Conceptual Design Competition for Heart of the Capital: A Vision for Transforming Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park

Submission: Nov 10, 2022
Registration: Feb 15, 2023
Language: English / Mandarin
Location: Taipei / Taiwan
Prizes: EURO 10,000 (NT$300,000 )
Type: Conceptual Design Competition


Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park (CKS Memorial Park), located in the middle of Taipei City, is an important public space in Taiwan’s present-day capital.It is also a site that draws the hearts of the people together, and where their hopes and dreams manifest. The sights and sites of CKS Memorial Park and its surroundings have become palimpsests of history that tell complex and diverse narratives. The CKS Memorial Park, which has become an integral part of the life of each historical subject that crosses its path, is a focal point of myriad urban lifestyles and signification, simultaneously being a symbol of authoritarianism, internal strife, day-to-day life, civil society, political and social movements, as well as art, culture, and leisure.

In recent years, the Taiwanese society has been actively engaged in conversations on issues such as transitional justice, the future of the ordinary citizen, and the projected image of the capital city. The vibrancy of the exchanges does not merely reflect the capacity of the Taiwanese society to hold diverse dialectics but also presents challenges to professionals working with urban public spaces. These professionals are now tasked to reexamine the sites that were created during the authoritarian rule of the 19th and 20th centuries, as they consider how to create visions of contemporary life and a city of the future. In addition, they also have to find a way to allow the heart of the capital city to move away from being a physical embodiment of authoritarian rule and regime. Only after the transformation of the site can the above visions of the public domain be realized.

As a result, this competition invites artists to imagine a future space that allows the hearts of citizens to join as one. This way, the new vision of CKS Memorial Park would become part of an open dialogue and the visual experience brought on by the competition would in turn facilitate more discussions and provide more stimuli pertaining to the issue of urban transformation. This process of reflection will hence engender yet another round of social conversation. The competition aims to attract diverse proposals that suggest a multitude of ways to transform this public space while taking into account the complex social context of Taiwan, in order that even more perspectives for debate can emerge. At the end of the day, we hope that such a process would shape an image of Taiwan’s capital city that represents the hope of the people today, allows societal values to progress, and realizes this generation’s imagining of the future.

This call for entries attaches great importance to the designer’s reflections on history and culture, the creativity of their spatial design, and the feasibility of long-term applicability of their conceptual design. Participating individuals and teams are also encouraged to be part of various Public Participation activities organized by the event committee. Since the CKS Memorial Park is a major landmark in the heart of Taiwan’s capital, the design proposal must be viable for a diverse range of day-to-day functions, incorporating responses to social relations, interpretations of history, cultural symbols, and contemporary issues. The architectural space can then be a force that shapes contemporary urban life and at the same time creates new value for society. Therefore, designs entered into the competition should cover the following aspects: Fresh Interpretations, Spatial Transformation, and New Usage.

Fresh Interpretations
Fresh interpretations of the CKS Memorial Park must be rooted in the historical context of the site. Changes proposed are to be substantive and seek to remove signs of authoritarianism, engage in dialogue with history, observe the values of democracy and freedom in contemporary society, meet the diverse and varied lifestyle needs of citizens, and respond to major social issues. Such an approach would enable the idea of transformation to gain a foothold in present-day society and, subsequently, empower the society to stride confidently into the future.

Spatial Transformation
In view of the geographical particularity of the locale and the forward-looking nature of Taipei City’s cultural strategies, the proposal should contain specific suggestions on both the functions of and meaning behind the revamped CKS Memorial Park, and all proposed changes should be made with a thorough consideration of the spatial characteristics and character of the architecture. When exploring the relationship between specific architectural elements and space, designers ought to and ecology.

New Usage
The proposal should introduce novel ideas for the CKS Memorial Park and its surrounding site by proposing new uses of the space. The ideas, which shall anticipate the needs of the future urban dwellers, mediate between the various interactions in the public space, and suggest a mechanism for sustainable operation of the site, could create new possibilities in terms of the services rendered by and functions of the CKS Memorial Park.

Note: In order to allow more creative ideas to be brought into play and more voices to be heard in this social dialogue, entries submitted do not need to take regulations into consideration governing the management of public spaces, such as cultural assets, urban planning, and urban design.

For whom
This category is open to students enrolled in senior high school or tertiary institutions. Fresh graduates who have just graduated in 2022 are also eligible. There are no restrictions on nationalities. Interested parties may participate as individuals or groups. Groups with members of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

Interested parties may participate as individuals, groups, legal persons, or corporate units. At least one member of the team needs to be a professional in spatial design or related fields. There are no restrictions on nationalities. Interested parties may participate as individuals or groups. Groups with members of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<

Date: March 15, 2023