A look at Kaohsiung's future Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung 在高雄願景館─看見高雄的未來
Anyone who was in Kaohsiung during August last year will have a vivid memory of "the great leap forward" for the former Kaohsiung Train Station. Today, it has been transformed into the dazzlingly brilliant Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung.
Witness to history
From 63 years ago, when Kaohsiung Train Station was completed, this uniquely grand building witnessed the period of Japanese rule, the period of Chiang Kai-shek escape from the Mainland China to establish the seat of the ROC, the Taiwanese economical miracle, and the arrival of the 21st century. This building is not only an important part of the imagery of the city but also it helped bring about the development of the city as well as assisting every Kaohsiung citizen and visitors.
When the plan for three co-constructed railways began, the train station was going to face demolition. But because of the unique aesthetic value and historical position of the station, and citizens' common memory and affection, Mayor Hsieh urged that it should remain to let this historical and cultural heritage site become a significant testimony to development.
Move to remain
After discussion, the final decision was to move the entire body of train station a little to the south-east. This was a rather daring scheme. Owing to Kaohsiung Train Station's structure of reinforced concrete, the body could not be moved by demolition and reconstruction. During the move, first, the whole body of the train station was lifted up; then, a track of steel and jack were put under the building; the building was moved all at once using the jack. The whole process was complicated and needed to be accurate. On average, the speed of movement was one centimeter each minute. On the 16 working days, from August 16th to 29th, 2002, the station moved 82.6 meters altogether. Under the supervision of the Taiwan branch of Japan's Ching-shuei Construction Company that built Kaohsiung Train Station in 1940, the move was completed perfectly. Today, the Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung has a new way to accompany Kaohsiung citizens.
The Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung has a series of exhibitions, including the theme gallery, Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung, the Bridge of Vision, the Log-built Cultural Railroad and the Square of Blessing Wind. The theme gallery is designed using much transparency so that it not only still retains its original sense of space but also records every movement ─ through a transparent floor, the base of the construction is visible. Through the various multi-media equipment, the past, present, and future in Kaohsiung are on display to visitors. The transparent Bridge of Vision is built above the construction area of KMRT. Visitors are able to see what is going on in the area just like seeing different plays. These arrangements change inconvenience into expectation during the transition stage of public construction. The Log-built Cultural Railroad is built from the front to the back of the former train station and displays history and culture. The Square for Blessing Wind becomes a new open area for citizens' leisure.
The Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung will move to the original site in 2010 when the three co-constructed railways plan is completed. It will be connected to the new building of the new Train Station and will provide imagery at the entrance to Kaohsiung and also a landmark. It once accompanied Kaohsiung's past; now becomes an open window on to a transition period of the transportation. In future, it will keep Kaohsiung citizens company right through to the next century!