11. Januar 2019
Next to the Gushan Ferry Pier that connects Kaohsiung, Taiwan to Cijin is a FamilyMart. Further down the road is a Watsons. Continuing along it is a series of storefronts, most of which are delis and dessert shops. Would anyone have ever wondered what is behind this row of shops?
Indeed, if you take some time to get around to it, you will discover a local neighborhood situated just between that bustling road and the pier-side, where the place is decorated with some casually erected melon sheds, a small square in front of the temple, and plenty of randomly placed plantations. Above all, you will also be treated to some waterfront sceneries in the cool breeze as you stand in this subtropical city of Taiwan.
Thanks to the Urban Development Bureau, this homelike neighborhood is once again being introduced to the public by means of revitalization as opposed to eradication for something completely anew, opening up this modern city crevice that already brims with liveliness to the local residents.
In addition, with the touch of Bamboo Yang, a brilliant graffitist from WALLRIORS, the colors of the basketball court are now in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of this place.
Therefore, whether you are here for a nap, or taking your time diving into a bowl of shaved ice, or simply just looking for a chill-out spot, the canopy stands here, welcoming you with its spanning roofs.
The site is located in Hamasen area, Kaohsiung City (the word Hamasen means “coast railway line” in Japanese), adjacent to the second basin dock of Kaohsiung Port. It was once seated with warehouses for storing cargos and commodities during Japanese colonial period, and was also one of the terminals of the Kaohsiung coast freight railway line. In the process of urban development, the railway was finally abandoned and became a park and square for the local community. In the past, as the resources were invested mostly on the tourism industry and the local main roads, the square is lacking of maintenance and gradually becoming old and insufficient for the public use.
Today, the site is sandwiched between residential houses, warehouses and factories without being fully utilized. However, its continuous spatial characteristic has the opportunity to connect with nearby hotspots in the vicinity, as well as to link up Gushan Ferry Pier in the west and the Pier-2 Art Center in the east. The square itself is also a good place for community gatherings, tourist taking rests and residents having exercises.
Redefining the square as a living space for the community. To relocate two sets of basketball stands to the other side of the square, allowing players on courts to have larger space to move around. In between these two courts, an additional canopy is added to provide a shaded area for people on both sides. The longitudinal axis of the square is aligned to the center of the cultural belief of the residents, Wen-Long Temple. We emptied the middle part of the canopy, so Wen-Long Temple would remain visually accessible when one viewing from the other side of the square. The height of the canopy is also carefully calculated so that it does not exceed the ridge of the temple. The freedom and flexibility of the space, as well as the penetrability of the façade is what is aimed to be preserved as much as possible, hoping that the space under the canopy would be like the living space of the community where various activities can occur.
Images: Yi-Hsien Lee
Architects: Atelier Lets