Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower
In 2010, Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures were awarded as the successful tenderer for a one of a kind construction project. It was to be a luxurious residential tower located in the Xinyi District, the business district of Taipei, Taiwan.
It is one of Taipei’s most architecturally unique and prominent buildings once completed, even one kilometre away from the Taipei 101 Tower. It was completed in 2018 and the apartment building is inspired by the double helical structure of human DNA. The project rises towards the sky with the DNA shape twisting around the central core. LKP Architecture worked alongside Callebaut, making a significant contribution to the building’s design.
This architectural element offers a hyper-compacted core and a maximum flexibility of the housing storeys (with the possibility to unify two apartments units into one without any footbridge). It brings a reduction of view angles towards the urban landscape and a hyper-abundance of suspended gardens. The structural system for Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Residential Tower can be likened to a skier balancing himself with ski poles: the very rigid cylindrical central core with two outrigger trusses at the roof level is akin to a skier with an upright back and extended arms. The living spaces are supported by Vierendeel trusses that extend from the core and are supported at the extremities by two curved mega columns that extend from the roof level outrigger trusses to the foundation.
Additionally, and more impressive, is the fact the Tower, also known as ‘Agora Garden’, presents a pioneering concept of sustainable residential eco-construction that aims at limiting the ecologic footprint of its inhabitants by researching the right symbiosis between the human being and the nature. The wide planted balconies of suspended orchards, organic vegetable gardens, aromatic gardens and other medicinal gardens makes tower look like a twisting vertical forest.
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Residential Tower’s design is comprised of a large cylindrical central core, flanked on opposite ends by two nearly rectangular living spaces (each of these will make up 40 apartments). Each floor rotates 4.5 degrees relative to the prior floor for a total rotation of 90 degrees through the 21 floors. The tower identifies as forest architecture – showing great combination of science and technology as well as harnessing nature to help the surrounding environment.
The main target of this build has been devoted to promoting carbon-absorbing, in order to help tackle global warming. The buildings balconies will be covered in 23,000 trees and shrubs – and it is estimated that because of this the building will absorb around 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. There are 165 metres of garden space for each unit, and over ten trees besides shrubbery planted on each floor. Even on ground level, the surrounding area has metres of foliage. As well as reducing the levels of Co2, the plants will provide a partition between the noise of the city and the peaceful apartments.
It’s not just the plants that will help reduce the buildings carbon footprint, the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower has several innovative sustainability enhancing features aimed at reducing energy and water consumption. There’s a solar and wind power system on its roof which will supply electricity to the building, and reduce carbon dioxide intake by 35 tonne. The core cylinder will be used to create natural ventilation that can reduce indoor temperature and decrease air conditioning consumption. There’s a rainwater recycling system installed to feed the ground floor sprinklers. According to the Cradle to Cradle concept where nothing is lost and everything transforms itself( a philosophy Callebaut follows) ; all the construction and furnishing materials for the building are selected through recycled and / or recyclable labels. By imitating the processes of natural ecosystems, it deals thus with reinventing in Taiwan the industrial and architectural processes in such a way that it produces clean solutions, and creates an industrial cycle where everything is reused, either back to the ground as non-toxic organic nutrients, or back to the industry as technical nutrients able to be indefinitely recycled. The first of its kind, the project reveals the symbiosis of human actions and their positive impact on the nature.