Han Pao-teh is widely recognized as one of the seminal figures of modern architecture in Taiwan. In recognition of his numerous contributions, Han Pao-teh Memorial Hall, a four-story building will be constructed at the Tainan University of the Arts to honor him and items donated by his family will be displayed in the memorial. In reference to Han’s contributions in education and museum design, the building seamlessly merging the teaching and exhibition spaces together.
The design concept of the memorial hall is “a cube within a cube.” The strong geometric form and the use of architectural concrete as the main building material are metaphors to Han’s wide-range of knowledge and his indomitable spirit. The building is entered by ascending a gradual gentle ramp along a reflective pool of water. As one reaches the second floor of the 16.5-meter high exhibition space, one would be awed by the solid cubic mass, which is the "Han Pao-teh exhibition room", floating above in the atrium space. The interior space illuminated by natural light filtering through the gaps in the ceiling, floor, stairs, and exterior walls. The play of light and shadow sets a melodramatic atmosphere in the room. “Light columns” are embedded in the floor of the second floor channeling natural light through to the exhibition and student review space on the first floor.
The Han Pao-teh Exhibition Room is accessed by a series of ladder-like stairs maneuvering between the inside and outside of the building in counterclockwise circulation. Through a canyon-like space spatial experience, the stairs lead up to the outdoor performance space on the roof.
This memorial pays homage to the late Mr. Han Pao-teh as an outstanding architect who had contributed tremendously to Taiwan’s culture and education.
Note: Han Pao-teh (1934–2014) was Kris Yao's architecture educator and mentor. In 2015, Han’s family commissioned Yao to design the Han Pao-teh Memorial Hall in the campus of Tainan University of the Arts. Han involved significantly in the design establishment and of Tainan University of the Arts, and in 1989 he was the first president of the university.