Sun, Nov 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Groups sign commitment at flora expo

CIRCULAR ECONOMY:The declaration was inked at the Holland Pavilion, which the vice president said is proof of successful exchanges between Taiwan and the Netherlands

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in Taichung

Almere Mayor Franc Weerwind, second left, and Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, second right, yesterday sign a declaration to build a sustainable economy in the presence of Dutch Representative to Taiwan Guy Wittich, left, and Vice President Chen Chien-jen, right, at the Holland Pavilion at the Taichung World Flora Exposition’s Houli Forest Expo Site.

Photo: CNA

Forty-four industrial, academic and government organizations from Taiwan and the Netherlands yesterday signed a joint declaration to demonstrate their commitment to building a circular economy, as they welcomed visitors to Taiwan’s first circular-economy construction at the Houli Forest Expo Site of the Taichung World Flora Exposition, which opened yesterday.

The declaration, titled “Circular, Now!” was inked at the Holland Pavilion, which is 10.3m tall and is the only non-permanent two-story building in the World Garden Competition area. The area contains the works of 31 nations from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Built with the goal of leaving zero waste, the Holland Pavilion was built by bolting steel structures together. Nails were replaced with dowels and the pavilion is equipped with energy-conserving pneumatic vacuum elevators.

Its wooden floors, doors and furniture came from old sugar warehouses built by Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) in Kaohsiung in 1949.

The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taipei said that after the expo ends in April next year, the pavilion will be the first circular building in the world to be dismantled and reconstructed again, at Taisugar’s Yuemei Tourism Sugar Factory.

“The circular economy is all about cooperation and pioneering new circular business models and technologies, and that is exactly what you have demonstrated here,” Dutch Representative to Taiwan Guy Wittich said.

Wittich said 40 percent of global urban waste comes from demolished buildings, which is why he hopes more stakeholders in Taiwan and the Netherlands can cooperate and engage in exchanges and partnerships on circular construction projects.

Lauding the Holland Pavilion as a perfect testament to successful substantive exchanges between Taiwan and the Netherlands, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said the circular economy and green energy are among the major focuses of the government’s industrial innovation program.

At the ceremony, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) also inked a letter of intent with Almere Mayor Franc Weerwind to participate in Floriade Expo 2022, which is to be held in Almere, the Netherlands.

Another highlight of the world garden area is an installation by Germany, titled “Floral Frame of Time,” which features a walkable cube made of 233 bamboo sticks.

It is based on the famous “Red Cube” by Farkas Molnar, a Hungarian architect and proponent of Bauhaus, a renowned German art school established in 1919.

Although Molnar did not translate his design into an actual building at the time, the hope is that his ideas will to come to life almost 100 years after they were designed via the installation, which is adorned with paintings by German artists and 600 fragrant Taiwanese herbs, the installation’s lead artist Stephan Murer said.

Two pre-recorded poems composed by Taiwanese poet Lee Chang-ching (李長青), as well as one by German writer and poet Karsten Steinmetz, are played inside the cube twice an hour.

Across from the German installation is a project called “Branches” by Spanish architect Miquel Batlle, who used large branches from about 50 dead trees found near construction sites to create a cone-shaped wooden vault.

Asked why he chose dead trees instead of living ones for his creation, Batlle said the trees he used were mostly chopped down to make way for construction projects and he wanted to send a message to the public that trees and buildings can coexist peacefully.

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