Far Eastern Department Store - Zhubei


The Far Eastern Department Store in Zhubei, Taiwan, China, is a development that goes beyond traditional retail design to also become a platform for cultural inheritance.

The department store is spread over eight above-ground levels and two basement levels with a design that has taken inspiration from the importance of celebrating local culture.

Hakka culture is a dominant part of Hsinchu, where the development is located, with Hakka family groups accounting for over 80% of the total population. The design team interpreted elements from the local culture through the use of colour, texture and lighting, and transposed them into different settings, with each floor presenting different experiences for visitors.

The Tulou, customary in Hakka architecture, is a major inspiration within the development, crowning the top floors. The traditional architecture symbolises a ‘roof over everyone’, protecting from rain and sun, and becoming a gathering place for the community. 

On the same top floor, a traditional ‘Hakka Old Street’ enlivens the interior, with its characteristic red brick façades, replica wooden doors and windows, flower lanterns and flooring. The reproduction of the ‘Hakka Ancient House’ immerses visitors in cultural history with the opportunity to walk through, dine, shop and dwell within the heritage experience. 

As part of the interior design, concepts for traditional bamboo weaving, textile design and tea culture have been transposed into different design elements across the scheme including the ceiling artwork on the second level, done in collaboration with Japanese art master Shinji Ohmaki. 

The scheme has obtained a gold-level green building certification in Taiwan, China. Aided by the building material selection and functional design, the development is able to save approximately 20% on electricity consumption and 30% on water consumption.