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University of Hawaii remembers Haigo Shen

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
W H Raymond Yeh, (808) 956-3469
School of Architecture
Posted: Jul 20, 2005

HONOLULU — University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Architecture Adjunct Professor Haigo T. H. Shen, Hon. FAIA, a celebrated leader of the post-war architecture responsible for enhancing and modernizing Taiwan‘s strategic and commercial infrastructure, passed away in Shanghai, China, on June 18, 2005.

Shen, an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects, established Haigo Shen & Partners (HSP) in Taiwan in 1958. Now Taiwan‘s largest firm employing 400 design professionals, HSP‘s award-winning designs span all uses of the built environment, including education, public/government, commercial, recreation/culture, transportation, industrial, medical/research, and housing/religious developments, as well as urban planning. Shen had also established an office in Shanghai, the city of his birth, where he had participated in the UH-sponsored Sixth International Symposium on Asia Pacific Architecture just days before his death.

Shen‘s enviable record of professional accomplishment and strong desire to share his diversified teamwork approach with the next generation of designers prompted his participation as an adjunct faculty member and his Taiwan firm‘s participation as an international practicum firm in support of the School of Architecture‘s doctoral students. In addition, he and his wife, Irene, endowed the Haigo & Irene Shen Architecture Gallery at the school. Shen also served as a board member and vice president of the Asia Pacific Center for Architecture, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to further the understanding of Asia Pacific architecture.

Shen was an active alumnus of the East-West Center, serving as co-chair of the Board of Directors of the East-West Center Foundation. He received the center‘s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002.

A renowned graduate of the highly regarded St. John University in Shanghai, which has since closed, Shen benefited from an early involvement with the US Aid Program, which provided assistance to Taiwan in the 1950s to redevelop its political, military, and general infrastructure following World War II. After beginning his own practice, Shen incorporated diversified specialization and teamwork into a model of architecture practice he developed and maintained to the present day.

HSP‘s designs include the landmark Chia Shin Office Tower (1967), Chapel of St. John‘s & St. Mary‘s Institute (1968), and Terminal Building, Taipei International Airport (1971), which stand as important examples of modern, Western-style Taiwan architecture in the post-war period. Experienced in working with architects and engineers from the West, Shen‘s firm has collaborated with internationally-known architects on projects such as the Taipei World Trade Center‘s Exhibition Center (1989, with HOK); the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei (1990, with Sasaki & Associates); the Museum of Prehistory (2001, with Michael Graves); the President International Tower (2003, with Kenzo Tange); and the Taishin International Bank Tower (2004, with PCF, I. M. Pei‘s partnership office).

Shen was descended from a long line of accomplished Chinese scholars and high-level government officials. He is survived by his wife, Irene, daughter, Lulu (Mrs. Dickson Chow), and a grandson, Randall Chow.

He will be remembered in memorial services at the Valley of the Temples on Oʻahu, on Tuesday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m., services at 10 a.m., and burial will follow at 11 a.m.