Taipei Dome Project Under Heavy Fire

Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin said that either the Taipei Dome or the shopping mall being constructed beside it will need to be torn down in light of safety evaluations revealing that the site could not be evacuated within the necessary 15 minutes.

The project – a multi-use stadium complex that includes a shopping mall, movie theater, hotel, and office space – is being built at a site near Taipei’s Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall on the corner of GuangFu North and ZhongXiao East Roads. Safety analyses conducted by the city showed that the expansion of the shopping mall at the site means that in the event of an emergency, more than an hour would be needed to complete an evacuation. According to the city, the complex could safely hold a maximum of only 60,000 people, less than half the 140,000 capacity it is being built to accommodate, and fire trucks would have insufficient space to access the site.

General Manager Tang Chia-feng of the Farglory Construction Co., builder of the Taipei Dome, responded that “we have received full marks in safety simulations, so there’s absolutely no reason to tear down a single wall.” The construction work has also been blamed for cracks in structures at the nearby Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, a historical site. The Taipei Dome has been controversial from the date of its proposal nearly a decade ago. Critics have raised concerns that it will cause severe traffic congestion and damage the environment, and the project experienced several delays in construction related to its Environmental Impact Assessment. Despite its US$500 million price tag, many citizens are calling for the dome to be torn down.