Taiwan Tower Competition Winner / DSBA, Mihai Carciun and upgrade.studio

Courtesy of and upgrade.studio

DSBA, Mihai CARCIUN and upgrade.studio have been declared winners of the Tower Conceptual Design Compeition with a design proposal that encompasses the symbolism of Taichung as a city.  The team conceptualized a structure for Taichung that would activate the local culture in a design that also stands as a landmark for the city and as a campaign for diligent and responsible design.

More information and images after the break.

Courtesy of DSBA and upgrade.studio

The tower is a “technological tree” whose trunk contains a track on which eight “spatial leaves” glide up and down the trunk. The eight platforms are observation decks: zeppelin-like elevators that each hold 50 – 80 people. According to Dorin Stefan, principal of DSBA, the floating observatories are self-sustained by helium balloons and are built of lightweight materials and covered with a PTFE membrne. They are driven by a strong electro-magnetic force which is integretated into the energy use and reuse within the building.

Courtesy of DSBA and upgrade.studio

The platforms add a vertical dimension to the cultural and museum programs. They permit visitors to view the city from many different points in elevation, while also providing a view of the seven other observation decks in motion. The dynamism of the spaces as a part of the museum gives Taichung the status of an additional exhibit for visitors while, putting the technological advances of the tower on display for citizens on the ground, according to Bogdan Chipara of DSBA.

Courtesy of DSBA and upgrade.studio

In addition to the eight observation decks that constantly change the sillhouette of the building, the tower has layers of underground and ground level spaces that contribute to the cultural aspect of the concept. The programs within these spaces are an information center, a museum, offices and conference spaces, and restaurants.

Courtesy of DSBA and upgrade.studio

The tower is a model for green architecture for many reasons – the tower has a minimum footprint at land level

  • the architects have provided maximum green area surface
  • all circulation is vertically integrated
  • the “chimney” effect is used for the natural ventilation of various functional areas
  • the office and services areas in the tower have a 360° orientation, which offers the possibility to minimize the green-house effect through the use of cross-ventilation
  • the electrical energy is produced by a system of axial turbines located along the vertical central core and adjustable photovoltaic panels on the whole height of the tower
  • the lighting of the basement areas and of the museum spaces under the sandwich slab is done through a fiber optics dome system
  • heating of the floating observatories are done through an electromagnetic field using the electrical power created by the new generation membrane which wraps the helium tanks and captures through photovoltaic transmission
  • the rain water is collected from all platforms into a tank situated in the basement where a purificatoin station permits the water to be reused for washing, irrigation of the green areas, and running water for toilets
  • there is a geothermal power station in the basement for the warming of the areas in cold season and for hot water
Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Taiwan Tower Competition Winner / DSBA, Mihai Carciun and upgrade.studio" 19 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=89589>
  • Ioana


  • quenepo

    Hate it!

  • quenepo

    ….so, you breathe the helium…..

  • Kris

    If this is the future of architecture, I’m going to become a veterinarian…

  • JLVC

    I really dont like it :/

  • IMHO

    This is quite an innovative design but I guess they cancel balloon-evator rides when the windy season comes.

  • http://www.gvarchitect.com Greg

    Nice!!!!!!! but I will never believe Taiwan will build the first prize design.

  • R Goldschmidt

    I really like Dorin Stefan’s work. But this is to far from his architectural style, it is to close like some computer grafic game maniac. Line’s present in this project make it looking like a comunication tower. But I like the concept ideea and the eco friendly and sustenably project. Anyway bravo for wining this project and you Mr. Dorin Stefan with you’re team break the boundry of our contry and point it so far and with a big project also. Bravo

  • http://www.99fallingapples.com DLbingo
  • dolf

    So…. those hinges are made of, umm…..”Un-obtanium”!

  • nardev
  • HEri

    Well, first phase is concept compitition.
    I believe next step will be more practical…

  • that’s what she

    the future of architecture is talking with a squeaky/cartoonish voice

  • rick hard

    there is no wind in la la land.

  • theSnowman

    Wow! And they won?
    It wasn’t an architecture competition, was it??

  • dan

    like the concept, like the form…BUT i gotta agree with rick hard about the wind. and about the helium breathing i don’t think people are inside the helium tank, rather helium is stored in those side-pockets…

  • DSBA

    The geothermal power station is inadequate in size to heat such a building. My calculations have shown that a size increase of 34% (16Mt) will be required to heat the structure to a comfortable 137 F.