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MRT Jiantan Station: Pearl Necklace Glittering in the Night Sky

1. At night the resplendent Jiantan MRT Station is all decked out in strings of bright shining pearls.

MRT Jiantan Station is an imposing, intricate public-art installation situated in Shilin along the Tamsui Line, standing proudly against the wind. The striking architectural design, sleek and modern, yet encapsulating a nod to cultural tradition, has made it a public favorite, considered one of the most appealing landmarks in the city's north.

Work on this station was statrted in October, 1990. The prestigious firm T.Y. Lin Taiwan Consulting Engineers was behind the vision and the construction. The virtual curtain was lifted on the completed masterpiece three years and eight months later, the final cost totalling NT$1.14 billion, and the complex went into formal operation in March, 1997. The sleek, sweeping structure at first glance seems to follow the rules of classic Chinese architecture, but there were complications that have been ingeniously overcome-the “flying”station, designed in the distinctive shape of the traditional Chinese dragon boat, straddles the busy 40-meter-wide road below without dropping any traffic-impeding support pillars. Its massive roof, suspended from high-tension steel cables, is designed to withstand the impact of the most severe typhoon.


The metal covering plates have been creatively rendered to resemble the green-tile glazing of traditional architecture, and the overall effect is of a massive white dragon boat slicing through the city. At night, the long necklaces of lanterns strung from head to tail look like floating pearls, the effect bedazzling. This is a one-of-a-kind public-transport 2-3. The station's unique design and alluring geographical situation has made it perhaps the city's most attractive MRT station and a hotspot for local and overseas tourists.station that is an unique artwork, and when you step inside the sense of thrill continues, for the open, unobstructed lines allow superb vistas of the emerald-green Yangmingshan, the majestic Grand Hotel to flow in. Your travel experience becomes an aesthetic feast of the senses.

Early on in the planning process, the Taipei City Government recognized the potential for using the station at Jiantan as a model for the city's sleek look and new approach to people circulation. The station is located on the old railway line to the port of Tamsui, meaning clear views of the enticing scenic surroundings. With the result that clearly pleased the public, this wondrous architectural expression was recognized with a prestigious award for excellence by Architect magazine in 1997. The station has itself established a reputation as a tourist destination, and you will always see travelers from the island milling about and snapping photos. It makes for the perfect postcard shot-an outstanding design by mankind in the foreground, and more outstanding mountainous design by Mother Nature, serving as backdrop. The night-time shots are equally superlative, a sleek craft sailing through the night, lit up against the inky darkness by a sparkling pearl-lantern necklace.