Alvaro Siza is a Portugal Pritzker Prize-winning architect and architecture educator. He is the most highly regarded architect of his century and is recognized for his works as a description of poetic modernism.
“Architects don’t invent anything they just transform reality” – Alvaro Siza
Location: Taiwan, Chang Hua County
Architects: Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
Total Building Area: 11,886 m2
Construction Company: Ju Gang Construction. Co / Skyhawk Enterprise Co, LTD
Client: Taifong Golf Club
Office in Portugal: CC&CB – Architects, Lda.
Office in Taiwan: Ho+ Hou Studio Architects + Studio Base Architects
About the Project
Taifong Golf Course is one of the investment projects of Lin Yu-chia, the former president of Taiwan Glass. Taifeng Golf Club is a project designed by two Portuguese architects, Alvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira. The design principle of this club is similar to the game of golf, a perfect mixture of power and elegance. The mere brief provided to the architects was to design a new clubhouse, Siza house. Over time other functions were added in like the Tea House and the Gate House for welcoming the players.
A new challenge rose due to the new additions in the design. The projects have to be a part of the overall plan but should hold their own identity and image. As the golf course was already there, the building had to be planned with the golf course for continuous utilization while also maintaining harmony, comfort, and safety for everyone. A great deal of communication was required between the Clients, the Club’s Management, and the Designers for the success of the fort.
After a long and fruitful process, the well-considered and very rigorous layout was designed. The form is developed that seems like it is greeting guests or visitors with open arms at its entrance. The functions are fragmented into different geometries, complementary to one another. Although the predominant activity is playing golf there are lots of allied activities, which complement it. The other activities are of cultural and social importance and make the building a multifunctional unit.
The building is big and has a variety of spaces as a result of various characteristics of each function and their connection. In Architecture, it is ideal that space and its function correspond to one another directly. Spatial studies were carried out to address the relationship between the spaces to make the house multi-functional.
Form follows function and that’s why it’s of utmost importance to focus on functions. The function requires light, shadow, ventilation, security, and other elements that when resolved acquire richness and value. The architects played with different materials and light to provide the visitors with a controlled and well-defined experience of the lush golf course. Materials were chosen following the function and the hierarchy of space. The exposure to light is tried not to be excessive, creating a balance between shadows and light, thus creating a comfortable environment.
Special care is taken by the team of architects to create a pleasing interior. The care is taken to not overfill the spaces with large quantities of furniture and other things, which leads to vulgarity and ugliness. The same is true concerning ceilings and the number of artificial lighting these elements can cause comfort or discomfort in the beauty of the space.
The building has a long fragmented volume and spreads itself along the bank that overlooks the course. The sense of the building’s size is also lessened by its layout broken into different functions and by the circulation between these.
As the architect says, “the process of designing the buildings for Taifong Golf Course was a long journey, but one with enthusiasm and the will to achieve something good and high quality was greater than any mishap along the way”.
- CARLOS CASTANHEIRA ARCHITECTS. (n.d.). Chia Ching House . Taifong Golf Club. [online] Available at: https://www.carloscastanheira.pt/project/elite-club-house-taifong-golf-club/ [Accessed 4 Jul. 2022].
- ArchDaily. (2014). Fernando Guerra’s Stunning Images of Álvaro Siza’s Most Inspiring Works. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/520156/fernando-guerra-s-stunning-images-of-alvaro-siza-s-most-inspiring-works.