Taichung mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily halted development of architect Sou Fujimoto’s design for a tree-inspired tower which was being hailed as “the Eiffel Tower of Taiwan”, because of safety issues and concerns over budget.
Total costs are reported to have increased from $250 million to $470 million for the 300m Taiwan Tower.
Lin has said he would rather pay the penalty for breaking the construction contract than spend that much.
“Making a wrong decision is more horrible than corruption,” he told a local newspaper.
Speaking at a city hall meeting, the mayor stated that the current budget for the project “is not in line with the Greater Taichung Council’s resolution.”
Japanese designe4r Fujimotowon a competition in 2011 to design the landmark, with a proposal that features an intricate steel form inspired by the banyan tree and a rooftop garden overlooking the city.
The city’s former mayor Jason Hu was a driving force behind the project. He said he wanted to create “a spot bright enough for the whole world to see.”