Architecture and Building Industry in Taiwan?

I’ve been searching trough the web quite a time. Besides from 2-3 architects offices in Taiwan i couldnt find anything that comes close to the architecture platforms built in america / china / or europe.
Is the architecture and building industry in taiwan that small? How come is it so difficult to find any architecture related internet sites or offices in taiwan?

i am looking for a platform similar to these:
swiss-architects.com
world-architects.com
chinese-architects.com

i found a few sites on the web, but none of them supporting half the information like the sites mentioned above.
taiwanarchitecture.blogspot.ch/2 … aiwan.html
archdaily.com/search/?q=taiwan&x=0&y=0

any architects around here?

I’ll be applying for a mandarin learning course. If i wont get the scholarship i might have to work part-time. Preffered in my field of study.
So i’m looking for an good architect to work with. I have 10 years of working expierience in architects offices in switzerland. i’m 27 years old. have a bachelors degree from a swiss university.
what salary expectations can i have?

any information related with my field of profession would be great! thanks a tousand for every answer!

I’m guessing you haven’t yet strolled around Taiwan with your eyes open, have you? :smiley:

Architects tend to be contracted from abroad, specifically Japan and Europe, partly because they’re perceived as superior (true) and partly because local talent (I don’t doubt that there is some) is not in demand; talented people are simply not valued.

A better bet might be to locate some companies in Switzerland that have done some contracts in Taiwan or China, try to get a job there for a couple of years, and collect some experience (maybe some temporary postings here) and contacts. Then come here and set up your own office, either in cooperation with your original employer or as a new company. That’s the way a lot of expats end up here.

[quote]I’m guessing you haven’t yet strolled around Taiwan with your eyes open, have you? :smiley:

Architects tend to be contracted from abroad, specifically Japan and Europe, partly because they’re perceived as superior (true) and partly because local talent (I don’t doubt that there is some) is not in demand; talented people are simply not valued.[/quote]

Well, that was my opinion of taiwan. The big projects are designed by more or less well-known foreign architects. But why is that? What happens with all the fresh born architects from the university’s? And where are all the senior architects? Taiwan has a population of over 20 mio citizens. They all have accomodation and there must be someone there to build them.
In Switzerland, theres a population of 8 mio and there are thousands of architects working there. i am just like … :ponder: hmmm, how does that work. Just japanese and european companys building there?

First of all, i want to gain the basics in culture and language and make myself better a picture of the building industry in taiwan. Ofcourse the big plan is to open my own office. But im not sure if that will be in taiwan.

How it usually works is, buy a plot of land with collaboration of government officials, build something very tall with the same materials and design of the last 100 buildings that you built , sell at an inflated price, maximize profits.

Also not all countries in the West have a healthy market for architects, I think your experience in Switzerland is more fortunate than most.

What HHII said. There is no demand for architects because there is no demand for architecture. Structural engineers and the like, certainly - that’s a job that requires little thought and (these days) can be done largely by pressing buttons on a computer. I have a colleague whose son genuinely loved the study of architecture and wanted to study it at a foreign university. His parents told him that, no, studying electronics will result in a good, reliable job. So that’s what he did, and he’s probably installed in a blue cubicle right now churning out third-rate MP3 players. :unamused:

I would also agree that this is not a situation unique to Taiwan. In the UK, the vast majority of work is done by jobbing architects who spend 15 minutes on a sketch and then pass it to detailers and engineers to figure out the rest. At least that’s what it looks like. As in Taiwan, the overriding consideration is to satisfy planning officials and meet a low budget, not to make a building people can be proud of.

Having said that, if you can make a name for yourself (simply being Swiss probably puts you halfway there) there are probably a few building companies who make “high-class” buildings who will grudgingly pay for a talented architect who can turn out something better than the usual mongrel disaster that passes for good taste in Taiwan.

In that case, just do what a lot of people do: take a year out, study chinese, get drunk and avail yourself of the talent lining up at Luxy’s. The building industry is a closed shop, mainly because they openly flout the law and they need to keep a closed circle of the faithful to avoid “disharmony”. But if you meet the right people - aforementioned talent at Luxy’s would undoubtedly have family or friends with contacts - you can find out firsthand out how it works.

Excuse my slight cynicism here :slight_smile:

You guys are largely talking from your prejudices here. Taiwan has a lot of architects and some of the most famous buildings around, including Taipei 101, were done by local architects. All the restoration work I have seen, from Bopiliao, to Huashan 1914, have also been handled by local firms.

Here is a good overview of the scene.

amcham.com.tw/index2.php?opt … =1&id=1050

Just looking around us MM, just looking around.

:laughing: oh I know. But a lot of that is from the construction side as plans are pretty much ignored in practice. Then there is the lack of maintenance. In any case even if buildings are all dreary that doesn’t mean there are few architects here or that work is parcelled out to foreign firms or that no one cares. Plenty do care but it’s a hard struggle anywhere.

Well … quite :wink:

Taipei 101 is one of those daft boondoggles that struggling economies indulge in to prove they’re not struggling. It looks like a Fritz Lang nightmare from Metropolis - a huge extended middle digit. From your link:

“Yet aside from its height, Taipei 101 has won few plaudits for the magnificence of its design, and the harshest critics dismiss it as a giant metal-and-glass Christmas tree with doodads attached. Further, beyond that single iconic building, Taipei has been unable to compete with the glorious skylines gracing many of the other leading cities of the Asia-Pacific.”

and:

With the available land so limited and so expensive, developers seek to maximize profits by making the most intensive use of the space allowed under the law, which is often to the detriment of the quality of the living environment … residents, too, may seek to gain extra space - for example, by enclosing balconies or building illegal structures on rooftops - at the expense of aesthetics. In the interest of security, they often bar the windows, further ruining the building’s appearance. Some of the blame for the ugliness also belongs to the developers, who frequently shun more expensive materials to cover their buildings with tiles that soon grow discolored and dingy.

Which is what I and HHII said above.

And this pretty much sums up what the OP needs to know:

Yao says he set out to prove that world-class public construction can exist in Taiwan. “The problem does not lie in the techniques, but the implementation,” he says. Most of the best architects try to stay away from public projects, however, declining to participate in open architectural competitions out of suspicion that they are just for show, with the results subject to manipulation. Other complaints are the extremely long administrative procedures, political interference, and what are considered to be the unfair distribution of rights and obligations between the government and contract holders under the Government Procurement Act. In addition, it is almost impossible to attract good international architects for public projects since the regulations call for awarding the contract to the low bidder. Taiwan’s current design fees for such projects are only one-third the prevailing international level.

I have to say, I do like the design of the HSR stations.

Although the commentators draw a distinction between private and public projects, standards are very low in both sectors. However, I still believe this may be to the OP’s advantage. Quality always finds a select market, and sells for a high markup. He might not get much business, but what he does get will be fulfilling, interesting, and well-paid. In your quoted article (for example) I’m sure he’ll be interested in the section on show-homes.

I like the Hsinchu and Taichung HSR stations too, great fits of form and function. Would be great if they stuck solar panels on them too.

There are some nice refits of gongyu being done now. I just stayed in one in Anping Tainan, very impressive, knocked out the interior all the way up for 5 floors, put in skylights, the works. There are people with taste and creativity here so all is not lost, it’s just their fighting through all the issues mentioned above.

Well … quite :wink:[/quote]

:laughing: Well, I certainly wasn’t defending the quality, just your point that foreign architects are chosen over local ones because of some cultural insecurity.

HHII, you should see some of the great stuff opening on Dihua Jie in the old Qing and Japanese-era trading houses and shops. And Huashan 1914. Both very clear signs that the times are changing and people are starting to appreciate the old and a bit more style.

I’ll agree that things are getting better for sure. I really like what they have done with Anping and parts of Kaoshiung. I’m sure Dihua Jie and Wanhua have a lot of potential in the future.

As for 101, I wasn’t a fan and thought they could have used better material instead of plastic looking decals, however its grown on me over the years.

Anyone here that works in the building industry in taiwan?

BTW, for people interested, theres an architectural guide for taiwan:

amazon.de/Architectural-Guid … 3869221453

seems pretty interesting. havent red it yet tough

I’m almost considering buying that just to find out how they filled 267 pages. Maybe 250 on “Chapter 1: Things You Should Not Do”.

maybe you can check this
forgemind.net/xoops/modules/news/
not sure if its you are looking for.

[quote=“demam”]I’ve been searching trough the web quite a time. Besides from 2-3 architects offices in Taiwan i couldnt find anything that comes close to the architecture platforms built in America / china / or europe.
Is the architecture and building industry in taiwan that small? How come is it so difficult to find any architecture related internet sites or offices in Taiwan?

I am looking for a platform similar to these:
swiss-architects.com
world-architects.com
chinese-architects.com

i found a few sites on the web, but none of them supporting half the information like the sites mentioned above.
taiwanarchitecture.blogspot.ch/2 … aiwan.html
archdaily.com/search/?q=taiwan&x=0&y=0

any architects around here?

I’ll be applying for a Mandarin learning course. If i wont get the scholarship I might have to work part-time. Preffered in my field of study.
So I’m looking for an good architect to work with. I have 10 years of working expierience in architects offices in switzerland. I’m 27 years old. have a bachelors degree from a swiss university.
what salary expectations can I have?

any information related with my field of profession would be great! thanks a tousand for every answer![/quote]

Anyone in here working as an architect in Taiwan?

mira:
Thanks for your reply. I was just thinking this thread died.
Its hard to find information, and the information that is there, is mainly in mandarin. So is the link you posted.
I found out there is actually an architectural magazin in Taiwan! Just the problem is, i am not able to read it… at least they have an english facebook site:
facebook.com/pages/Taiwan-A … 4913855492

Taiwan Architect Magazine:

translate.google.com/translate?s … ml&act=url

Run through google translate.

HTH.