DSBA, Mihai CARCIUN and upgrade.studio have been declared winners of the Taiwan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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