Market with farmable roof breaks ground in Tainan

11 March 2019



Work begins on MVRDV design for social and commercial hub

MVRDV has broken ground on a new wholesale market for fruit and vegetables in Tainan. The open-air market will not only function a hub for the food supply chain, but will also provide a destination for the community to socialise and enjoy views from the building’s green farming roof. Located between the city and the mountains, the market is accessible from the surrounding farmland as well as urban areas, making it convenient for traders and offering an appealing location for visitors to learn about food production, including school classes on educational visits.

Each level of the terraced roof will grow a different crop determined by the plant’s climatic requirements, including pineapples, rice, roses and tea. At the same time, the terraces reflect the appearance of hills in order to blend in with the surrounding landscape. On one side, a simple four-storey structure contains the market’s administrative offices and a restaurant, together with an exhibition centre displaying regional agricultural products. 

The project is one of several in the city designed by MVRDV, including the Taipei Twin Towers, which will provide a significant new focal point for the skyline, and the Tainan Axis, which will improve two key streets. Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, explained how he finds the location particularly inspiring, stating: “Tainan, in my opinion, is one of those towns which is so beautiful to me because of its nature, agriculture fields, farms, sea, and mountains. Tainan Market can become a building that symbolises this beauty as it compliments both landscape and its surrounding environment. It is completely functional and caters to the need for auctioning, selling and buying goods, but its terraced roof with its collection of growing products will allow visitors to take in the landscape while escaping from bustle below.’’  

Completion is expected in late 2020. 

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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