Taiwan uses 70,000 PET bottles salvaged from ocean to make seats

This year, Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) cooperated to invite professional design teams, UPGA WA-Archi., Bohan Design, and Benzhi Design Consultant, to jointly carry out a makeover for Penghu South Sea Transportation & Tourism Waiting Room.

One of the bright spots in the entire space are Taiwanese brand NakNak’s ocean waste seats. The seats are made from over 70,000 PET bottles collected from Taiwan’s surrounding seas, which are mixed with materials like oyster shell powder and Styrofoam to make the circular material, showing that ocean sustainability has always been an issue of concern of Taiwanese design.

The Magong Ferry Terminal, Public Transportation Office at Magong Third Fishing Harbor (South Sea Transportation & Tourism Waiting Room) is an important transportation hub of Taiwan’s outlying islands, as well as the transfer station for natives and tourists visiting Qimei and Wangan. 

Built in 2009, Penghu South Sea Transportation & Tourism Waiting Room had never gone through any renovations in the past 13 years. However, problems like unclear signage system, scattered ticket information, and conflicting queues, had made this outdated waiting room incapable of handling the increasing number of passengers.

The design teams targeted ticketing service procedures, architectural space, and onboard experience for survey and research, identifying 11 pain points. 

Moreover, through analyzing user behaviors and combing through information of ships, ticketing, and public announcements, the design teams proposed several key makeover plans: for ticketing service, enhanced electronic displays and bulletin boards are used to bring together randomly posted information that resembled patches; color blocks on the floor will offer queuing citizens directions, enabling them to intuitively find their way when purchasing tickets, and minimizing conflicting traffics.

For the exterior of the building, design by subtraction is adopted. The old detention pond is removed to make way for a new recreational platform, and the color tone of the façade has been changed to white, making the building more eye-catching and the entrance much brighter. 

For the interior, original features of elevated ceiling and central axis are preserved, and the new design also features the white color tone of the exterior, removing the gloomy colors of the old waiting room and making the entire space brighter and warmer.

The ticketing service counter is inspired by Penghu’s local material, basalt, and are painted grey, so the ticket counter stands out in the white space. Also, in terms of universal design, in addition to adjusting the height of service buzzer and adding Braille labels, luggage locks have also been added in washrooms for the convenience of passengers with large pieces of luggage.

Photo credit: Taiwan Design Research Institute ©YHLAA.  New South Sea Transportation & Tourism Waiting Room. 

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