As an architect seeking to connect people's lives through practicing architecture, Huang Sheng-yuan has taken root in Taiwan's eastern county of Yilan, where he has conducted many public projects since 1993 to make Yilan a better place to live. Huang has been honored with the National Award for Arts in 2017 for his long-term contribution to the environment, land, and people of Yilan.
Huang, who obtained his bachelor's degree in architecture from Tunghai University and master's degree in architecture from Yale University, worked as a project associate in architect Eric O. Moss' office and taught at the North Carolina State University during his time in the U.S.
Upon returning to Taiwan, Huang moved from Taipei to Yilan in pursuit of a better lifestyle, and established the Fieldoffice Architects in 1993. As Huang's dream is to find harmony between people and their land, and to further protect the beauty of Yilan, he leads his team to design buildings that are sustainable, practical, and related to people's lives.
In addition to public projects such as Yilan Museum of Art, Wulaokeng Stone Weir, and Jimmy Plaza, Huang also created the new home for Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. It took six years to complete the Tamsui-based Cloud Gate Theatre, which integrates historical sites and natural surroundings to create a cultural venue that embodies the spirit of Cloud Gate.
Over the past decades, Huang has gradually transformed Yilan by making architecture into a vibrant, organic form that merges users with the environment. The Yang Shih-fang Memorial Park, for instance, was planted with hundreds of sweet osmanthus to welcome visitors with a lovely floral scent.
In 2015, Huang's firm was invited by the Tokyo-based Gallery MA to share their architectural works. As the first Taiwanese group of architects to be exhibited by Gallery MA, Huang and his team presented how they explored Yilan's merits through structural design.
The exhibition showcased how the Fieldoffice Architects adapted their designs to regional weather, integrated local lifestyle and patterns, explored the interrelationship between public space and people, and finally realized how to bring architecture to life with Yilan's resources under the theme "Living in Place."
Huang and his firm will be designing the Taiwan Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. To echo the biennale theme "Freespace," Huang’s team will highlight the interconnection among architecture, people, and environment through works inspired by the land of Yilan.