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A design by the architectural firm Shu Chang & Associates has been selected for new storage facilities to house the Taipei Fine Arts Museum collection. After more than 36 years (TFAM was established in 1983), the scale and equipment of the original warehouse no longer met the latest requirements for a broad range of professional applications, from preservation and maintenance to research and access to visible storage. As artwork preservation concepts progressed, the TFAM collection warehouse needed to keep pace with the times and stay in line with international standards. To address the problem of insufficient space, the museum has installed extra shelving in the original warehouse, while also seeking to build a new storage area, in conjunction with the upgrading of overall museum facilities.

 

 

In September 2015, when visiting the exhibition “Formosa in Formation: Selected Works from the Taipei Fine Arts Museum Collection,” Taipei City mayor Ko Wen-je generously agreed to the construction of a new collection warehouse. With the support of the city government, the first phase of development was launched, including planning, case management, and archaeological test pitting. Recently, the museum invited tenders to bid for this project and received outstanding proposals from several architectural and construction teams. Ultimately, a joint proposal from Joyear Development Co., CTCI Smart Engineering Corporation, and the architectural firm Shu Chang & Associates won the day. The site will be located at the current museum parking lot. The space will offer accessibility to the general public while also ensuring the security of the artworks, and it is designed to aptly reflect the connection between the storage facilities and the surrounding environment.

 

In his proposal, the architect Shu Chang conceptualized a surprising design direction. Advocating that a collection warehouse should be defined as a professional service of the museum, he chose to embed it underground, adopting an approach that maximizes open floor space with minimal building volume. While breaking from the professional constructure project management team’s original concept, which included four above-ground floors and two basement levels, the design remained exceptionally faithful to the museum’s demands for storage functionality. One of the most important considerations was that the underground structure would have natural advantages in reducing vibration and saving energy. Second, it would be located at the same level as the existing storage facilities, which would be beneficial for security control and simplification of lines of movement for transport purposes. This greatly diminished risks when handling the collection.

 

As the facility that protects the collection and extends the lives of the works, the warehouse’s topmost priority is disaster prevention. The design’s flood-control standards take into account two centuries of flood-level records and reference the flood-control standards of the metro system. Flood barriers will be installed in all entrances to the space, and an excellent drainage pitch is designed to prevent surface water overflow, enabling the rapid discharge of surface runoff to the outside. Moreover, the plan reduces the original disparity in height between the entrance plaza of the main building and the parking lot, from nearly 4 meters to 1.15 meters. Shu Chang also integrated pedestrian flow lines on the grounds, extending the eastern portion of the entrance plaza and creating a public walkway. This leaves possibilities for integration and extension in the next phase of the Taipei Art Park – TFAM Expansion Project, and it provides visitors with more smoothly flowing and convenient lines of motion.

 

Taipei Fine Arts Museum was the first museum of modern and contemporary art established in Taiwan. After more than 30 years, its collection encompasses major historic artworks since the Japanese colonial era, as well as classic works by prominent artists from both Taiwan and abroad. Through thematic exhibitions, it explores a variety of contemporary issues. These bountiful art assets will now be housed in a " visible storage," where researchers who have made an appointment in advance can see how the works are preserved and the behind-the-scenes handling of the collection. This in turn will give contemporary cultural asset preservation a more robust role in educating society. This visible storage is not merely a new kind of space, but represents a sea change in the way we think about cultural assets.

 

As Taipei Fine Arts Museum is a historic institution, all changes are built on the cumulative accomplishments of the past. Since 2017 TFAM has replaced the air-conditioning system and upgraded interior facilities, improved professional services, and built a new south entrance, enhancing the interactive relationship between TFAM, the Fine Arts Park and the Wang Da Hong House Theatre. In his winning design, Shu Chang has clearly defined the central point of the new collection warehouse as its utilitarian function, without emphasizing any eye-catching exterior design. The concept of concealing it underground arose from an attitude of humility, carefully considering the symbiotic relationship with the surrounding group of buildings, so that the main building designed by Kao Er-pan—one of the most vivid images in the collective memory of the people of Taipei and Taiwan—maintains its independence and iconic presence. Likewise, the gradually evolving Taipei Fine Arts Park will become more open and accessible, manifesting consideration for both the city and the public. The Taipei City Government has allocated a total of NT$1.07357 billion for this project, which is expected to open in 2024.

 

Quelle: Taipei Fine Arts Museum

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