Wed, Jul 20, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Japanese architect wins design bid

`GATE OF TAIPEI' The acclaimed Fumihiko Maki has been tapped to design the Taipei Twin Tower, a new landmark scheduled to be launched in 2011


Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki has been chosen by a Taiwan consortium to design the Taipei Twin Tower, a new landmark for the capital city scheduled to be launched in 2011, a city official said yesterday.

Maki, 77, has been named by the China Engineering Consultants Inc (CECI, 中華顧問工程司) to design the Taipei Twin Tower, part of the urban renewal plan involving expanding the Taipei Railway Station and developing surrounding areas, Lee Shang-jui (李尚叡), from the Taipei city government's Department of Rapid Transit System (DORTS), told reporters.

"The Taipei Railway Station will be rebuilt so that it can link up with the high-speed railway and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line linking the Taipei Railway Station and the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport," Lee said.

"In 2011, foreigners arriving at the CKS airport will take the MRT line to the Taipei Railway Station, and see the Taipei Twin Tower when they come out of the Taipei Railway Station," he said.

The Taipei Twin Tower will be two matchbox-shaped commercial complexes -- one 350m tall with 86 stories, and the other 256m tall with 64 stories.

They will stand west of the new Taipei Railway Station which Maki will also design. Maki has called his design the "Gate of Taipei."

On completion, the Taipei Twin Tower will become Taiwan's third-tallest building after the 508m Taipei 101 and the 378m Tuntex Sky Tower in Kaohsiung.

Taipei 101 is the nickname for the Taipei International Financial Center because it has 101 stories. Currently, it is the world's tallest building.

Maki is the winner of the 1993 Pritzker Architecture Prize and has participated in designing the Free Tower which will replace the New York World Trade Center destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

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