Thu, Oct 01, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Farglory, Taipei Dome architects to face committees

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Department of Urban Development director Lin Jou-min yesterday says that the city government would continue to suspend the construction of the Taipei Dome.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it had reported Farglory Group (遠雄集團) and two architects overseeing the construction of the Taipei Dome to its disciplinary committees, and that it had upheld a punishment imposed on Farglory in May to halt the construction of the arena after the city government’s appeal review committee last month rejected an appeal by the group.

Taipei Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) made the announcements prior to a protest by a group of employees of companies involved in the Dome’s construction, who said the city government’s ordering the project to be halted infringed on their right to work.

Citing Article 18 of the Architects Act (建築師法), Lin said that the department had reported the architect overseeing the construction, Stan Lo (羅興華), and his predecessor, Hsu Shao-yu (徐少游), to the city’s Disciplinary Committee for Architects over professional negligence in overseeing the construction.

Meanwhile, Farglory and project co-contractor Obayashi Corp had been reported to the city’s Construction Enterprise Review Committee over their failure to carry out work according to the construction plan, alleged breaches of Article 26 and Article 35 of the Construction Industry Act (營造業法), Lin said.

Lin said the two architects could face punishments ranging from a warning, demerits or having their licence suspended for between two months and two years, to their licenses being revoked or invalidated.

Possible punishments that the construction companies and their specialists face include a warning and a suspension of their operations for between three months and one year, he said.

However, depending on the committees’ conclusions, the individuals and firms might not be punished, he added.

He said that although previous structural concerns surrounding the Dome, including the stability of its foundations and a purported “upward buoyancy force” caused by the suspended construction are under control, the project must meet four requirements before construction can be resumed.

First and foremost, it must pass a review administered by the Taiwan Architecture and Building Center, which would assess whether the project complies with a set of provisions, Lin said.

Then, it would have to pass an environmental impact assessment, an urban design review and, finally, a review of its construction licenses, he added.

Asked to comment on the protesters, Lin said that while the Taipei City Government is concerned about them, agreements between their companies and Farglory was not a matter the city government can intervene in.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) called on Farglory to take a proactive stance on resolving public safety issues concerning the Taipei Dome, rather than threatening to file lawsuits.

Ko said that compared with safety concerns, he is less worried about the nominal royalties to be paid by Farglory should the Dome become operational, adding: “What good does money do if people are dead?”

Under a contract inked between then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Farglory, royalty payments required from the firm were set at zero to 1 percent of the arena’s annual revenues, which sparked controversy over Ma’s administration improperly benefiting the corporation, which was selected by the city government in 2004 to undertake the build-operate-transfer project.

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