The architecture team chosen to remodel Terminal 1 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport must submit a new design by Friday or it will lose the contract with the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said yesterday.
Last year, the CAA announced it would renovate the terminal, which has been in service since 1979, recruiting Japanese architect Norihiko Dan to redesign it.
Dan intended to create a new facade for the 31-year-old terminal by covering the building with a glass curtain, with the overall image resembling headwear worn by officials in ancient China.
The dispute began when Dan’s team planned to remove pre-stressed beams. After the team conducted an initial test, the CAA asked Dan to consider altering the design as removing the pre-stressed beams could weaken the terminal’s structure. The request enraged Dan, who held a press conference and accused the CAA of disrespecting him as a professional architect.
In response, the CAA entrusted the Chinese Society of Structural Engineering (CSSE) with the task of evaluating the safety of Dan’s design.
“We have invited experts on structural safety and have had five meetings with him [Dan],” Mao told Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝).
“We listened to [Dan] patiently. He would come up with new ideas every time we met. However, the ideas lacked details for their execution. Nor did he have plans to address the structural safety concerns. All of them were unfeasible,” Mao said.
Mao said the CAA was scheduled to meet with the team on Friday, adding that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications would cancel the contract if Dan’s team failed to provide a safe and viable design.
In a statement last night, Dan said the CAA’s request to not remove the pre-stressed beams contradicted with its expectations that the project could be completed by August next year.
“Do you understand that we would have to redo the structural and fire protection safety review from the top down without removing the pre-stressed beams, making it absolutely impossible to finish by the end of August next year?” Dan asked.
He also accused the CSSE of already having decided on a conclusion when evaluating the safety of the design.
Fan Hsiao-lun (范孝倫), chief of the CAA’s Aerodrome Engineering division, said the goal of completing renovations by August next year remained unchanged.
“He [Dan] has his questions, we also have our doubts,” Fan said. “We asked a third party [the CSSE] to help us resolve the technical questions and he then said that we had a preset conclusion. Does that mean we can listen to no one but him?”
Fan said that some of the experts recruited to assess the project had previous experience evaluating the structure of the Taipei 101 skyscraper.
To say that Taiwan does not have structural safety experts is unacceptable, he said.
While Dan claimed the construction method he chose has been used in Japan and has proven to be safe, Fan said that research showed the method was only used in bridge construction.
There was no documentation that the method could be safely applied to renovate a building, he said.
Fan said that altering the design did not mean the CAA could not finish the project on time, adding that it would abide by the terms stated in the contract.
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: