Taichung City Cultural Center is a project wich aims to present the possibility of using local features to protect from the very location itself turning limiting factors into interesting project features.
TAIWANESE WATER PARADOX
With an average annual percipation of 2500 mm and the climate heavily influenced by the monsoon season Taiwan is a country wich receives a lot of rainwater. At the same time it is officially classified by the UN as a “water deficit country” with the rainwater ammount per person at only 1/6 of the world. Due to it’s high population, topography with it’s steep hills causing water to drain into the ocean and uneven concentrated rain disitribution ,only 20% of water is left for consumption making water an important and precious resource on the island. We are proposing a more local water management agenda with our building as it’s showcase.
EARTHQUAKES- A MAJOR ISSUE IN TAIWAN
Taiwan is in a seismically active zone, on the Pacific Ring of Fire at the western edge of the Philippine Sea Plate. Geologists have identified 42 active faults on the island. Earthquakes appear mostly on the eastcoast causing little damage but smaller quakes beneath the island itself have historically proven more destructive. Poor construction standards have been blamed for casualties in a number of major earthquakes. Many modern buildings and facilities in Taiwan are constructed with earthquake safety in mind but a whole new strategy applied from the bottom up wich might help to improve the earthquake resitance of entire cities needs to arise.
NATURE HELPS NATURE
To reach Zero Carbon and Energy Plus standards and secure the building’s safety a lot of technological devices are beeing used. Their production is expensive and sometimes unsustainable. In the Taichung City Cultural Center we are proposing a building wich through it’s performance gathers resources, produces energy and by doing this is resitant to hostile environmental conditions. All the limiting factors such as overheating and pollution would be combated in natural ways with wind and water.
DISASTER MITIGATION- EARTHQUAKE RESISTANCE THROUGH GATHERING WATER
By gathering water the building could be protected from local disasters. It’s mass would perform as an earthquake damper defensive mechanism. The waves and water weight in motion in a closed tank is proved to be a counterweight for seismic forces and helps to regulate the oscillation of the building’s structure. Together with a column-slab primitive structural system with minimized diagonal connections ,a tall profile and terraced form wich performs best in seismic locations the facility could be disaster proof.
RESOURCES RETENTION -BUILDING AS A WATER FARM
Sustainability in architecture is always inserted within a top-down approach, where the buildings receive sustainable patches to achieve energy production. To improve this as much as possible in the TCCC design the building coverage ratio is minimized. By lifting part of the landscape the whole complex is refreined from underground excavation what enhances water retention and provides as much green spaces as possible. The main plaza ,all driveways and walkways and ground floor area with a multi-layer gathering system have a permable porous design for storing water.
WATER TERRACES – A NEW BUIDLING TYPOLOGY
The building would be built as a compilation of reinforced concrete terraced pools forming a rainwater collection system, a water collectors chain having their beginning on a lifted plaza. The groundfloor area would be free and open wich would maximized the water gain as possible. The plaza would feature a series of openings wich would be intakes for descending water towards the groundfloor layers.
PRAGMATIC FORMLESS FORM CONCEPT – THE MOVEMENT OF WATER AS THE MAIN INSPIRATION
The facade is designed to be aesthetically appealing yet practical putting a strong focus on water gathering and improvement of it’s quality. Consisting of a series of sculptural fluid forms , which encourage the natural movement of water by channeling it into terraces, it would act as a set of big rain gutters in the upper part and ponds in the down part of the building collecting water runoff wich would be in continuous move. From every level the water would be stored and transfered to the main core where it would be filtered in the water tanks. When there is too much water to be captured by a single pool the extra runoff water would spill out and cascade down to the next terrace or to the main perforated plaza leading it to the groundfloor.
ARRAY OF ACTIVITIES + STREAMLINED CIRCULATION
We want the functions of our building to live around water. The buildings are organized as an array of public spaces rather then around a single function.This form provides a more dynamic floor plan and vertical organization. Water and people flow are closely related. Water generates functions like a seating area or desired atmospheres.
WATER CIRCULATION/ GATHERING / COOLING
Rainwater would be captured on the roof and terraces of the buildings. Reading, exhibition and archive areas with it’s book stacks and precious works of art would be divided with the facade from the water flow allowing to create and maintain a desired microlimate. It would feature levels where water would be sent directly to the core tanks to be filtered and recycled. The rooftop water would drain into the damper tanks wich would also perform as a filtering and storing device. Extra water runoff would fall on to the plaza and then through openings on to the groundfloor retention layers. Filetered would run to the water collecting tanks in the undeground level wich would also use hydraulic power to drive out the dirt from the city floating water during the typhoon season.
Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Project leader: Maciej Jakub Zawadzki
Partner in charge: Marek Kuryłowicz
Collaboration: Buro Happold
Chief design consultant: Prof. Ewa Kuryłowicz
Team: Bartosz Świniarski, Michał Polak, Łukasz Wenclewski, Bogusz Ostalski,
Zuzanna Góra, Magdalena Mularzuk
Zuzanna Góra, Magdalena Mularzuk
Size: 63,000 sqm
Client: Taichung City