Illegal Architecture


For this exhibition, architects Wang Shu (China) and Hsieh Ying-Chun (Taiwan) are invited to respond with installations that provoked the issue – illegal architecture, and with a document exhibition to present their major projects and insights in the past ten years. In Taipei, illegal architectures pop up on the rooftop or between buildings with different forms. Compared with well-planned and large-scale modern constructions, these spontaneous architectures respond more quickly to the social movement and needs of the people, showing the energy of the city and daily life in a organic and mobile way.

Exhibited in a 30-year old street block, consisted of a dozen of vacant buildings and houses, two installments are embedded in the neighborhood. Wang places his tunnel-shape installment on the rooftop, which is composed with woods and built without nails. On the other hand, Hsieh presents his installment in the back alley. He uses steel scaffolding and planks to fill the narrow alley with living, sleeping and dining spaces. Both installments deliver one simple message – building technology could be easy and friendly so that everyone is able to build their own house without experts. By this exhibition, more discussions on urban development and the political context of what constitutes legal and illegal architectures are expected, more importantly, stimulating the dialogues among citizens, developers and governments.

About the architects

Wang Shu is a Chinese architect and awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2012. He creates modern buildings with the use of traditional materials and architecture techniques. His major works include Ningbo Museum, tiled garden in Venice Biennale of Architecture (2006), and etc.

Hsieh Ying-Chun is a Taiwanese architect and devoted himself into social architecture. He has been helping people rebuild their house since the earthquake in Taiwan since 1999. In recent years, he keeps sharing his expertise in remote village in China and disaster area of Southeast Asian Tsunami.

Date :   2011.03.11 – 04.17
Place : Urban Core Arts Block (Between Zhonghau Rd. and Yanping South Rd. Taipei City)
Curator : Roan Ching-Yueh