The joke that is the new Taipei Dome

#1

[color=#008000][i]~~~ Mod’s note:
This thread was previously in the TP forum, but was moved to the Sports forum, where it would seem more at home.

  • TGM 02/05/2015

Back in 1992, when professional baseball was all the rage in Taiwan, packing 12,000 fans into Taipei City baseball stadium nearly every single game, Hao Pei-chun, the head of the executive yuan at the time, promised fans that Taipei would soon have its very own Tokyo dome.  In fact, the word for dome stadium in Taiwan, Giant Egg (巨蛋), comes directly from the trade marked nickname of Tokyo dome at the time, The Big Egg.

The Taipei baseball stadium was torn down in the year 2000.  It's now 15 years later, there is still not a replacement baseball stadium in Taipei city.  When the Taipei baseball stadium was torn down, baseball fans of Taipei were promised a domed baseball stadium over the original site by then mayor Ma Ying-jiu.  As it turned out, Ma lied.  Instead of a domed baseball stadium, Ma gave them a domed arena unfit to play baseball.

Then instead of picking a more appropriate location, Ma signed the historic Songshan Tobacco Plant, a giant park covered in lush green vegetation, to build a new Taipei domed baseball stadium.  The contract went to the Farglory group, who partnered up with, Takenaka, the Japanese construction company that built the Tokyo dome, to make the planning for Taiwan's first domed baseball stadium.

However, in typical Taiwanese government job fashion, as soon as Farglory won the contract, they changed all the details and had friends in Taipei city government help approve their every whim.  Instead of focusing on the stadium, Farglory carved out even more land and chopped down even more trees to make way for their hotels, movie theater, and department stores.  They also forced Takenaka to back out of the partnership.  

Takenaka originally hired world renowned architect Hiroshi Hara (原広司, who also designed the Sapporo Dome, Umeda Sky Building and Kyōto Station) to design Taipei dome.  The contract winning design looked like this:

[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ck940IZwRwg/VMnI4BaRZDI/AAAAAAAAnCs/57sTNt9odC0/w506-h358/10530720_10152343460417523_3676763654406612499_n.jpg[/img]

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oUkDRLiXoxE/VMnKZ9ma5iI/AAAAAAAAnDU/_uxn37L-55U/w506-h474/10403392_10152343462862523_131949912299769591_n.jpg[/img]

His design concept was:
1. Hara wanted to respect the significance of SYS memorial hall.  Therefore the dome was shifted to avoid being on the same axis and sight line as the SYS hall.
2. He also designed a sunken stadium, where the height of the stadium would be lowed without changing the shape of the dome.  It allows the dome to clear the height limitation of the Songshan airport flight zone, and lessens visual impact on SYS memorial hall.
3. Hara also wanted to make the dome as invisible as possible.  The outer shell of the dome is covered with a membrane-like material.  
4. This transparent membrane would make as little visual impact on the surrounding as possible, and would appear to be translucent and light weight.

Farglory wanted none of that.  This is their designs, which they made changed upon changes to, and their design concept:

[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yDFsFMjC2GM/VMnLnOX03QI/AAAAAAAAnFE/3gDDyP8kjpk/w506-h378/d288436.jpg[/img]

[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-V6WL9eKxofs/VMnLd33Jb6I/AAAAAAAAnEk/N4zaqU9Xe_s/w506-h380/fileUpload0130542831397514172.jpg[/img]

[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mVGeAAqYMX0/VMnK7q0PyHI/AAAAAAAAnD4/gMsgA73ZNPA/w506-h427/10459916_10152343462102523_765766534146370410_n.jpg[/img]

1. Align the stadium with SYS memorial hall, to make way for more commercial prime real estates along Zhongsiao E. Rd.
2. Raise the stadium playing surface higher up to the ground level, because digging down costs more money.
3. Screw light weight invisible membranes, they are just gonna slap metalic structures on it which is much cheaper. 
4. Farglory went as far was copying  another famous architect, Toyo Ito's VIVO CITY's planning.  To the point where Ito warned Farglory to change the design or be sued.  

Farglory's latest design change changed the stadium from a dome, to a toilet seat cover like structure.  They said this would be cheaper and is the only way to clear the Song Shan air port height restriction.  After all these idiotic changes, many questioned the stadium no longer is a standard baseball stadium.  Farglory denies this, and published several news letter claiming the stadium design is with in IBAF regulations. 

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NS48YllOFZQ/VMnGV-yg5UI/AAAAAAAAnCI/5oM2jg0u-sI/w400-h300-no/phpJa7xFT.jpg[/img]

It would appear to baseball fans that their only concern was for the outfield fence to be 325, 400, 325 ft. away from home plate.  If you look at their floor plan carefully, you would notice there are no longer any foul area in the outfields.  There are some MLB stadiums that also feature a small foul line, although a tight foul area is usually only at one side of the stadium, typically tailor made for their star hitter to avoid some fly outs.  However, this design has no foul area what so ever.

The altered dome also poses a problem for actual baseball playing:

[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9B1WkUjVAgU/VMigpryYJKI/AAAAAAAAtwU/Ay8filu5IQ0/w1042-h682-no/201501281529.jpg[/img]

Even in Tokyo dome, sometimes a ball is hit so high that it would hit the ceiling.  Farglory's latest design is plain idiotic.  It's the same kind of logic that went into altering Taoyuan baseball stadium's design so that the gate would be along the main road, and in doing so oriented the outfield to face the west, subjecting players and fans to stare into the setting sun during afternoon games.

This 28.8 billion dollar project only spends 8 billion on the domed stadium, and spends the other 20.8 billion on department stores and movie theaters.  In the end, Taipei will get yet another empty promise, as all professional baseball teams have now moved out of Taipei.
#2

Interesting stuff. Couldn’t care less about baseball, though. :sunglasses:

#3

Yeah, fuck baseball. As always Taiwan will get exactly the facility it deserves. Also, the SYS Hall is horrible, it has no redeeming qualities. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

#4

Awesome. That really does look exactly like a toilet seat.

But why does the toilet seat need to comply with a height restriction, whereas the [strike]slab-concrete monstrosity[/strike] upscale commercial development on the right does not?

Maybe they should fix it so that the toilet seat lifts up, Tower Bridge style, to avoid baseball impacts?

#5

the same goes for CKS memorial hall as well for me.

#6

[quote=“finley”]Awesome. That really does look exactly like a toilet seat.

But why does the toilet seat need to comply with a height restriction, whereas the [strike]slab-concrete monstrosity[/strike] upscale commercial development on the right does not?

Maybe they should fix it so that the toilet seat lifts up, Tower Bridge style, to avoid baseball impacts?[/quote]

another guess is that Farglory simply doesn’t have the know how to build and support a dome that high.

#7

That makes no sense at all. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall is near 101 and the other tall buildings in Xinyi.

It’s at least 3 kilometers from Sungshan Airport and 90 degrees off the runway axis.

#8

[quote=“monkey”]That makes no sense at all. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall is near 101 and the other tall buildings in Xinyi.

It’s at least 3 kilometers from Sungshan (Songshan) Airport and 90 degrees off the runway axis.[/quote]

Original height limit was 60m, in 2007 parts of it was adjusted to 90m. The adjustment is for money making reasons, not because of any kind of break through in aviation safety technology.

It is also way many people feel it would make more sense to move all air traffic to Taoyuan, the real TPE, Taipei airport.

Here’s the regulation:

[quote="航空站飛行場助航設備四周禁止限制建築物及其他障礙物高度管理辦法 "]
第四條 航空站、飛行場及其鄰近地區供航空器進場或繞場之飛航安全以下列範圍為標準:

二、水平面:

(三)臺北航空站:僅設於跑道南側,為以跑道兩端中心點為圓心,以三千公尺、六千公尺為半徑作圓弧,各圓弧與連接各圓弧之切線範圍內所構成之內外二層橢圓帶狀平面。內層橢圓帶狀平面之高度以平行跑道中心線且距跑道中心五百七十公尺至九百七十公尺及距跑道中心一千一百八十公尺至三千公尺區隔,分別成為距機場標高六十公尺及九十公尺等二種不同高度範圍,二種高度範圍間以高距比為一比七之傾斜面銜接。外層橢圓帶狀平面之高度並依一○跑道端中心點之二三三方位延伸線及二八跑道端中心點之一五六方位延伸線區隔,分別構成距機場標高為一百四十五公尺、六百公尺及一百四十五公尺之三個水平面,其間無傾斜面銜接。外層橢圓帶狀平面高度為一百四十五公尺者並與內層橢圓帶狀平面間以高距比為一比二點四之傾斜面,由外向跑道方向延伸銜接(附示意圖一之三)。

Article 4 - Entering/Circling Flight Safety Regulation for Near-by Neighborhoods of Airport or Airstrip

  1. Horizontal Surface Regulations

(3) Taipei Airport (here refers to Songshan, as TPE is referred to as Taoyuan): The entering/circling flight safety zone only allies to neighborhoods south of the runway. Using both ends of the runway as the center, the circular zones are divided into two sub-zones, one with a 3000m (3KM) radius, and the other with 6000m (6KM). The intersection of the the circular zones would form a double layered elliptic horizontal zones. The inner elliptic zone is further divided into two restriction zones, one at 60m off the ground, and theother at 90…[/quote]

In short, Songshan area is south of the runway and within the 6km inner elliptic zone, limiting its heights to 90m or below.

#9

Taipei 101 is about 4km from the runway according to Google Earth. The old tobacco factory site is about 3km from the runway.

#10

Their wives would have a fit.

1 Like
#11

Interesting and informative post, hansioux. Thanks

#12

A fantastic post. Every forumosan may or may not care about baseball, but this project is one in which all kinds of other social issues become crystal clear. What do we want from Taipei’s architecture/built environment? What about green space and the protection of trees? What about political promises and the political process? What about safety and corporate compliance?

It seems that in just about every one of these issues, this project has been an epic fail.

Guy

1 Like
#13

That’s Fargory for you.

gotta love rampant greed run amok.

plus the fabulous spectre of cha bu duo on a monumental scale.

1 Like
#14

The nexus of big business and local politicians in Taiwan,
although In this case it was Ma Ying Jeo wasn’t it?
At the time there weren’t many protests from Taipei residents, mostly it was the greenies who were protesting but they didn’t get wider support. A complete disgrace but unfortunately that’s how they roll in these parts.

#15

I don’t think governments should have to foot the bill for new stadiums. It’s why we in Los Angeles don’t have an NFL team. You’re a sports team owner and want to have a team here and make you a crapton of money? Build your own stadium with your own money, not our taxes.

#16

Problem as I see it is that this is going to be an embarrassment at an international scale. If Taipei can’t pull off even the Universidae, heck, it will never be able to host anything bigger than a 4 team “world” championship in quidditch. (with apologies to HP fans)

No soccer stadium, no baseball stadium… but Taipei is capital of design? Can you make my work harder, can’t you?

#17

There are no lack of (American) football facilities in LA. If today we are talking about a professional team demanding a new building or they will leave the city, when there are existing facilities that have enough capacity to enable the team to make money, then I agree the city absolutely is not obligated to build them a new stadium. However, having a team build its own stadium is rare even in the US or Japan, especially not a domed stadium. Even the new Yankees stadium was subsidized by city and state tax money.

Don’t exactly know why the old stadium had to go, but if even the richest professional team counted on the government for a new stadium, asking professional teams in Taiwan to build their own stadium seems to be a bit detached from reality.

As for Taiwan, it’s up to the government to determine if baseball or sports in general is something they want to promote.

If so, it is unreasonable to ask for private funded baseball fields in a city as densely developed as Taipei. The Taipei city government has been tearing down baseball field one after another. Most of which are city property. Baseball field in 228 memorial park, gone. Baseball field in Ximengding, gone. Baseball fied in Yuanshan, torn down for a soccer stadium, but now you can’t even play soccer there, it’s gonna be yet another run in the mill “cultural creativity area”. The one in Tienmu is the only regulation field left in Taipei, but the community is fiercely against having games played there. You can’t play baseball in most schools because the fields were torn down to make way for office buildings. Schools around Taiwan are now building commercial buildings along the road and renting them out to restaurants, i don’t know how that’s legal, but it’s happening.

Taipei city certainly needs a regulation baseball field. It is better if it’s a domed stadium because Taipei as the most populated city of Taiwan should host more international tournaments, which are incredibly lucrative in Taiwan due to Taiwanese’ lack of self-esteem in everything else. That is why in recent years, it seems like every other international tournaments were held in Taiwan. However, the top quality international tournaments won’t come to Taiwan unless Taiwan has a domed stadium. The reason is quite simple, rain delays are too costly for a tournament on a tight schedule. Japan gets to host all the WBC pool games in Asia, and most of the Asia Series because it has so many domed stadiums. Korea is soon to get theirs as well.

Renting the domed stadium to a professional team is only an extra bonus, since it would make the building even more lucrative aside from all the concerts it’s going to held.

Taiwan is too humid and rainy during baseball season. Aside from cities with extremely cold weather, most cities in the US that have Taiwan’s level of heat or humidity also have domed/roofed stadiums, Chase Field in Arizona, Marlins Park in Miami, Minute Maid Park in Houston, and Tropicana Field in Florida. There is a legitimate need for a domed stadium in the most populated city in Taiwan. I just have a problem with it’s site selection, the design, and the past city government selling out people’s interests.

#18

So, the big question is: will the Taipei Bowl be regulation? Or is it going to be an exercise in futility? If the Universidae cannot take place there because it is delayed is one thing, if it does not comply with even college level regulations… shame on an international scale.

I cannot understand this greed that devastates all sports venues. Sports promote health and team work and national unity/pride… oh, wait.

#19

I want a velodrome. Taipei needs a velodrome, if only so I can ride in it. :sunglasses:

#20

Looks like another Horse designed by Donkeys.