The Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City
DURATION / LOCATION
The case is located in Chiayi City, completed in 2018.
INSPIRATION / IDEA
許競文 Ching-Wen, hsu
團隊成員：張岳容 Yueh-Jung, Chang
The two buildings from this case were initially a Saikan and an office of the Chiayi shrine. Although the structure was later turned into The Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City, it could hardly attract the public for a visit due to its far-off location and lack of reparation. After three passes on the public auction, the building was finally in good hands with a design team willing to make changes.
As the designer agrees to the concept of historic site preserving and reusing, the work was done without violating the original building’s beauty. More Japanese architect elements and decorations have been add-in, creating a space that mixes the past and the present, experience the charm of ancient Japan by walking along with the structure.
The materials that were used to maintain and update the structure were all eco-friendly, turning the historic site into a green building that corresponds to the present world.
Maintenance should not be the only purpose for working on historic sites; if it could be reused actively, it can preserve its significance and turn into a social property that offers sustainable usages. Create new interaction with the public, co-exist with architectures, histories and cultures, unleash its precious value of existence.
The case was listed as a municipal historic site by the Chiayi City Government. The whole structure is formed by two individual Japanese wooden houses with a corridor connected in between. According to the landmark site law’s provision, reconstructing the original building and nailing is prohibited; therefore, a new structure can only be applied by designing a new layout, modelling cabinet, and then being placed into space after assembled.
The two buildings were used as a shrine office and a space to bidet and dress. After the construction, the areas have turned into an exhibition hall and a restaurant. The spatial planning has brought the room closer to people and increased the historic site’s usage rate.
The exhibition hall is divided into two areas: permanent exhibition area and curatorial area. The permanent exhibition area displays cultural relics related to the city’s history. The curatorial area supports all kinds of special exhibitions related to culture and art, such as the highly acclaimed Showa Bazaar that gathers innovative products that inspired Chiayi City’s history.
The structure’s limits have separated the restaurant and the kitchen into two different building during the spatial planning, causing difficulties for food delivery route planning. Finally, the designer decided to build an extra relay station, sending semi-prepared meals from the kitchen to the station for storage, then serve customers quicker after their order.
The historic site’s maintenance is also a challenge; due to the structure was entirely made out of wood, there might be possible weakness spots. Setting rules for guests to take off their shoes and no running during their indoor visits. Adhering to the concept of persistence and care of the site, and accepted the honour of the Historical Site Maintenance Award.
Time has aged the ancient architecture like fine wine, exuding its unique elegance. Although, the wooden-made structure needs a lot of observant maintenances. In addition to refurbishment, if it can be more activated with practical features, the building will continue its legacy through its histories and new existences.
The designer has given new purposes to both Japanese houses; one is used as an exhibition hall, displaying items from the past; the other was reformed as a restaurant, taking guests back to the past through gourmets. During dining, people will enjoy the atmosphere of the historical building and give in to the eternity of Japanese architectures.
Historic sites are witnesses of the past, and they require preservation. The serious details still represent the beauty and warmth of ancient woodcraft; especially when walking in the building, the faint scent of juniper sends out through the ceiling and between floors. The scent and vision bring minds back to the good old days; the beauty of the past was not forgotten; instead, its long-standing charm and charm will always linger through time.
To preserve the building’s original appearance, the designer insisted on using natural construction methods during the renovation. Retained the main structure and original architectural elements: the arrangements of the corridors and entrance hall to the grille ceiling, tatami, paper sliding doors, wooden lattice windows, square-shaped chandeliers, all just to recreate the rustic appearance of traditional Japanese architecture.
Besides taking the responsibility of maintaining historical sites, the space has injected a heavy Japanese scent sense. A deep blue coloured, canvas made Japanese porch hanging cloth was chosen as the decoration at the entrance, meaning the spirit of a family crest, with purple tassels and white lanterns aside, creating a deep historical sense.
Japanese lanterns in the shape of portable lamps bring out the historical vibe; they were intentionally placed on two sides of the corridor floor of the building’s second entrance, recreating the charm of Kyoto’s streets of lanterns. Not only to light up ways for guests but also to represent the meaning of inheritance and hopes to the future.