in november 2010, paris-based architect vincent callebaut was chosen to construct a sustainable residential structure in taiwan. titled ‘tao zhu yin yuan’, the high-rise is now under construction, with completion scheduled for september 2017. the twisting building will carry 23,000 trees, which will absorb up to 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
the building will carry 23,000 trees, which will absorb up to 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year
located in central taipei’s xinjin district, the tower — ambitiously developed by BES engineering corporation — employs a pioneering concept of sustainable residential eco-construction that aims to limit the ecological footprint. consequently, vincent callebaut’s design has been conceived as a fragment of vertical land — or an ‘inhabited tree’. the landscape, designed by san francisco firm SWA, further reinforces the tower’s spiraling movement.
the scheme is located in central taipei’s xinjin district
taking the form of a double helix, the structure’s twisting shape responds to four key aspects of the brief. firstly, the building takes on a pyramidal profile when viewed from the north or south, respecting the existing context and various massing restrictions. secondly, the cascading shape allows for suspended open air gardens, meaning that the balcony surface area is able to easily exceed the required minimum of 10%.
the design has been conceived as a fragment of vertical landscape, or an ‘inhabited tree’
the 90 degree twist also ensures that inhabitants have panoramic skyline views, particularly towards the nearby ‘taipei 101’ tower and the city’s central business district. finally, the form also ensures a progressive geometry where greenery offers seclusion and privacy throughout the day. each storey is rotated an incremental 4.5 degrees as the building ascends.
the structure’s twisting shape takes the form of a double helix
a fixed central core contains vertical circulation and separates the two housing units on each floor. the structural design means that a range of internal layouts are possible. when viewed from different angles, the building takes on a range of appearances, and, when seen from the top of the ‘taipei 101’, appears as a sustainable green urban landmark for the city.
the 90 degree twist ensures that inhabitants have panoramic skyline views
‘in 2050, we will be 9 million of human beings on our blue planet and 80% of the world population will live in megacities,’ says vincent callebaut. ‘it’s time to invent new eco-responsible lifestyles and to repatriate the nature in our city in order to increase the quality of our life with the respect of our environment.’ see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.
a fixed central core contains vertical circulation and separates two housing units on each floor
the structural design means that a range of internal layouts are possible
each storey is rotated an incremental 4.5 degrees as the building ascends
the building takes on a range of appearances when viewed from different angles
the cascading shape allows for suspended open air gardens
the project aims to limit its ecological footprint
the scheme will form a green urban landmark for the city
completion of ‘tao zhu yin yuan’ is scheduled for september 2017
rendering of the scheme when it was first unveiled
type: international competition – first prize winner in november 2010
client: BES engineering corporation, taipei
contract location: xinyin district, taipei city, taiwan
program: 40 luxurious apartments + facilities
surface area: 42,335.34 sqm
delivery: september 2017
current phase: under construction
green certification: U.S. green building council, LEED gold + low carbon building alliance, diamond level
international design architect: vincent callebaut architectures, SARL paris
local architect: LKP design, taipei
structural engineer: king le chang & associates, taipei
local MEP engineering: sine & associates, taipei
international interior architect: wilson & associates (WA), los angeles
international landscape architect: SWA, sausalito, san francisco
local landscape architect: horizon & atmosphere (H&A), taipei
international lighting designer: l’observatoire international, new-york
local lighting designer: unolai design, taipei
green consultant: enertek, taipei
vincent callebaut architectures team: emilie diers, frederique beck, jiao yang, florence mauny, volker erlich, philippe steels, marco conti sikic, benoit patterlini, maguy delrieu, vincent callebaut