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National Palace Museum unveils design of new branch

2011/03/25 19:05:13

Taipei, March 25 (CNA) The National Palace Museum unveiled Fridaythe final architectural design for its southern branch and the parkin which the new facility will be located, after years of delay.

The project, with a budget of over NT$7.9 billion (US$268million) and covering an area of around 70 hectares, is expected tobe a new cultural and tourism attraction in the Chiayi area, museumofficials said.

Two architecture firms chosen to design the museum and theoverall landscaping were announced at a press conference that day.

Inspired by three different calligraphy strokes, architect KrisYao of Taiwan designed the main structure, which consists of blackand white curved buildings that meet and interlace at each end.

A white bridge running between the buildings will allow visitorsto walk past the museum without entering, Yao said.

The curves in the design symbolize the three mainstream ancientcivilizations of Asia -- China, India and Persia, he said, addingthat the interlacing also signifies the exchanges of the threecultures.

An advanced technique called "base isolation" will be used toprotect the buildings from earthquake damage, Yao noted.

An area of about 37 hectares has been planned for four Asiangardens, including a Japanese one and another featuring orchids, animportant crop in southern Taiwan, said Teng Hao, director of thelandscaping project.

Approved in 1994 by the Executive Yuan, the project had tosurmount various obstacles, such as contract annulments, until themuseum commissioned the Construction and Planning Agency to invitepublic bidding for the construction in 2009.

Typhoon Morakot, which struck the southern part of Taiwan thatsame year, caused serious flooding at the construction site, dealingthe long- delayed project another blow.

After more than two years of effort, however, the branch is nowexpected to open in 2015, said Chou Kung-shin, director of themuseum.

"It will be a great place to learn about Asian cultures, " sheadded.

(By Kendra Lin)