My name is Andrew James. I’m a director of populist architects. We are a global sports design architecture company populist have been working for 30 years around the world, and we have completed over 2,000 major international sports projects. In the year 2001, I was working for HOK Sport which is now POPULOUS, and we were commissioned by the Taipei city government to do a land use planning study for the Songshan tobacco factory site to determine whether or not it was feasible to fit a forty thousand seat indoor baseball stadium on the site.
When it comes to sports facilities and educated in Australia. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, all of their newest sports facilities are situated right in the center of the city in the 1960s, 1970s stray UK, America all built large stadiums outside the city. Now, they are wastelands white pelicans. They considered a complete waste of money.
And there are some 10-15 stadiums that have been built for 2002 World Cups. Those stadiums are now all empty disused. They just sit there like sad of tombstones in the urban fabric oh Korea. And now, the Koreans coming to us and saying what do we do about all these empty stadiums. We should put retail with these empty stadiums to make them come alive. So, they went through the process of designing a stadium not connected. And now, they realize that’s wrong. To make precinct or an area come alive, you need retail, you only have to look at the streets of Taipei to see that the areas that are alive at night actually the shops. We don’t want this stadium to die. We connected to shops it says alive twenty-four seven instead of just on Saturday night.
Way to build new social infrastructure facilities is as close to the city center as possible. What a great bonus the Taipei Dome.
They’ve also been a few questions asked about the integration of a sport facility early with things like retail, car park. As you know, we have a real 4 level car park actually underneath the stadium itself and its connected directly to major retail mall. First thing I want to say is, actually the modern trend if you look at all the modern major sports facilities, they’re all connected to a major retail facilities and they’re all connected to come back in this well. The Etihad Stadium in Melbourne has 2 levels of car park directly underneath the sports fields, just like the Taipei Dome. It’s been there for 15 years. It’s very safe. Car parks under sports field there’s nothing wrong with that. Concrete is a very safe and fireproof material. We don’t have any problems with that. In fact, we encourage it and we also encourage the connections of the sports facility for the retail facility.
But for safety reasons for 2006 is fine depends why they’re saying it. If they’re saying it’s too many seats for an event like not that many people will come. That’s possible. But if he saying it’s true, many seats because of safety reasons. Well, that’s not correct. Its already been tested. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t built them that’s the real answer. Any just bullshit!
They’ve been quite a number of questions raised about the safety standards of the Taipei Dome whether or not it complies with the Green Guide, whether or not people can egress exit from the site in time, whether or not the roof is stable. I just want to tell you that POPULOUS have completed 2000 international sport projects over 30 year. Our reputation tests upon our ability to design projects. If just one project of our projects out of 2008, just one has a problem with safety, I whole companies out of business.
I just want to assure everybody that we don’t design… if we do, our business is over. And yet, we are by far the most experienced spot team in the world. We have experience of this than anybody. We go through and extensive design review process after we designed the concept of the building. We bring specialized resources engineering consultant for the roof. We bring in what we call pedestrian modeling consultant. They test the flow of people, they simulate that according to real life experiences. So, not only do we already designed buildings can get a life that is our job, but we still ask other specialized consultants to design, to ensure that it is correct. Go through next extensive review and testing process, and always safety is the number one consideration more important than everything else.
I can’t to be political. I’ve heard that there have been a number of computer simulated emergency egress calculations and videos made recently. Can I just tell you one thing computers are only as good as the information that you put into them. If the information you put in it is wrong, the computer simulations is wrong. If the information you put in his artificial, the computer simulation is out artificial. I’ve heard there is one simulation where people are allowed to leave the building, but they’re not allowed to leave the site. Now, that’s an artificial thing to do. Can you imagine somebody standing on the footpath while the building is burning next to them? It’s ridiculous.
So, the computer program for simulation is only as good as the person controlling it. If you want it to work in a realistic manner, you have to trade in a realistic way. It shouldn’t be used as a political tool. Originally, designed at the Taipei Dome to comply with international safety standards for egress. One of the things that we did was we followed the Green Guide safety standards at sports ground, that was developed un the UK and actually it’s people from our company senior staff from POPULOUS that helped write that documents. So, we know very well, so the original design that we go to the logo was designed to local architects in Taipei was designed to comply with international safety standards. Following that, there was a local review of building standards and the state cases that we put in what actually increased in size. So, many of those cases actually larger than what is required for international safety. So that, they comply with local sake.
The Taipei Dome is right in the center of the city. It’s a really big plus for any major piece of infrastructure. People don’t have to drive an hour outside the city and get caught in traffic jams. You don’t have to build a new train line. You don’t have to build 10,000 new car parks, because in the center of the city is already done. All that infrastructure there are 2 MRT lines actually passing the site of the Taipei Dome, and connects directly to both of us. So, we don’t have to build any new train lines. It’s already that.
There are thousands of car parks and all the office buildings surroundings the Taipei Dome. And there are tens of thousands pf people that work within a 10 or 15 minutes walk. So, the beauty of its location is people can walk there after work, and what you show. Infrastructure is already in place, and this is very much the modern trend globally. If you look at the Yankees baseball museum downtown New York, you look at the O2 Arena in London, the most successful international arena in the world right now, and till the Taipei Dome gets bill. If you look at that, it’s also right in the center of the city and connected to the MRT. This is modern trend.
There were many important design considerations throughout the whole 6 year process of the design of the Dome. The first one was the land use planning study determined that we can actually get fit 40,000 seats stadium on the site. So, it had to fit. Secondly, it had to be safe. We had to ensure that it was going to be a safe development. Thirdly, its opposite, the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. This is a very important philosophical consideration about iconic buildings in a city. It’s very big, bigger than the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. We wanted to keep the overall size of the. It could have actually been 20 meters higher and then it would have, I fell it would have been too large to massive as part of the street. It’s a very large building, so we push the building down. The playing field is around 12 or 15 meters lower than the street, so the whole bulk or massive size can actually reduce. And if you look at it now on the street, you can see the shell taking place. You see how big it is, but if you look down on the street, it’s not too officially aggressive or egotistical.
The idea that we wanted is to have as low-key as possible. And I think it could say chief that even better than we expect. Look at the actual shape of that don’t many times. They were ones with a slight circular almost like a ball or globe. You’ll see that this one is quite low and quite flat on the top. Outline spent quite a lot of extra money to make it like that. As global, it’s more efficient structure. So, flattening it actually costs a client money, but they understood the value of keeping its profile, keeping its elevation down a little bit. So that, it pay respect to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall across the road, and we don’t make it looks like animals or turtle or shells anything like that. We came up with the design of that Dome, because we wanted it to be its such a large building. And we were very conscious of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall across the road.
He knew that to attract the best talent, young talent worldwide, you had to have a city, that was also exciting where creative activities could take place. Young people want more than jobs, they want to feeling involve, they want to feel excited, they want to go to events, important and exciting sport event. See the world’s best entertainers, and they want to be able to tell their friends about it. Take pictures of the event that they were attending, and put it on Facebook and to attract the best international events, sporting events, and entertainment events. City needs a best international facility, it needs a right facility, where those types of events can take place, where the Yankees baseball team can come and play a game. City needs to feel proud of the types of building and it shows off the world.