The run-up to elections can be hectic in any city in the world, but after an election in Taoyuan, Taiwan, public authorities managed to preserve one candidate’s temporary campaign headquarters and turn it over for public use. Constructed within an in-progress city park, the structure was embraced by residents for the way it provided a welcome respite from unpleasant weather and noise as the park was being completed. The contemporary agora (the Greek word meaning space for assemblies and markets) sits near the banks of the Laojie River. The tire-shaped, covered, circular structure is made of greenhouse silver shading net stretched over a series of galvanized tubes. Open in the center, it has additional seating areas around the periphery that lead to the outside. With a concrete floor set in recycled gravel, the pavilion was designed to be easily assembled and taken down—though that was not the outcome. The agora very quickly enlivened the local residents, who adapted it for their own purposes. They use it as a place to relax or eat in a café that was added after the campaign, along with a library component. In the middle of the circle, a lawn has been cut into a map of Taoyuan city, meant to spark discussion of the area’s future.


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