in various parts of the island. The objective was to bring about a qualitative transformation of some of the most popular places, at a time when the phase of quantitative development of the island’s economy and exports had been operating with evident success for a number of years. In our case, we decided to take part in the competitions for the design of two ports in the north of the island. These projects were to prompt us to reflect on the nature of human intervention in the coast, and specifically in the ports.

Taiwan ranks 42nd in the world as a tourist destination in terms of number of visitors. In the main these visitors are travelling on business (37%) and come from the Asian region (45%). Achieving the proposed objective involves: understanding the current situation, analysing potential strengths, proposing a strategy.

If we compare Taiwan with other island or coastal tourist destinations around the world (Hawaii, Cuba, Miami, Australia, Malaysia) we find that Taiwan has the following key conditions for success at the global level: good climate, good economy and trade, unique landscape, fine cuisine, tradition and culture,3,000 million people within less than 3 hours by air and 4,000 million within less than 5 hours. What Taiwan lacks are major tourist attractions ready to cater for this incipient industry.

The keys to tourist development are:
-All tourist development starts with local national tourism.
-Tourism only attains full development when it combines with investment in property development.
-There is no relevant tourist business without a wide lodging offer.
-An intelligent environmental policy demands impacts concentration.
-The tourist industry develops on the basis of a critical mass of accumulation of people.
-Only with enough critical mass the time offer is developed and acquires enough quality and variety.
-Tourism is not organized in space, but in time. And adequate time architecture guarantees success.
-Public-sector investment is needed to stimulate private investment.
-Long term social sustainability of tourism, means that the nationals have a protagonical role in the touristic business as entrepreneurs.
-Tourism is about diversity and tolerance. Its not possible to impose tourists conducts different to those that make them happy, as long as these are socially acceptable.


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