a teatray in the sky

蘭陽博物館 (Lanyang Museum) and 基隆廟口夜市 (Keelung Temple Night Market)

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Food, Photography, Taiwan by firthefirst on January 19, 2012

Taiwan is definitely not up there on the list of architectural destinations, largely overshadowed by the money-burning frenzy that is the Chinese real estate market and the always-fresh-always-funky world of Japanese contemporary design.  I’ve had the lucky opportunity to work for an excellent architect in Taipei (LWM Architects) and I know that there has been a number of great architectural minds working diligently to improve the design environment in Taiwan for the last couple of decades.  the Lanyan Museum, by 姚仁喜 (Yao Ren Xi, Artech Inc.) is one of the newest examples of Taiwan asserting an architectural personality.  there are faint echoes of I. M. Pei still in the work but the building’s design language clearly responds to the landscape around it, instead of being a purely intellectual geometric exercise.  the interior is logically laid out yet provides a compelling promenade, and even the quality of the construction is meticulous (which is typically so hard to find in Asia these days).  there are some exceedingly bizarre moments (like an unwrapped structural member that emerges randomly from a wall, warty fireproofing and all) which stand out because everything else seems to be so well sorted.

there is one photo I am posting separately from the rest, because it’s disturbing to me.  not the architectural part of it; I love that the design language remains cohesive even when applied to a functional element such as a modern portico.  what disturbs me is the appalling amount of junk that has been forcibly inserted into the space (and yes, into, even though this is the outside, it’s clearly a room per the design).  this drives me nuts, to have such an exciting and dramatic element mutilated by the addition of flanking potted plants.  the architect has done EVERYTHING in his power to keep the space as perfect as possible.  the umbrella hanging racks are contemporary in design.  the irritating emergency text and how-to-use-an-umbrella-rack instructions have been rotated so that they fit with the seams in the metal panels.  and then to have this happen?

I know its mean to demand that people lose employment but if I could, I would get the person whose idea this was fired. perhaps jail time?  fight SOPA, fight PIPA, and when we’re done with that, come back and fight this madness, the ruination of our global architectural legacy.

with that bitter taste in my mouth at the very end of an otherwise thrilling architectural excursion, I sought to cleanse my palate … with 葱油饼.  oh yes, scallion pancakes.  that doughy delight, that chinese fried good of champions.  my favorite round object ever.

but we weren’t done with the food, not by a long shot.  first came lunch, then came snacks, then came fruit, then came a trip to the 基隆廟口夜市, the Keelung Temple Night Market, a true classic when it comes to the Chinese art of making, selling, and eating food on an open street.

3 Responses

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  1. Lori Steenhoek said, on January 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

    great shots. I’m a big fan of those wooden benches.

  2. drawandshoot said, on January 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    A beautiful building. Your photographs are gorgeous. You are right about the potted plants!

  3. Taiwanese Guy said, on August 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    It looked like THAT BUILDING has collapsed and just fallen into that shape! I really hate MODERN ART trying to inject their BS Modern Art CRAPS into everything these days! Didn’t Taiwan Architecture Schools ever taught our Taiwanese Architects on how to use a Spirit Level with Three-Axis Bubbles correctly!? {roll my eyes}

    I.M. Pei really sux in my book with Luce Memorial Chapel in TAIWAN because it is basically a ROOF without WALLS! It means that he had put SUPERFICIAL LOOK before USEFUL SPACE! Personally, GAY-As-Hell Ted Haggard CHRISTIAN CHURCHES should all be built like that with LEAST AMOUNT of USEFUL SPACE and just BS ORNAMENT [=P

    I guess that TAIWAN is trying to up the ante on UNDER-TABLE CORRUPTION with Lanyan Museum along with Scottish Parliament on ART-GLY now a day! Scottish Parliament is 10x over budget at $800 million of TAX PAYERS MONEY with CHEAP BUILDING MATERIALS instead of MARBLE FLOORS and MARBLE STONE STATUES on ROOFTOP like Swedish Parliament [<—- GORGEOUS ARCHITECTURE from outside to inside]! Taiwanese Government should stop THESE STEALING from Taiwanese TAX PAYERS to build these BS Modern Art CRAPS!! =/

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