Far Eastern Retail Complex
Far Eastern Retail Complex
Far Eastern Department Store Co., Ltd.
- GROSS BUILDING FLOOR AREA (Approx.)
- COMPLETION YEAR
- DESIGN YEAR
Another of the six buildings on Songren Road designed by KYA, the Far Eastern retail complex gleams proudly in the southeastern corner of Taipei’s Xinyi Commercial District. Gray aluminum volumes stack on top of one another like gift boxes under a Christmas tree, with their rounded corners providing a futuristic appearance as well as a reduction in wind load. Balconies offer observation points at various levels, and a protruding glass tube adds a visual highlight both externally and internally. In contrast to other shopping centers in the district, this stands out like a work of the future, drawing visitors into a world of the latest technology and trends. Set amidst an urban jungle of cutting-edge corporate buildings and retail complexes, the Far Eastern property’s setbacks and clean lines give visual relief. The building also allows for a generous plaza to the south, providing precious space for leisure and relaxation in a district where land is at a premium.
The façade makes use of contrasting tones of light and dark silver to differentiate between the variously sized boxes, while recessed composite glass creates shadowy gaps between them, giving the illusion that they are floating, kept apart by an imaginary magnetic force. Although the building as a whole creates a futuristic impression, its silver and transparent containers connect it to the surrounding commercial environment, while vintage design elements link it to the older parts of the city.
The box arrangement is based on four vertical zones, determined by function. The “boutique” area within the bottom perforated panels includes Levels 1 to 3; the “food and leisure” section in the lower silver boxes spans Levels 4 to 6; the upper metal cases, which hold the “health and fitness” zone, span Levels 7 to 9; the “movie” zone extends from Level 10 to 13; and the six rooftop restaurants, with extensive views of the shopping district, are located on Level 14. In addition to elevators and conventional floor-to-floor escalators, three express escalators were installed to deliver customers more directly to particular zones.
Each express escalator offers a unique journey, building anticipation for what is to come. The first shortcut sends visitors straight to the traditional street scene on level 4. The second and third express elevators travel through a narrow portion of the east façade, which is punctured by a diagonal slice running parallel to the slope of the second escalator spanning levels 4-7. Movie-goers are sent directly to the cinema ticket office on level 10 via the third express elevator—a dimmed, tube-like space that allows their eyes to adjust in readiness for the darkness of the screening rooms.