Tokyo-based architect Sou Fujimoto has been selected as the first prize winner for the Taiwan Tower International Competition. The winning proposal’s design reflects Sou Fujimoto’s philosophy of Primitive Future, as the “21st Century Oasis” aspires to be a model of green architecture for the future generations.
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The Oasis strives to embody the 21st Century spirit of Taiwan, similar to the Eiffel Tower and 20th Century Paris. The tower gracefully rises above the city at the southern tip of Taichung Gateway Park, part of the former Taichung (Shuinan) Airport site.
The project is comprised of two main elements – the grand structural frame and the roof-top garden. Inspired by the Taiwanese Banyan tree, the structural frame creates a shaded, semi-outdoor space as it encases the site. Simultaneously, the roof-top garden floats 300 meters above, representing the richness of beauty and nature of Formosa (Divine Island).
Renewable energy systems and passive design techniques include a green roof, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water panels, wind turbine, photovoltaic cells, ground source heat pump, desiccant air-handling unit and natural ventilations by Solar Stack Effect. The Oasis will achieve LEED Gold.
The superstructure of the tower will be steel construction comprised of Perimeter Columns, Inner Columns, Intermediate Columns, Spiral Beams and Roof Beams. All columns will be circular hollow sections of about 800mm in diameter. The “Taiwan Cone” is made of the Inner Columns, arranged longitudinally for aesthetics. The Perimeter Columns and Intermediate Columns are placed both vertical and leaning so they may resist lateral wind and earthquake loads.
Spiral Beams form two spiral-shaped braced planes, which extend from the ground to the roof between Perimeter Columns and Inner Columns. They are expected to prevent buckling. Each spiral plane rises about 30 meters near the ground, the point in which the axial forces of the columns are relatively high. The rise continues to gradually increase up to about 60 meters as it goes higher.
The light of the tower has “no obvious form”, as it represents an all natural phenomenon. The transparent, nonobjective feel is perceived as an “air-like light.” The roof-top garden is the three-dimensional continuation of the green-belt. The tower is meant to be graceful in nature and ever-changing, similar to the people of Taiwan.