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This Issue features the architecture in Taiwan, an island state in East Asia largely covered with steep mountain ranges spanning from its northern to southern ends whilst densely populated along the perimeter.
Over the past quarter of a century, the architecture in Taiwan have transited from a field exclusive to the professionals, to one that is relatable to and enjoyed by ordinary people, becoming their choice of lifestyle and aesthetics. Even amidst its volatile political and challenging economical situations, the administering of public works and commissioning of commercial projects managed to maintain its creativity and rationality; this is also where architects overseas found unprecedented design freedom, enabling a number to realise one of their best works.
We approach the making of this issue through first-hand experience. Most of the featured works are discover as we traverse the island and make friends with the locals. We have selected projects that we feel possess and reflect strong regional characteristics: projects that are born out of the specifics of its political and natural climate, cultural and physical landscape.
Maybe we could, through its architecture, begin to understand and appreciate the island that was once named “Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island)”.