TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Transportation Minister Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) confirmed Saturday that he had ordered a redesign of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 3 due to fears of escalating construction and maintenance costs.
The focus of the problem was a plan for 130,000 aluminum tubes in the shape of flowers suspended from the ceiling of the terminal’s departure hall, the Central News Agency reported.
The Taoyuan International Airport Corporation (TIAC) had budgeted NT$39.6 billion (US$1.28 billion) for the main engineering project, but without a simplification of the design, spending might exceed NT$44 billion, reports said.
Wu told CNA that the most important element of the new terminal would be its usefulness and practicality, not the nature of its decoration. The minister also reminded the public that, while general work already started last year, tenders for work on the terminal’s main engineering part had failed to attract a winning bid twice in a row.
TIAC officials said the nature of the design would make maintenance quite troublesome, because each of the tubes would have to be taken down separately if a problem arose. The process would be both difficult and time-consuming, making repairs last longer than necessary, CNA reported.
TIAC said it had already asked the designers, Great Britain’s Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Taiwan’s CECI Engineering Consultants, Inc., to alter their plans for the ceiling, but discussions were still in progress.
The original completion date for the terminal has already been postponed from 2020 to 2022, but it was not immediately clear whether the design problem would necessitate another delay.