The Dark Line is, in reality, a light line, a ray of light turned into a landscape. Its architects, Miquel Batlle and Michèle Orliac (Michele & Miquel) have worked assisted by the local landscaper Chung Hsun (dA Vision Design) and have named it that way because it is a single, economical, dark and filiform material (corrugated steel bars) which that builds it.
What they did since they won the competition called to build a pedestrian and bicycle path between Mudan and Sandiaoling, in Taiwan, was to draw a thread. And use that dark material for pedestrian bridges, railings, bicycle parking, canopies or benches. Thus, with a single material, and a deep respect for the landscape, this trail seems to listen more than affirm. It makes the pre-existence reborn in Sandiaoling.
The trail passes through the old railway tunnels, built by the Japanese during the fifty years they occupied the island, and rebuilds the bridge over the Keelung River, which was washed away during floods. Industry, history, occupation and place merge in a natural space in perpetual change due to atmospheric and light conditions. Change the place to talk about change. And to preserve the landscape and history.
The intervention, in addition to recovering history, domesticates the landscape. It brings the walker closer to the lush vegetation without having to risk any effort. This ambivalence – natural and domestic, landscape-construction – also occurs in the very nature of the intervention, woven, one might say, by hand, with a steel weave. The corrugated steel bars – evidently of industrial production – build a tailor-made suit for the place. And they cross vertical shafts, underground galleries, cantilevered balconies and gorges. This route designed by the architects won the international FAD Award and was also recognized at the Spanish Architecture Biennial. The trail is so subtle, winding and careful that it inspires respect in visitors. He asks for calm and also offers it.
All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.
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