都是市招惹的禍?

:::

1989 / 3月

文‧劉麗真 圖‧鄭元慶


一位建築師很無奈地形容:「在台北,蓋好一棟建築物,交屋前的第一件事就是火速拍照——三更半夜,在所不辭。」

為什麼?


原因很簡單——如果建築師不趕緊拍照留念,只怕隔天醒來,但見一樓「保證生鮮超級市場」燈火流轉、二樓「南北各式小吃街應有盡有」、三樓「超美英語——兒童班、婦女班、會話班、寫作班、密集班」,四、五、六、七樓……,各色市招一排比一排搶眼,一樓比一樓「突」出,其間還不時夾雜著「鋼琴家教、保證速成」、「命理命相、紫微斗數」之類強行橫出的小招牌。至於耗時數載、精心設計的那個心血結晶,已然無緣再見啦!

繁華有餘,典雅不足

台北市招種類廣泛、式樣龐雜,出現頻率之高、所佔空間之廣,足可「傲然」成為台北都市景觀重要特色之一。

身揹相機的觀光客,不時對著這些在國外中國城似曾相識、琳琅滿目的招牌,猛按快門;看在台北人的眼裡,對這些張牙舞爪、爬滿台北街頭的市招,卻頗有繁華有餘、典雅不足的遺憾。

廣告招牌泛濫成災,影響市容,算起來竟還是「台灣錢淹腳目」的後遺症。

光復以來,台灣經濟快速起飛,商家在傳統「金字招牌」的觀念下,市招的形式、材料自然風風光光地日新月異,且有愈演愈烈之勢。

「清明上河圖」中,開封城商家各色小幡臨風搖曳之景,固是往者已矣,鄉間老街、狹長街屋立面上石]「誠信商號」、「美珍齋」之類四平八穩、不忮不求的昭告,卻也多慘遭滅頂,成了保守落後的老古董;傳統的木製牌匾已不多見,就連曾經盛極一時的鐵皮、三夾板招牌,在飽嘗風霜之後,也早就功成身退。

招牌本無罪

廿年前流行的玻璃燈和塑膠布看板,多因保全不易,慨然淘汰;此後自國外引進的壓克力招牌,集商家寵愛於一身,仍然當道;至於跳燈、電腦顯示幕招牌和燈箱則正各據山頭,在台北街頭爭奇鬥艷。

儘管招牌形式、材料多所不同,但商家對招牌的「比大」心理,卻如出一轍。

「有客戶甚至以招牌做得比隔壁小為由,拒絕付錢呢!」一家廣告公司負責人魏先生說。

很顯然地,招牌本無罪,一心比大強出頭的心態,恐怕才是造成市容紊亂、建築物不見天日的隱形殺手。尤其可憂的是,巨型看板擋住火災逃生窗口、颱風時市招墜落傷人的消息時有所聞,足見妨礙觀瞻猶在其次,安全問題才更值得關切。

「砸人招牌」的事,誰幹?

「在國外市招的管制很嚴格,舉凡尺寸、顏色、懸掛高度、字體大小,都列有明文規定」,曾經旅居歐洲多年的建築師張世左磳隉A規定嚴格、執行徹底,加上較普遍的審美共識,市招的存在也就理所當然,不致成為惱人的話題。

國內雖訂有廣告物管理辦法及施行細則,但目前取締範圍僅限於人行道上妨礙交通的招牌。然而,由於管理辦法中缺乏罰則,被取締的商家多半置之不理。

按照規定,商家在製作招牌前,得先到當地警察機關申請核發廣告物許可證,不過,由於執行不力,此項規定也似乎形同虛設。

台北市警察局行政科鍾玉高股長則表示,取締工作原本委由工務局拆除大隊擔任,但近來拆除大隊聲稱人手、設備不足,遂改由市警局以發包方式拆除;又由於市警局沒有這筆預算,因此,還是落得取締乏人。

「取締工作有其實際困難」,鍾股長進一步分析,拆商家招牌,無異「砸人招牌」,阻力之大可想而知。

招牌以大為美?

而一般商家的態度,卻也和「以大為美」的觀念一樣——「要拆大家拆,否則就算我一家拆,台北市容也不會因此改善……」,說得「理」直氣壯。

從理論上來說,招牌的管理與都市計畫密切相關。台北市政府工務局都市計畫處規畫師林欽榮舉例說,像某些國家住宅區、商業區的明確劃分,就有利招牌管理。此外,如果建築師在作整體規畫時,就與業主溝通,將招牌的位置納入考量範圍,使招牌與建築融為一體,也是改善都市景觀的一途。至於目前政府將招牌管理的責任歸於警察機關,林欽榮認為「並非長久之計」。

日前,台北市議會已於議會中建議,將廣告物管理權責交由工務局接手。目前工務局都市計畫處已令專人研擬辦法,透過幾條示範道路招牌的設立形式,循序漸進,希望不但能藉此解決市招紊亂的現況,且更進一步達到美化街景、襯托市容的正面效果。都計處並初步決定以重慶南路、衡陽路一帶早期發展具有城市記憶的街道,作為第一階段規畫區。

並非追求「整齊畫一」

林欽榮解釋,所謂的市招規畫示範區,絕不是雷厲風行、強加取締,只是為了「整齊畫一」;相反的,是要藉專家的經驗,以市招來強調區域印象。第一階段規畫區選擇重慶南路衡陽路一帶,正是因為該地區在城市發展中扮演重要的角色,也有明顯的區域形象,因此保存「歷史記憶」的工作,顯然會比「創造風格」來得重要。

第一階段示範道路的規畫,目前尚處於醞釀期,台北市民自是樂見其成。不過,台北建築密度高、商家多,是既成事實,要真正使紛然雜陳的市招出現「亂中有序」,甚至「錦上添花」的景象,除了政府使力之外,商家的自我約束和市民對景觀權力的覺醒、要求,恐怕才是不二法門。

牌不在大,有名則靈

「牌不在大,有名則靈」,這是建築學者漢寶德對台北「市招文化」所興之嘆。他表示,一味搶流行,造成此一時,大批紫色壓克力招牌強佔街頭;彼一時,彩色霓虹電動招牌大軍壓境,非但不能形成特色,反而造成市容的俗不可耐和商家本身「大而無當,罔顧觀瞻」的形象。

他並且說了一個耐人尋味的故事。

多年前,紐約聯合國大廈對面一棟大樓,突然懸掛起一塊偌大的廣告招牌,引起鄰近住戶聯名抗議,控告其影響景觀。法院後來以「好廣告有助景觀」為由,判決大樓屋主勝訴。出乎意料的是,聰明的大樓屋主為了尊重鄰里,自願拆除招牌,反而因此做了一個廣為傳頌的「活廣告」。

大樓和市招的戰爭,能演進到如此境界,的確令人欣羨。什麼時候,台北的高樓才能從層層市招的熱情擁抱下,探出頭來,吸一口不算太新鮮的台北空氣,唱一曲「我的未來不是夢」?

〔圖片說明〕

P.94

爬滿台北街頭、張牙舞爪的市招,予人繁華有餘、典雅不足之感。

P.95

台北的市招出現頻率之高、所佔空間之廣,足可傲然成為都市景觀重要特色之一。

P.96

講求創意、設計的市招,具有美化街景、襯托市容的功能。

P.97

儘管招牌型式、材料不同,但商家的「比大」心理,卻如出一轍。

P.98

藉由管理,市招可達「整齊畫一」的效果。

P.99

舊時街屋立面上之石]招牌,有著新式招牌難以比擬的沈穩、厚實。

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近期文章

EN

Sings of Wealth, Signs of Woe

Liou Lih Jen /photos courtesy of Arthur Cheng /tr. by Peter Eberly

Alocal builder/architect laments with exasperation: "When you finish a building in Taipei the first thing you have to do is hurry up and take a picture--in the middle of the night if need be."

How come?


The reason is simple: if architects don't snap a quick souvenir shot they may wake up the next day and find their prized master-pieces bristling from top to bottom with a frenetic jumble of acrylic and neon signs proclaiming "The So-and-So Supermarket: Freshness Guaranteed," "Restaurant Row: Sample Our Gourmet Snack Bars," "Learn English Fast: Intensive Conversation Classes Starting Now" . . . topped off by "Home Piano Lessons: Guaranteed Fast Results" and "The Purple Fairy Fortune Teller," each one more arresting and aggressively conspicuous than the last.

The vast diversity, variety, extent, and number of Taipei's commercial signboards have made them one of the city's most prominent characteristics.

Faced with this dazzling spectacle--vaguely familiar from Chinatown back home--the camera-toting tourist snaps his shutter furiously. But the local resident can hardly help feeling some dismay over these brash and ill-mannered creatures that crawl across every available surface baring their fangs and brandishing their claws for attention.

The inundation of signs spoiling the city's looks is symptomatic of Taiwan's burgeoning prosperity.

The island's postwar economic takeoff and a boom in merchandising have produced more and more commercial signs in ever advancing styles and materials.

Shop banners like those snapping in the wind in the painting Ch'ing-ming shang-ho t'u (Flocking to the River at the Ch'ing-ming Festival) vanished long ago. The neatly lettered signboards with a simple name like "The Integrity General Store" that used to flank narrow village streets have become rustic antiques. Traditional wooden plaques are rarities, andeven the metal and plywood plaques that were once popular have withdrawn, weather-beaten, from the scene.

The signboards with glass light bulbs and sheet plastic of twenty years ago have almost all been replaced, mainly because of the difficulty of maintaining them, while acrylic signs, all the rage six or seven years ago, are fighting for attention on the streets of Taipei with running light boards and computer-controlled display boxes.

The signs may have changed in styles and materials, but the merchants' fixation on size remains a constant.

"Some clients even refuse to pay if their sign is smaller than the one next door!" says Mr. Wei, who owns a commercial sign company.

The signs themselves may be innocent, but this attitude of "big is beautiful" is the culprit that spoils the face of the city and shadows buildings from the sun. Even more regrettably, news reports of giant signs blocking window exits in fires or being blown down by typhoons and injuring pedestrians are not infrequent. Visual pollution is a secondary concern to that of safety.

"Overseas, signs are strictly regulated as to their size, elevation, and appearance," says Chang Shih-hao, an architect who lived in Europe for many years once. With strict regulations, thorough enforcement, and a generally shared aesthetic sense, the problem there scarcely exists.

Although regulations on commercial signs have been passed in the ROC as well, the scope of enforcement is limited mainly to those that block sidewalks or traffic, with other infractions largely ignored. The feeling of most merchants is: "If you want to tear down signs, then tear down everybody's. Otherwise, you'll hardly improve the looks of the city just by tearing down mine alone. . . ."

Legislation is currently pending before the Taipei City Council to charge the city's Department of Public Works with the regulation of commercial signs and advertising displays, and the department's Urban Development Office is drafting a proposal to designate several streets as models for beautification.

This is certainly a welcome development. Will the day ever come when Taipei's highrises can lift up their heads from the enthusiastic embrace of layers and layers of commercial signs, inhale a breath of none-too-clean city air, and sing a chorus from the current Chinese pop hit "My Future's Not a Dream"?

[Picture Caption]

Crawling across every available surface, baring fangs and brandishing cl aws, many signs give the impression of being over-wrought and under-refined.

The number and extent of Taipei's commercial signboards have made them one of the city's most prominent characteristics.

Creatively designed signs can enhance the city's appearance.

Signs may differ in styles and materials, but the fixation on size remains a constant.

Stone characters on the front of an old building have a firm and steady character that modern signs can hardly match.

With proper regulation, signs can be neat and unobtrusive.

 

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