Market Reconstruction - Upgrading the Market and Giving it a Brand New Appearance
The traditional market offers the most nostalgic flavors of home! Oozing with warm hospitality, the traditional market is the collective memory of the Taiwanese people and many street eats have originated here. As contemporary hypermarkets, supermarket chains, and convenient stores spring up like mushrooms, coupled with a decrease in the number of people per household and the hectic, fast-paced modern lifestyle, people are becoming less willing to handpick their food from traditional markets, while the outdated shopping environment is no longer in vogue.
In preserving the traditional market culture and maintaining the livelihood of vendors, Taipei City Government inspected of major markets focusing on their management, safety, environmental cleanliness, food hygiene, and organizational soundness. Furthermore, NT$26.32 billion was invested to kick off the reconstruction of 6 major markets including Dalong Market, Huannan Market, Chenggong Market, Nanmen Market, Taipei Fish Market and The First Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market. Throughout the process, City Hall has made rigorous construction plans, searched for makeshift markets, and continues to communicate with the management, committee, and vendors to explain the reconstruction plan. Moreover, feedback from the interested parties is integrated to help relocate the vendors. Currently, reconstruction projects at 6 major markets are underway, with Dalong Market, Nanmen Makeshift Market, and Huannan Makeshift Market slated for completion in 2019. The markets’ new design, planning, and timetable have attracted the attention of residents and vendors.
The former Dalong Market was determined by Taipei Professional civil Engineers Association (TPCE) as an RC building containing a high concentration of chloride ions, or so-called Sea-Sand Building in 2011. In light of public safety, the building was destined for demolition and reconstruction. Taipei City Government adopted the public urban renewal approach to rebuilding the Dalong Market. After negotiating with residents and businesses, 97 households were relocated and 82 vendors either moved to a makeshift market or other locations of their choosing. Construction began in April 2017 and it is slated for completion and opening by the end of 2019, something that the residents and vendors are all looking forward to.
The new Dalong Market is a green building that emanates traditional hospitality; it has 4 basement floors and 13 floors above ground. According to the current plan, the first floor will be used by vendors; 2F-5F will accommodate public organizations and facilities such as the Datong District community center, elderly daycare, and Department of Environmental Protection; 6F-13F are reserved for the residents of the former Dalong Public Housing, making it a complex offering residential, shopping and community care functions. Also, the Dalong Market is surrounded by scenic attractions including the Confucius Temple, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Shuren Academy Wenchang Temple as well as Dalong Street Night Market and Taipei Expo Park, therefore the inauguration of the new market is set to stimulate local tourism and economic development.
The architecture of Nanmen Market - the longstanding, reputable market specializing in Chinese New Year merchandise - underwent an assessment by Taipei Structure Engineering Association (TSEA) in 2013, and it was determined to be structurally unsound during an earthquake. Furthermore, it was also classified as a Sea-Sand Building. To protect the citizens’ safety and to cater to the construction needs of MRT Wanda Line, the Taipei City Government decided to demolish, relocate and rebuild the market. Nanmen Market is situated in a highly-populated area with heavy traffic, therefore searching for a location suitable for the makeshift market during the reconstruction of Nanmen Market became a priority. Taipei City Government located 12 potential sites, and after careful assessment, it was decided to rent the Huaguang Community Second Special District as the location of the Nanmen Makeshift Market. Construction commenced in August 2018, and assistance will be given to market vendors after it is completed. The soft opening is slated for October 2019; besides a series of promotional activities, free shuttle bus service will be available for the citizens as well.
Nanmen Makeshift Market is located at No. 55, Sec., Hangzhou S. Rd., offering the same space as its predecessor. Commodities from Nanmen Market will also be available here including fresh produce, dried foods, delicacies, desserts, fine clothing, and a food court, etc. At the same time, smart management will be implemented along with a large number of parking spaces to make shopping more convenient for the citizens. The Nanmen Market reconstruction project will soon begin and completion is slated for 2022. In the future, it will be integrated with the MRT Wanda Line to provide commercial, shopping and recreational spaces that will, in turn, generate developments of the surrounding areas with its brand new appearance.
With a history of more than 4 decades, the Huannan Market boasts of over 1,300 stalls, making it the largest traditional market in Taiwan. However, the market is plagued by problems such as antiquated buildings and facilities, serious lack of parking spaces and an unsanitary environment, causing its decline in popularity. Taipei City Government began reconstruction planning in 1991, but it was unable to find an adequate location for the makeshift market, coupled with the time-consuming negotiation process to relocate the vendors, 18 years have gone by since the design competition was held, and the reconstruction of the Huannan Market finally commenced in 2016.
The project involves reconstruction on the existing site that will be conducted in 2 phases. The first phase involves transforming “the poultry market and bus maintenance facility” into the makeshift market, which is expected to open in December 2019 after the vendors have all been relocated. The second phase of the project involves demolishing and rebuilding the Huanan Market, and it is slated for completion in 2022. The new Huannan Market consists of 2 basement floors and 6 floors above ground; the 1F and 2F will be reserved for market stalls, while the 3F will be used as functional spaces and office. Other floors accommodate parking spaces, thereby turning the traditional horizontal market layout into a vertical one, and each stall’s average space is increased to 7.12m2. At the same time, smart management will be introduced to significantly improve transport, environmental hygiene, and parking at the market, thereby establishing the Huannan Market as the freshest and most sophisticated retail market in Greater Taipei.
Market Reconstruction and Revitalization - Creating Popular New Check-in Spot with a Hipster Vibe
Apart from the 6 major market reconstruction projects, the renovation and transformation of traditional markets is another issue close to the heart of the Taipei City Government. In an effort to increase the markets’ overall environmental quality and transform them into modernized markets, the Taipei City Government has not only invested a large sum of money and resources to improve their hardware, facilities and environment but also has vigorously helped market self-governing associations and vendors to elevate the quality of their software through vendor consultation, business management, and marketing. In particular, the Shi-Dong Market was transformed successfully by applying innovative designs, while the successful renewal of the historic monument at the U-mkt makes it the perfect example of traditional market modernization.
- Shi-Dong Market in Tianmu - Turning Food Vendors into Fad Stalls through Design
Opened over 2 decades ago in 1992, Shi-Dong Market has become an integral part of the local residents’ lives. With endeavors from the Taipei City Government and market self-governing association, the floor plan of Shi-Dong Market was redesigned, where vendors were divided into different areas and took turns to shut up shop so that the market’s hardware facilities and drainage system can be renovated. Furthermore, the policy of “keeping blood off the ground” and “waste sorting” is rigorously enforced to resolve the problems associated with traditional markets such as untidiness and sewage stench, in turn building an orderly, bright and comfortable shopping space. Also, other services including delivery and shopping carts are also available for the shoppers, earning it the laudatory title of Five-Star Market.
In May 2017, the Shi-Dong Market underwent another major transformation, where the Taipei City Market Administration Office collaborated with 19 market stalls and “Beautiful Touch”, combining the design team’s creativity and students’ ingenuity to facilitate the overall transformation of the stalls so that they can showcase their individualism. Walk into the Shi-Dong Market, and you will be greeted by the hipster wooden cabinet design, bamboo basket and wooden crates filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. These are complemented by the Japanese-style tapestry door curtains and unique projection lighting to accentuate a sense of aesthetic quality that evokes images of a European market. Shi-Dong Market has not only become a hit check-in spot among domestic and foreign tourists but stall sales have also increased considerably.
Moreover, in supporting Taipei City Government’s policy, dishwashing and sterilizing equipment have been installed at Shi-Dong Market’s food court, and disposable tableware is strictly prohibited. In safeguarding the public’s health and supporting the “Surplus Food Exchange Platform”, fresh, unsold fruits and vegetables are forwarded to the Department of Social Welfare, so that they can be donated to disabled and elderly groups. By cherishing food with others, the aim is to share food with those who need them.
- U-mkt - History Embodied in the Revitalization of Space
U-mkt is nestled in Wanhua District next to the Dongsanshui Street Market. Formerly the Xinfu Market, a public market constructed during the Japanese occupation period in 1935, the market gradually fell into disuse due to the emergence of nearby markets coupled with its hidden location. It was not until 2006, when it was officially declared a municipal historic monument, that its historical significance was appreciated by people. After numerous years of planning by the Taipei City Government, the space restoration project was completed by the Taipei City Market Administration Office in 2013, while the design and implementation of the “Xinfu Market Historic Monument Revitalization and Repurposing” Project was commissioned to a private institution in 2014. After more than 8 decades, the market was reopened under the name of U-mkt in 2017, with emphasis on food education, historic monument revitalization, and youth startups. The purpose is to breathe new life into the market’s historic monument and endow it with new cultural meaning.
In terms of external architecture, the horseshoe-shaped brick building and the wooden office constructed during the Japanese occupation period embody the history of the region. In particular, the archaic, bright architectural characteristics of the skylight in the center of the market have become a popular photography destination. In terms of spatial planning, the compound was rebuilt as an exhibition venue, culinary classroom, cafe, lecture room, and shared studios, regularly hosting exhibitions and lectures pertaining to diverse topics such as the city, design, and culture. Furthermore, NPOs and startups have taken up residence here, introducing innovative thinking to complement the local history and culture, thereby successfully transforming U-mkt into the new cultural and creative hub in western Taipei. The project’s ambition is to bring in more tourists and business opportunities, as well as to restore the historic building to its former glory.
Looking ahead, Taipei City Government will continue to uphold the core values of “local food”, “local culture” and “local lifestyles”; through investments from the private sector, the administration will strive to engage in market reconstruction, renovation, and transformation. Besides maintaining hardware integrity, environmental safety, and tidiness, modern management models have been implemented to help the vendors transform. The city government aims to shatter the traditional market stereotype by enhancing shopping environment quality, preserving local culture, and attracting tourists, in turn boosting the momentum of people’s economy. Taipei’s traditional markets are joining the reconstruction movement to break away from the impressions of being old and outdated. Instead, they will become places where old tradition meets future innovation, showcasing the authentic flavors of Taiwan that are deeply ingrained in our lives. The markets will also emanate the city’s iconic personality and enchanting charisma.
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