Taipei, June 1 (CNA) A visiting American real estate professional on Friday praised Taiwan's architecture for successfully combining professional skills and creativity.
"It (the architecture) is exciting and dynamic," said Judy Shenefield, world president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), who was in Taiwan for the first time to attend the FIABCI-Taiwan Real Estate Excellence Awards ceremony.
Taichung City Hall and the outdoor theater in the city's Wen-Hsin Forest Park are both very impressive, said Shenefield, who visited central Taiwan Thursday and is scheduled to tour Taipei Saturday before leaving for Tokyo on Sunday.
"I love it (Taiwan). I love it," she said, adding that she is looking forward to coming back to Taiwan again for her organization's annual conference, which will be held in Taichung in May 2013.
Vice President Wu Den-yih also attended the awards ceremony, which over the last seven years has become one of the principal annual architecture events in Taiwan.
The real estate industry is one of the main drivers of Taiwan's economy and prosperity, Wu told an audience of government officials, architects and property agents.
Wu also praised Taiwan for having won many real estate awards over the years and called on architects to continue focusing on sustainable building designs.
At this year's FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Awards, known as the Oscars of the real estate sector, Kaohsiung's Jhongdu Wetland Park won in the environmental rehabilitation category, while Taichung's civic center won in the public infrastructure category.
The runners-up awards all went to Taipei-based projects, including two that linked subway stations with department stores and a riverside recreation area.
This year was the best performance by Taiwan since 2007, when it first participated in the annual competition. Since 2007, Taiwan has won seven top prizes and 14 runners-up places in the competition and is scheduled to host the awards next year.
There were 13 winners, 18 runners-up and one special recognition at this year's awards, which were held May 15 in St. Petersberg, Russia.
(By James Lee)