Nantou Forest District Office

TAI ARCHITECT & ASSOCIATES / Nantou Forest District Office


Nantou Forest District Office


The initial concept of this project is “working within the green”. The idea was developed with ecological values and sustainability in mind. The phrase is also representative of the philosophy of the forestry bureau. The project attempts to allow people to reconnect with nature.


From the architect’s perspective, the concept is realized in the planning and spatial design, through to the design of the detailed components. Beyond this, it is a matter of intimating nature—of becoming a part of it. Following this approach, the building retreats to a humble profile. It becomes part of nature, which is representative of the designer’s primary intent: to embody the way of Zen.


The design concept was developed mindfully to put the beauty of nature in the forefront.  As a result, the main building retreats to the background behind a grouping of trees. The walking track and driveway are also lodged inside a tunnel of greenery. The only thing visible is nature.


The lightweight structural system and translucent material (semi-reflective glass panels) are adapted to build a courtyard in the center of the building. The silhouettes from the trees and the reflections from the glass create layers of imagery. Reality and illusion meld together.


In the basic spatial arrangement, wood as the primary display component of the inner space is applied in the structural columns, the lighting equipment, the air vents, and the interior of the elevator. The most noticeable individual element in the design is the styled canopy of the main entrance. This tree-like canopy vividly displays the essence of the building.

Environmental Sensitivity

The environmental planning was implemented with sustainability in mind. We installed shedding blinds, and high-efficiency, low-E glass. Inside the building sits a courtyard. The chimney effect caused by temperature difference between the inside and the outside of the building also enhances the feeling of intimacy.

Flexibility and Efficiency

The structure and functionality of the project is designed to produce a flexible and efficient modern office building. Future alterations such as expansion and reduction are possible.  Anticipating these changes, a module system has been designed to allow flexible wiring of the ventilation and lighting systems. In order to produce a highly efficient office building, simple and essential materials have been used wherever possible. Metals, RC, and glass combine to meet the client’s desire for simplicity and harmony.


Away from nature, we have planted a forest and presented an idea: No tree should fall without planting a new one. This is the philosophy behind our design.



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