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.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
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.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
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%.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
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.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
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.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
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.

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
a fixed central core contains vertical circulation and separates two housing units on each floor

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
the structural design means that a range of internal layouts are possible

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
each storey is rotated an incremental 4.5 degrees as the building ascends

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
the building takes on a range of appearances when viewed from different angles

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
the cascading shape allows for suspended open air gardens

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
the project aims to limit its ecological footprint

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
the scheme will form a green urban landmark for the city

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
completion of ‘tao zhu yin yuan’ is scheduled for september 2017

vincent callebaut twisting carbon absorbing tower tao zhu yin yuan
rendering of the scheme when it was first unveiled

 

 

project info:

 

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

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