Renovation for the Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica

The institute of Economics is situated at the northeastern end of Academia Sinica, a structure composed of three buildings built at different periods. The first building, 2 and 3 stories in height, was built in the 1960’s; the second building with 5 floors and basement was built in the early 1970’s; while the third building, 3 stories high, was originally built by the National Science Council on a piece of borrowed land from the Institute which they subsequently returned to the Institute in the 1990’s. Our affiliated interior design office, Horizon Design Co., Ltd. renovated the interior of the third building then and added a covered porch which connected it to the second building.
Because the existing buildings are quite old and the research fellows offices are too small, the Institute originally hoped to replace at least the first generation building with a new structure, but had to reduce the scope of work to renovation because of limited available funds. Renovation work consists of

  1. Replacing the clumsy dual access reinforced concrete stair in the main entrance hall with a single access steel stair.
  2. Removing the mezzanine of the research assistants’ office adjacent to the entrance hall and change it into a lofty reception/conference room, accessible from the entrance hall with the stair renovation.
  3. Changing every two research fellows offices into one larger office.
  4. Renovation of all service areas (corridors, toilets, etc.), including plumbing, electricity and air condition systems.
  5. Last but not least, improving the exterior appearance of the Institute.

The last requirement was a real challenge. As the existing building was built of reinforced brick, to alter it would most likely lead to leaking walls and weakened structure; besides, as every office is equipped with a window air conditioner not all of the same brand or size, it would be very difficult to remodel the façade into a unified whole. We thus chose to “clad” the old building with a new “skin”: using a frame work of enameled steel posts and beams, partially inserted with screens of translucent glass panels and aluminum gratings, the latter conveniently concealing the air conditioners behind, we were able to create a new, contemporary look for the Institute at reasonable cost.

The total floor area of the renovated building is about 3,300 sq.m., and construction cost is NT$21,000,000. Work commenced in March of 1999 and was completed in July of the same year.

Category: Adaptive Reuse、R&D

Share This: