So Inspiring, Taipei!
Universiade Featured Venues Take on a New Look
Article｜Tu Xinyi Photos｜ Liu Jiawen
The Taipei 2017 Universiade has ended triumphantly. After many years of training and with high expectations, athletes from different countries tried to achieve their personal bests during this sports event. An essential factor in the Universiade’s success was that all venues were outfitted with the best in equipment, and were thoroughly prepared to welcome competitors. From the 79 venues, which included 38 used for competition and 41 for training, here are five whose brand new look we have featured.
The Newly Renovated Taipei Stadium
Taipei Stadium (台北田徑場) was the main Universiade venue for athletics competition and training, and the opening and closing ceremonies were held there. Renovation began last year to be on time for the Universiade, and to ensure that international standards were met. These upgrades included a fully-renovated 400-meter track, a ninth straight track, a new pole vault box, and a 3-meter long jump pit plus two shot put fields where they had ripped up the old javelin and discus fields. All night lighting was replaced as well.
In addition to main field renovation, the warm-up field’s 300-meter track was leveled and repaved, and the lawn on the north side of the stadium was resurfaced with a more suitable rubber material. Within half a year of construction, Taipei Stadium had acquired a brand new look, acquired an IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Class 1 Facility Certificate, and been chosen as the venue for the Universiade’s opening and closing ceremonies. Taipei had proved to the world that it could indeed stage a grand international sporting event.
▲Taipei Stadium was the venue for track and field, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Universiade.
(Photo: Taipei 2017 Universiade Organizing Committee)
Taipei Tennis Center - Built to Meet the Needs
Taipei Tennis Center (台北市網球中心) is one of two completely new Universiade venues. With a five-hectare footprint, this location now has a 4000-seat main court and a secondary court of 1000 seats. These numbers jibe with FISU standards and there are four indoor and 10 outdoor courts as well. That means seating for 9000 altogether, with an additional 6000 seats reserved for the secondary court, if needed.
This international-level tennis center was built according to green building concepts. Its facilities were upgraded to offer better training spaces for our own athletes, and also to accommodate international sporting events, such as ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women's Tennis Association) tournaments. In the future, it might also be used for volleyball, table tennis, Wushu and Judo competitions; all of which will surely enrich the athletic scene in Taipei.
▲The brand-new Taipei Tennis Center is an environmentally green building complying with international standards.
(Photo: Taipei 2017 Universiade Organizing Committee)
Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium–a Fine Example of a Green Building
The other spanking new venue is Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium (台北和平籃球館), where the preliminary matches and semifinals of the basketball competition were held. This arena can hold up to 7014 spectators, which makes it the third largest basketball court in Taiwan. Such capacity meets FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and FISU standards, and features maple flooring and 300-inch LED screens–comparable to a typical NBA arena. Future use will be multi-functional, with badminton, table tennis, Judo, fencing and even wrestling held here, in addition to many national and international basketball contests, of course.
A new space, designed with a new way of thinking, Heping Basketball Gymnasium is a green and smart building constructed to consume less energy and operate at a lower cost. No wonder it has received the “Gold Level Green Building Candidate Certificate” and the “Qualified Smart Building Candidate Certificate”. By adjusting the direction the building faces, and by using Low-E double-glazed windows, designers ensured that the structure receives enough light but still maintains shady areas, so that electrical consumption for air conditioning and lighting is conserved. A landscape garden on the roof also lowers internal temperatures, and a rain water catchment system has been added to collect and purify H2O for the venue’s plants. Heping Basketball Gymnasium is not just a sporting venue, it is also a pioneering model of green energy at work!
▲Heping Basketball Gymnasium is not just a multi-functional sporting venue – it is also a fine model of green energy at work.(Photo: Taipei 2017 Universiade Organizing Committee)
The Beautiful Life at Taipei Tienmu Baseball Stadium
Situated in the Tienmu Sports Area (天母運動公園) of Shilin District (士林區), Tienmu Baseball Stadium (天母棒球場) has been a popular spot for national and international matches for years. Built in 1999, it had operated for 17 years; and even though it was still in good condition before the Universiade, Taipei City Government decided to do some renovation. This included reinstalling the outfield wall, setting up new drinking fountains and fire-fighting apparatus, upgrading all lighting for night events, replacing 6000 seats, and installing a cutting-edge 1000-inch HD electronic display board–by far the biggest and highest outfield display in the country.
With its natural grass, Tienmu Baseball Stadium is a pleasant place for a ball game, with its good geographic location nestled amidst the beauty of Yanmingshan (陽明山) and Datun Mountain (大屯山). There are many gourmet and exotic restaurants hidden in the nearby Zhong Cheng commercial district (忠誠商圈), so, when you come here for a game, you might take in the neighborhood and enjoying the fun of Taipei!
National Taiwan Sport University Stadium Transforms into an Aquatic Complex
In addition to building brand new venues, Universiade organizers have also renovated existing ones to international standards in order to provide top-notch places where athletes can achieve their best performances. The most notable example of this is the movable (detachable) pool for swimming and water polo finals at the stadium of National Taiwan Sport University (國立體育大學). To lessen the amount of heavy construction required, Taipei City Government decided to take 150 high-quality galvanized steel plates, cover them with PVC waterproof fabric, and then secure the whole thing at the bottom with steel cables. The resulting pool, even when filled with water, can have its size adjusted to conform to the standards set by FINA (International Swimming Federation).
This stadium had been originally designed for ball games, so the renos included an elevated pool deck imported from Britain to provide spectators a clear view of the swimming. Also upgraded was pool circulation, improved through a modular high-efficiency filtration and sterilization system imported from Spain. In the future, this swimming pool will be moved to Taoyuan and there carry on its service for sustainable use.
▲In the future, the movable swimming pool at National Taiwan Sport University Stadium will be moved and will carry on its useful life elsewhere. (Photo: Taipei 2017 Universiade Organizing Committee)