Ta Lee Plaza by UNStudio

Here's a third new project by Dutch architects UNStudio: construction is underway on Ta Lee Plaza, a department store in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


In recent years Kaohsiung has developed rapidly to become a major international container port and Taiwan's second largest city.


The building will centre around a 10-storey atrium, in which each escalator is positioned to spiral up to the next floor.


The current store closed earlier this year but when redevelopment and extension work are completed it will be one of the biggest department stores in the country.


See our earlier stories on UNStudio's Post Rotterdam project and Louis Vuitton flagship store.

Update: see the completed development in our new story.

Here is some information from UNStudio:


Technically acting as a sunscreen and weather barrier the curved façade is fully glazed and combines the curtain wall glazing with horizontal lamellas and vertical glass fins. The position and size of each of the façade elements are derived from a twisted frame system, which is related to the interior organisation of the building. The concave front of the building displays different fluent forms when seen from varying distances and directs the visual field of the customers traveling on the spiraling escalators.


The concept for the interior organization of the department store reacts to the ambition to develop a luxurious store on several floors with multiple access points. Therefore the central circulation space is designed as a continuous floor space merging in to one vertical space, the void space. The geometric principle of the vertical void space is the allocation of the elements of vertical circulation around the central zone of the store.


In synchronization with the rotation of the façade geometry the sets of escalators spiral upwards to the tenth level and connect with the two basement levels. Through the vertical void customers have clear sight lines, with views of the shop facades and activities around this public void. All public circulation is arranged at different floor levels; the vertical space also acts as a way-finding instrument and as an orientation point.

Client: President Group, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Location: Kaohsiung Talee Plaza, Kaohsiung
Program: Luxurious shopping center
Design of exterior: Façades and lighting, related exterior spaces
Design of Interior: Circulation zones and Public spaces
Building surface: 25.500 m2 + 11.100 m2 for parking levels
Building volume: 135.000 m3 + 38.000 m3 for parking levels
Building site: 28050 m2
Status/Phase: Realization

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Astrid Piber with Ger Gijzen, Christian Veddeler, Mirko Bergmann, Albert Gnodde, Sebastian Schott, Freddy Koelemeijer, Katja Groeger, Jirka Bars, Andreas Brink

Lighting Design: Arup Lighting, Amsterdam
Wayfinding Design: Bureau Mijksenaar, Amsterdam

Executive Architects:
Dynasty Design Corp, Taipei, Taiwan
HCF Architects, Planners & Associates, Taipei, Taiwan