A BOT contract between the Hsinchu County Government and Far Eastern Group to develop Ting Ba led to the construction of a Far Eastern Department Store at Zhubei that provides nearly 350 space allotments for consumer brands. More than half of the brands, including restaurants, only sell at the Zhubei Store in the entire Hsinchu region. On January 14th, the President of the Far Eastern Department Store, Hsu Hsu-tung, and Hsinchu County Magistrate, Yang Wen-ke, hosted a trial operation and introduced elements of Hakka culture in the Department Store, including the dome building, traditional houses, and a street from olden times. Both also hosted an opening ceremony to welcome the first customers.
Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke said that he admired Hsu Hsu-tung’s far-sighted vision. Five or six years ago, he already saw the development potential of Zhubei City, and strived for obtaining a BOT contract from the Hsinchu County government. The architectural style of the Department Store incorporates characteristics of Hakka Culture and is presented through innovative ways. It is very pleasing to the eye and has brought development to Zhubei.
Hsu Hsu-tung praised Magistrate Yang’s commitment. He pointed out that the location in Zhubei is ideal, but lacked driving forces, such as a large-scale retail department store for development. When Magistrate Yang was a deputy magistrate, Far Eastern Group signed a BOT contract with the Hsinchu County government to spend 5 to 6 years to make it possible to have a department store. Today, the Far Eastern Department Store in Zhubei officially opens. Starting now, residents of Hsinchu County don’t need to shop in other places. The Department Store at Zhubei will bring customers from all over Taiwan. It is expected that Far Eastern Group and the Hsinchu County Government will work together for economic development and the Department Store will be everyone’s pride and joy!
Yang Wen-ke and Hsu Hsu-tung visited each floor to explore the complex’s characteristics. The Far Eastern Department Store at Zhubei adopts the style of a shopping mall complex, including department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, entertainment spaces, public parking lots, and multi-functional leisure spaces. The building has 10 floors above ground and 4 floors underground. The beauty of Hakka culture is integrated into the appearance of the building and the interior design. The “Old Hakka House” on the seventh floor uses red bricks on the ground to recreate a Hakka-style residence. Professional designers adopt old-style building patterns to present the simple beauty of an old house. The next stop of the trip was the “Hakka Old Street.” Its design was inspired by Hukou Old Street. Along the street, you can see decorations such as exquisitely old-style engraved wooden doors and windows and large Hakka fabrics lanterns.
The “Hanging Garden”, which has a full view of Zhubei, is the highlight of Far Eastern Group’s green architectural design. It provides an ecological habitat in the “multi-level landscape ecological green roof”. Its equipment is water-saving and can store rainwater for watering. Another highlight is the “Dome Sky”, a large-scale skyscape. The color of the sky changes according to changes in time, indicating temporal changes over the day.
The lobby on the first floor was the last stop. As one looks up, one can see the “Hospitality Canopy” created by Japanese contemporary art master, Shinji Omaki. In the work of the Canopy, the Hakka spirit of respecting heaven and earth and caring for nature and all living beings is transformed into the image of a dragon. The surrounding twigs decorated with flowers and fruits symbolize local culture taking root. The flying birds, leaping fish, and dancing butterflies carry meanings of looking forward to the future.