floating observatories winning design of taiwan tower conceptual competition
floating observatories   winning design of taiwan tower conceptual competition floating observatories   winning design of taiwan tower conceptual competition
nov 16, 2010

floating observatories winning design of taiwan tower conceptual competition

‘floating observatories’ by DSBA, mihai craciun, and upgrade.studio all images courtesy DSBA

romanian practice dorin stefan birou arhitecturaupgrade.studio and mihai craciun from the USA have been awarded first prize in the taiwan tower conceptual international competition. using the ‘geographical’ visual of taiwan which resembles a leaf as a design launchpad, ‘floating observatories’ compares to a technological tree in its form and function.

view of tower from ground level

featuring eight leaf-like observatories, the tower’s tree-like silhouette aims to reflect the local symbolism while serving as a model of green architecture. the dynamic observation decks are set in a zeppelin-like elevator formation, holding between 50 to 80 people at a given time. built from light weight materials, they are self-sustained by helium balloons and are hoisted vertically in a strong electro-magnetic field.

‘even though the floating observatories design was influenced by the sci-fi computer gaming culture, they are feasible and play a major role for the pathway of the tower’s museum by adding a new vertical dimension. seen from above, the city itself becomes the key exhibit for the museum of taichung city development. seen from inside the museum, when they are nested, the floating observatories become themselves exhibities, fascinating proof of the present technological achievements.’ -bogdan chipara, DSBA architect

(left) rendered fly-by (right) museum facade

other programs include an information center, a museum, office and conference space, restaurants, and fixed observation decks. spreading these facilities along the height of the tower, all circulations are vertically integrated, minimizing the structure’s footprint on land. taking advantage of the tower’s form, the ‘chimney effect’ is used for the natural ventilation of various functional areas. electrical energy is produced by a system of axial turbines located along the vertical central core. the skin of the tower also features adjustable photovoltaic panels, adding to the structure’s energy supply.

museum approach

(left) view of the tower base from ground level (right) observatory

tower concept sketches

spatial approach

site plan

museum floor plan (1) ticket counter (2) wardrobe (3) information area (4) taichung city model (5) education area (6) projection room (7) office space (8) shop

(left) standard office floor plan – 1200 m2 (center) standard office floor plan – 1420 m2 (right) sky lounge floor plan

(left) tower elevation (right) tower section

detail of retractable bridge used to connect the floating observatories to the decks

cross section of museum with surface materiality

floating observatories – typologies and dimensions

(left) access to the office floors is through three escalators (blue); two other escalators connect the ‘wings’ of the museum (red) (center) 3d detail of the axial wind turbines (right) unfolded skin, showing the distribution of adjustable photovoltaic panels

project info:

architect leader: dorin stefan architect, partner in project: mihai bodgan craciun architect in charge: bogdan chipara architect: claudiu barsan-pipu, oana nituica, anda stefan, adrian arendt, corina fodor

  • I feel si*k to watch this WINNING rendering! Congrat!!

    Prutos says:
  • Free imagination….!
    Well done!

    Konstantinos says:
  • this is the best piece of architecture I’ve ever seen! kudos to the architects…

    notsoserious says:
  • don’t they have Tsunamis in Taiwan from time to time?

    dbkii says:
  • another comics-maker…..
    but architecture is not only great renders and imagination….

    maciste says:
  • It’s a slick rendering, but the rest is typical student rubbish.

    So long as these guys know NOTHING about structure they’ll get along fine in the safe virtual realm of fantasyland. Just don’t expect them to find jobs in the real world where buildings, pods and leaves actually have to stand up.

    Damon. says:
  • Those floating pods look like (and actually are, if you read the design statement) helium filled zeppelins, and their only load is the weight of the visitors…Judging from their size they seem big enough to float (along with their occupants). So I don’t see anything impossible or surreal…it can be build…

    JD says:
  • nem tanto o céu nem tanto a terra, meus caros comentadores

    sergio hespanha says:

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