vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwan
vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwan vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwan
mar 14, 2013

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwan

on the last and biggest parcel of land available for residential use in taipei city, vincent callebaut’s twisting, foliage-filled ‘agora tower’ will preside over the rest of the urban xinyin district. the architect, known for his distinct eco-vision, has designed a high-density space that aims at limiting the ecologic footprint of its inhabitants by forging a symbiotic relationship between the urban dweller and nature. tall planted balconies of suspended orchards, organic vegetable gardens and and medicinal greenery will take root in the high-performance building.

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanall images © vincent callebaut architectures



in true cradle-to-cradle fashion, even the construction process transforms itself; industrial waste will be returned as a ‘technical nutrient’ to beindefinitely recycled. the helicoidal towers appropriate their form from the structure of DNA, conceptually speaking to the building blocks of life, as well as dynamism and twinning. four types of housing units form a full level allowing their twisting forms to optimize space for open-air hanging gardens. the angled apartments additionally offer exceptional views of the bustling city by multiplying the transversal views of the overall east-west rhomboidal pyramid. corbelled floors provide structure and privacy.  

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanstreet views show the twisted form



convex and concave curves make up the serpentine tower, surrounded by a luxuriant forest and interjected by a pedestrian square and aquatic glade. a central circular light well remains fixed and provides ample illumination and ventilation to the deepest levels of the architecture, namely the car park and swimming pool. the cylindrical void organizes the twisting ‘green core’, a vertical garden and farm cultivated by the building tenants. a looping band of circulation, comprised of 2 staircases, 4 high speed elevators and 1 car elevator, creates an entry foyer for each unit.

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanstepped levels optimize sunlight for gardens and greenery



photovoltaic cells, rainwater filtration systems and phyto-depuration structures complement the morphology of the landscaped balconies. ascending terraces are open air and enjoy maximum exposure to sunlight, while descending balconies are shielded by the superior level and create optimal spaces for aromatic gardens. the realization of this building is a testament to the reality that landscape can rebuild itself on the city and that ecologic resilience need not be an abstraction of far-fetched solutions.

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanthe luxurious residences are accompanied by a lush park and plaza

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwaninterior view of the pool

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwancurved programming characterizes the vertical ‘green core’ in the main entry lobby

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwana below-grade care park is well lit and ventilated with the glazed design

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwaninterior view of one of the units

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanthe sky lobby affords panoramic views of the city

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanthe landscape balconies lend a richness to the interior architecture

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanview from the tower to son gao road

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwana model of the building’s serpentine twist

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanmodels show night illumination

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwansite view

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanelevations

vincent callebaut architectures: agora tower, taipei, taiwanmass diagram



project info:


type: 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 square meters delivery: 2016 current phase: construction documents – below grade under construction green certification: LEED gold international design architect: vincent callebaut architectures, sarl paris local architect: lkp design, taipei local structure engineering: 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 vca’s team: emilie diers, frederique beck, jiao yang, florence mauny, volker erlich, philippe steels, marco conti sikic, benoit patterlini, maguy delrieu, vincent callebautmodel maker: patrick laurent

  • it is so bad about building performance of 3D.

    Luwei says:
  • hideous

    chapmaniac says:
  • It’s the future of design. This is the where architectural design is headed. At least they take the environment into consideration. Sometimes, that should take precedent over the initial design aesthetic. I would much rather look at a building with beautiful plants than some glass and concrete vertical rectangle. I think it’s far more interesting than the buildings around it.

    Nicholaus says:
  • Awfull, just horrible

    Tottoro says:
  • EPIC

    siddharth says:
  • Definitly one of my favourites

  • All you who call this horrible: Why? I honestly just want to know why you think it is horrible. I think it looks like a great concept. My only problem is that it takes up a lot of space without using it. Maybe four “branches” would be better?

    Nutty says:
  • Wrong scale of human beings and the scooters.

    Aj says:
  • I know architects are really good botanists and already found this species of tree that grow without roots and soil, take nutritions just of the air and resist against wind by just glowed to the ground, this tree called Arbor impossibilis, also known as Common rendering tree
    I am landscape architect, did a couple of green roofs and green walls. The only thing I can say to this kind of scheme is it will never work and they are away from being sustainable.
    Wind forces and turbulences on building edges increasing dramatically with the height of the building, this is a huge problem for fixing the trees himself, but also fixing the soil. The trees are exposed to wind like blowed permanently by a hair dryer, how much water you need for this? For a middle size shrub you need at least 60 cm soil, for a tree about 80 to 120 cm, having architects any idea what is the weight of fully water saturated soil? How much support you need for this on cantilevered elements? How much energy is needed for building and maintaining it and what is the carbon dioxide footprint?
    Just compare the renderings of all this ambitious greened building and look at them after 3 years.

    Andreas says:
  • Just amazing and superb!! THIS IS creativity!
    Regarding the botanical issues mentioned above, why should we assume that such great architectural design has not already taken into account the many challenges potentially involved?

    Mitch says:
  • Looks like a really interesting building. Taipei has very few. For a big architecture firm I’m surprised all the above renders have put it in the wrong place. Unless they’re going to demolish the recently built luxury towers that currently stand there.

    Tom says:
  • Lovely, though I guess an apartment would cost more than I could ever pay.

    John Bartram says:
  • I’ll take the unit with the Lambo. Sweeet

    Smeagol says:

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