╳ Ruin Academy

Set in an abandoned 5-story apartment building in central Taipei, where all the interior walls of the building and windows have been removed, in order to grow bamboo and vegetables inside the house; ‘Ruin Academy’ is a fragment of a third generation city that contrasts so nicely with many of the modern ‘spaces’ that have been ‘manufactured’ by the use of sophisticated high-tech materials, that transform the visual appearance of our world into standardised, generic ‘non-places’.

Ruin Academy, a collaboration between Finnish lab Casagrande and Taiwanese JUT Foundation for Arts & Architecture, is an independent cross-over architectural research centre based in urban Taipei, Taiwan. With a brief to ‘re-think’ the industrial city and ‘the man in the box', Ruin Academy organises workshops and courses for Taiwanese and international Universities.

Penetrated with 6” holes in order to let the rain inside, the Ruin Academy research and design tasks move freely in-between architecture, urban design, environmental art and other disciplines of art and science within the general framework of built human environment. Living accommodation is frugal and participants bunk down in mahogany made ad-hoc dormitories; however the public sauna located on the fifth floor provides plenty of space for meditation on each day’s events.

This project reminds us that we can still learn new lessons from old buildings.