A Carbon-Absorbing Green Tower
The Tao-Zhu-Yin-Yuan project benefits from an exceptional location in the Xinjin District, in the heart of Taipei City. The tower presents a pioneer concept of sustainable residential eco-construction that aims at limiting the ecological footprint of its inhabitants by researching the right symbiosis between the human being and the Nature. On this last and biggest parcel of land for residential use, the concept is thus to build a true fragment of vertical landscape with low energetic consumption.
Our leitmotiv is: “The City is like an ecosystem, the center is like a forest, and the tower is like an inhabited tree.” The tower is respectful of the Taiji Philosophy and is directly inspired by the structure in double helix of the DNA, source of life, dynamism, symbol of harmony revealing the notion of ultimate balance praised by the project. Everything begin with poetry during a walk in the street of Taipei by seeing a Samara fruit falling on this piece of land and drawing a spiralling movement from the sky to the earth.
The 20 inhabited levels in double helix stretch themselves and twist themselves at 90 degrees. This twist of 90 degrees answers to four major objectives:
1. The first objective is to be perfectly integrated in the North / South pyramidal profile of the Building Volume and to respect the urban setbacks.
2. The second objective is to generate a maximum of cascades of suspended open-air gardens, not part of the F.A.R. (floor area ratio). Thus, the planted balcony surface area can easily exceed the limit of the required 10 percent.
3. The third objective is to offer to the inhabitants exceptional panoramic views on the skyline of Taipei by multiplying the transversal views, especially towards the very close Taipei 101 tower and the Central Business District.
4. The fourth objective is to generate from a flexible standardized level a progressive geometry with luxuriant green corbels which assures the intimacy and the confidentiality of each apartment by avoiding the indiscreet vision axes.
From the simple and standardized element of the double helix of housing superimposed vertically and put in successive rotation of 4.5 degrees level by level, a multi-facial morphology appears all in convex and concave curves. Besides this moving geometry wearing a planted dress with sensual style, the project represents really a built ecosystem that repatriates the fauna and the flora in the heart of the city and generates alone a new nest of subtropical biodiversity.
The tower is eco-designed to represent the perfect fusion between Climate, Landscape and Architecture. The sunlight, thermal and wind analysis have enabled us to improve the bioclimatic design of the project. The landscape, designed by SWA from San Francisco, reinforces the spiraling movement of the tower by a continuum between the landscape balconies, the garden on ground floor and the seismic joint in circular shape all around the basement.
The central core has been designed to separate totally the vertical circulations into two housing units on the same level. This core is fixed (it does not pivot). But in order to ensure the rotation of the storeys floor by floor, it is surrounded by a (naturally lightened) horizontal circulation loop welcoming the entry foyer dedicated to each unit. This buffer loop enables thus to set the main entrance always in the axis of each apartment and this despite of the 4.5 degrees rotation storey by storey. From the top of Taipei 101, the project seems to be a unique ecological landmark, new symbol of sustainability and reintegration of the Nature in the City.
The detailed cross section through the uneven and odd number floors presents the integration of the planting beds in the thickness of double decks to maximize the indoor-outdoor connectivity towards the skyline. The spiraling mega-columns, located at both ends of the storey, are doubled by oblique shafts wrapping the skew pipes. These skew shafts are transformed into continuous vertical skew green walls all along the height of the tower.
With the hyper-flexibility of the typical storey free of columns and shafts, all the interior layouts are possible! For example, it is possible to locate the living spaces longitudinally along the south facade, transversally along the core or in the axis of the apartment or in double height. All the layouts are always in connexion with the surrounding suspended gardens. For the swimming pool and the fitness center located in B1, for the parking levels and for the entrance lobby at ground floor,it is for each facilities the same philosophy to strengthen the indoor/outdoor connectivities with the Nature.
The project is eco-conceived by the integration of bioclimatic passive systems (as natural lighting and ventilation for the core and the basement, rain water recycle, e-low glass, double curtain wall) but also by the renewable energies (as the big photovoltaic solar roof and canopies, the automation for the energy saving, and lifts utilizing energy-saving regenerative drives). The facades illustrate the use of the white granite as main material for the facades and the balconies ceilings to keep the fresh and emblematic look of the tower and to create a contrast with the green colored vegetation.
- Location: Xinyin District, Taipei City, Taiwan
- Architects: Vincent Callebaut
- Project Team: Emilie Diers, Frederique Beck, Jiao Yang, Florence Mauny, VolkerErlich, Philippe Steels, Marco Conti Sikic, Benoit Patterlini, MaguyDelrieu, Vincent Callebaut
- Local Architect: Lkp Design, Taipei
- Interior Architect: Wilson & Associates (Wa), Los Angeles
- Landscape Architect: Swa, Sausalito, San Francisco
- Local Landscape Architect: Horizon & Atmosphere (H&A), Taipei
- Lighting Designer: L’observatoire International, New-York
- Local Lighting Designer: Unolai Design, Taipei
- Structural Engineer: King Le Chang & Associates, Taipei
- Local Mep Engineering: Sine & Associates, Taipei
- Green Consultant: Enertek, Taipei
- Green Certification: U.S. Green Building Council, LEED Gold + Low Carbon Building Alliance, Diamond Level
- Client: Bes Engineering Corporation, Taipei
- Program: 40 Luxurious Apartments + Facilities
- Surface Area: 42.335.34 m2
- Delivery: September 2017
- Photographs: Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut