vincent callebaut architectures unveils swallow's nest
vincent callebaut architectures unveils swallow's nest vincent callebaut architectures unveils swallow's nest
jun 12, 2013

vincent callebaut architectures unveils swallow's nest

vincent callebaut architectures unveils ‘swallow’s nest’ 
all images courtesy of vincent callebaut architectures




vincent callebaut architectures designs ‘the swallows nest’ as a faceted gem of culture anchoring the northeast entrance to taichung gateway park in taiwan. formerly an airfield, the space is being developed as an urban ecosystem in the shui nan ecological gateway district of taichung city. the building’s form is a triangle rotated 80 times around an elliptical möbius strip. as it spirals around an ellipse, the volume elevates from the ground plane, leaving vaulted apertures to the central void, which becomes the ‘endless patio’. vertices of the geometry sink below ground, creating a large lobby with reception, ticketing, shops, and cafes. a glass canopy hovers at ground level, opening the space to direct sunlight, and providing a feature in the courtyard above. a hall connects this subterranean space to the convention center, workshops, and archives. the lowest levels consist of underground parking and systems of protection from natural disasters.

‘the swallows nest’  anchors the northeast entrance to taichung gateway park in taiwan

the ‘endless patio’ opens to the park through three archways

curving volumes with sharp edges intertwine and frame the landscape

one level underground a glass canopy protects the ticket area and lobby

the form leaves the interior uninterrupted by structure, maximizing the flexibility of the space

the structure of vaulted spaces and double-deck floors leaves high ceilings for culturally significant art of all sizes

site plan of shui nan ecological gateway district of taichung city

(left): permeability through the swallow’s nest at ground level connects the ‘endless patio’ to the park
(center): circulation through the building
(right): roof plan

structural diagram from park avenue

structural diagram from the gateway park







project info:


project : taichung city cultural center / public library and fine arts museum
location : taichung, taiwan
type : international competition
host organization : construction bureau, taichung city government “tgc”
sponsor : cultural affairs bureau, taichung city government “cab”
project title : taichung city cultural center planning, design and construction supervision service project
contract performance location : xitun district, taichung city
surface area : 62.720 m²
budget : nt$ 2.410.000.000
team : vincent callebaut, frederique beck, julien combes, benoit patterlini

  • what about culturally INsignificant art?

    dbkii says:
  • Just a bit of an exhibitionistic one liner don’t you think? One is inclined to say that the form is arbitrary, except that a rectilinear box, while more familiar is equally arbitrary, and quite a bit less interesting (novel). Still, forms that respond to sustainable issues of resource use, embodied energy, envelope thermal and solar efficiency, and computationally driven manufacturing techniques might be more appropriate to our time.

    Michael Jackson says:
  • when will formalism end? This is part of the past and not a building of our time and future.

    Harno says:
  • Very good form

    Deepak Shah says:
  • look like BIG’s Astana National Library

    Hung says:
  • It doesn´t just look like the BIG library – it clearly IS the exact same.

    CTRL C!!!

    Essal says:
  • Yes, you are right; it is exactly the same as Astana National Library. Why even do this?

    Munda says:
  • I do not even know how I stopped up here, but I thought this submit was once great. I don’t realize who you might be however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger in case you aren’t already. Cheers!

    Jocelyn says:

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