Sun Moon Stars – New Taiwan by Design

8 km2 masterplan, 3.000 m2 commercial and social program, 500 parking spaces

2 Stage international design competition, 2nd place, 2003
Client: Taiwan Ministry of Tourism
Location: Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan ROC


The brief of this project called for a redevelopment of tourism infrastructure on one of the most beautiful locations in Taiwan. This proposal calls for acceleration zones in contrast with deceleration areas. In the development of the acceleration zones the heavy parking brief has been treated as a potential for generating beauty and quality instead of being seen as a problem. In the park two disk shape follies provide shade and rain cover for any kind of public use.

The Sun Moon Lake is very special. Against a backdrop of forested hills, every dusk and every dawn a mystical fog hoovers above the water surface. It is the premium honeymoon location of Taiwan. And near Shuishe a boutique resort called The Lalu, designed by Australian Kerry Hill, serves those honeymooners. However, the Lalu is the only tourist program around the lake. Therefore the Taiwan ministry of tourism requested design proposals in an international competition aiming to attract more tourists to Sun Moon Lake.

The potential is evident. But successful tourism also holds the threat of killing the quality that attracted the tourists in the first place. Our masterplan pinpoints five locations around the lake that could be accelerated by tourist and commercial program. Equally important is the promise of the masterplan that the rest of the rural area around the lake remains untouched. A map of do’s and don’ts.

The competition brief asks for detailed proposals for two sites: Shuishe (purple) and Hsiangshan (blue)

Shuishe is a small village against one of the hills, with a small peninsula on which The Lalu is situated facing the lake. The small bay has the potential for leisure and entertainment program away from the lake but still connected to it. We propose a lush lake park, surrounded by a landscaped parking strip. It should already be a fun experience to drive around looking for a parking spot. The height difference between the parking strip and the lake park gives space to commercial program.

The lake park is marked by three disk structures. Two of them are on land and one, a tea pavillion, is floating in the water. The two disks in the park are roofs underneath which every kind of public program could take place. They offer shade and cover for heavy rainfall. The different slat layouts and densities provide different conditions underneath the roof.

The biggest disk offered a structural challenge. Taiwan is known for its periodical earthquakes. Together with the engineers of ABT we developed a special shock absorbing cushion as part of the roof. The cushion made it possible to have only columns and no braces underneath the roof.


sections of floating tea pavillion

The second competition site Hsiangshan is at the Xiangshanchoushui Station and the tunnel through one of the mountains. This is a very good place for a transportation hub and a visitor centre. The site has a steep slope between it and the waterfront so we let the centre stand on the edge, detached from the ground, with a facade as wide as possible to grasp the panoramic view on the lake.




New Taiwan by Design 2-stage Competition: 2nd prize

Design team: Sputnik and ZUS Zones Urbaines Sensibles
Henk Bultstra, Bert Karel Deuten, Jaakko van ‘t Spijker,
Kristian Koreman (ZUS), Elma van Boxel (ZUS), Cheng-YU Chiang,
Caro van de Venne, Merlijn Huibers, Samir Bantal, Ravi Kamisetti
co-architect: Aura Design, Taipei
Client: Taiwan Ministry of Tourism
Structural engineer: ABT, Velp

Photographs: Nynke Jutten