Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Ruin Academy is set up in an abandoned Japanese-Taiwanese sugar factory (1913-1996) in Taitung, Taiwan in order to take further the biourbanist research of the Third Generation City. The core of the Ruin Academy is located in the evaporator tanks area of the factory from where it will gradually grow to occupy the whole sugar factory. The core offers multifunctional research and educational spaces for Ruin Academy workshops and studios backed up by extensive community gardening and wild nature inside the factory. The roof above the gardens has been removed in selective points in order to let rain inside. Additionally the existing roofs and rain water channels are being used for harvesting rainwater into water tanks for irrigation. All the floors are covered by wood or earth – one can walk bare-foot inside the organic machine.

The Taitung Ruin Academy is focused in the research of the Local Knowledge of the indigenous Formosan tribes in the Taitung County area and transforming this organic knowledge into design methodologies of biourbanism - ecological restoration of existing cities. The indigenous communities are still living in a continuous close connection with nature and are resisting the industrial control of the modern man. This biological connection of man and nature will be re-introduced to the industrial city as a decisive step towards the Third Generation City, the organic ruin of the industrial city, an organic machine. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.

The heart of the ruin academy is a jungle growing from the machinery of the abandoned factory. All the academic functions, tatami room and multi-functional spaces, future galleries and auditoriums, and the public sauna are the fruits of this jungle. 

The Ruin Academy research, workshop and studios are realized in co-operation with various Taiwanese and international universities. Ruin Academy is operating as a part of the International Society of Biourbanism. 


Tatami Room

- Multifunctional space for group meetings, exercise, meditation and sleeping

- Entry to the Academy

- Garden

Swing Room

- Two 2-person swings

- Earth floor

Dream Room

- Round bed of ropes

- Earth floor


- Long table

- Open fire-place

- Garden

Entry floor (factory 2nd Floor) of the Taitung Ruin Academy.


Community Garden

- Vegetables, herbs, fruits

Wild Nature

Fire-place Lounge
- Water gardens, vegetation

3rd Floor Community Garden and Fire-Place Lounge.

Principal: Marco Casagrande
Curator: Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo

Project Manager: Nikita Wu (C-LAB)

Workshop 1 Operators: AdDa Zei (C-LAB), Vaan Wang, Mao Hui, and Shuai Wen-Hao (Tamkang University); Yang Shan-Chun(National Taipei University of Education); Mao Ching-Yi, Li Ying-Ying (National Taidung Jr. Cpllege); Wang I-Hsiang (National Chengchi University); Yu Chia-Jen (assistant professor of Mingdao University); Lee Me Fe (Feng Jia University); Hsu Chu-Chun (Tainan National University of the Arts); Chen Ruo-Qing (Cheng Shiu University); Lai Yu-An (National Jiao Tung University); Niu Kuang-Yu, Guo Ren-Chiao, Huang Yu-Nan, Chung Wen-Hao, Yen Yu-Tien (National Taiwan University of Science and Technology); Peng Qien Ru (Soochow University).
Local Knowledge: Tian-Cai Lin , Curator of Taitung Sugar Factory Museum. Mei-Hsiu Wang, Horticulturalist. Ding-Yong Lin, Horticulturalist.

Floor area: 450 m2

Materials: wood, soil, brick, white stone, tatami, recycled industrial elements

Location: Taitung Sugar Factory, Taitung, Taiwan

Commissioned by the Taitung County Government 

Kindly supported by Deputy Governor Chang Chi-Yi

Photos: AdDa Zei

Completion: 2014