One of the quirkiest and, for photographers, most intriguing locations in Taiwan was always the pod village in San-zhr on the north coast. I made two trips there which were covered on this blog (San-zhr Abandoned Hotel) and (Return To San-zhr). This development is sadly no longer there, having been razed in early 2009. What few people know however is that there was another pod village development constructed as well. These are a different style and layout. Most of them are a more squarish design with only a few being the round flying saucer style. They are also much smaller than the San-zhr pods. I was unable to find out when they were built in Taiwan, however I did learn that all other examples of this style of architecture globally date from the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.
Whatever the reason for construction in the first place was, they have managed to avoid the fate that the San-zhr pods ultimately met. Some are completely empty, others appear to have been abandoned in a hurry and still have bits of furniture inside, and still others are damaged behind repair. Amazingly, a couple appear to be still in use. Through one of the large glass windows I saw people watching TV in what looked like an office type setup, another had some laundry hanging outside and scooters parked next to it and a third looked freshly painted with new curtains in the window.
Unlike a lot of housing developments in Taiwan, these pods feel like they are part of a planned community. Tree-lined avenues and street frontage gives it a feel of a typical suburban community, albeit a bit smaller and a lot more futuristic. With a prime seaside location and quirky feel, these pods would make a great summer vacation spot. It’s a pity to see most left abandoned but a least these can still be seen. I’ll leave you with a slideshow gallery with some more images. All of these photographs are available for licensing. Simply click on the photograph you require to be taken to its page on Photoshelter.