In the master plan for the former Taichung Airport and its vicinities, various functions including trade and economics, R&D, university campus, ecology, cultural and living are all integrated as the “Taichung Gateway—Active Gateway Park”. The theme of “four large centers and one feature” is adopted as a turning point for future urban development and encompasses a large park, large campus, large exhibition center, large arena and the Taiwan Tower.
The second axis of the masterplan is the longitudinal one, that crosses the terrain from the North to the South. Along its way it forms a water promenade that actually results from the overall concept design that transforms the whole structure into an urban park. The water has both a symbolic and an ergonomic value. It indicates the fertility and life, and simultaneously contributes to the sustainable design of the project.
The first axis of the project crosses the site transvertically and connects the park with the city. Is actually the way that forms the main entrance of the Museum of Taichung City Development in the West and the Offices for the Department of Urban Development, Taichung City Government in the East. The two entrances are designed in such a way that are integrated with the designing approach of the folding strips. From an urban perspective, the critical issue is to create a real connection between the city and the park. To this end, the project chose to transform the actual site ground into folding stipes that can be used by the visitors as an urban park. In this way the terrain is accessible from every direction. Also, the two main axis of the masterplan clearly indicate the four points of entering the site.
In this way the structure will no longer be an obstacle to this route, but rather an urban catalyzer : risen off the natural ground that then becomes a cultural plaza. The highlight of the project, which is the tower is actually formed by the ground design operations, by four uplifting stripes that produce meanings through the three-dimensional motion they trace. Actually the ground is organized with a grid derived from the site and tha adjacend uses. A technique of developing the earth to produce architectonic forms. The folding surfaces are filled with volumes through a progress of searching the links latened in the site. The folding parametresa are determined by the area the functions, the necessity for accessibility, points of entry, the private, the public and the green and view.
The four stripes symbolize the uplift and unification of the four races of the Taiwan people that unified managed a peaceful and gradual “quiet revolution”. The revolution is obvious in four sectors: the economic achievements, the political achievements, the Social and the Cultural achievemnts. The four stripes are merged on top to reflect the “Taiwan Spirit”. The tower with its organic form rises on 400m, to be the highest building of Taiwan. The glassed parts of the whole structure are orientated to the West so that the visitors harvest the view over the Dadu mountain to the Taichung Harbor and the Taiwan Strait.
The building itself is designed straight from the rationalization of the room program to three key parameters: volume, circulation, climate. These three factors then define the essence of the project, in a simple and identifiable way.Climate is the 3rd founding element of the project. Thought of like a machine the structure makes direct use of climate control techniques. The project takes into account the natural available resources. The mainly Northern wind contributes to the natural ventilation of the building with appropriate openings on the structural skin reducing air pumping energy consumption and creating in some areas natural air flows. The two vertical circulation volumes of the tower act as air ducts for the warm used air to leave the building.
This new meteorological dimension also creates particular spaces not determined by a traditional architectural language but emerging directly from a new climatic approach of the program: Microclimate areas thermally isolated from the rest of the Tower can optionally be connected during the winter.An active tubular façade is also source of energy. Is connected to heat exchangers to provide warm water for heating and solar thermal cooling through slap water tubes. Cooling of thebuilding is provided by an innovative system of solar cooling. The vacuum tubes of the south facade heat the water to a temperature of 80 º C, which is then sent to an adsorption machine. Through a vaporization/condensation heat exchange process, cold flow is produced in a separated water circuit. In winter, the vacuum heating collector tubes can be used to directly preheat the building.
On the other hand, its very low power consumption is counterbalanced by the photovoltaic electric production on the facades of the Tower.Plant terraces act like an insulation skin and water in the middle of the terrain (water promenade) provides the site with cooling mist. Openings are designed to allow natural lighting of the Museum and the Offices, thus minimizing the electricity consumption. Finally the storm water is collected in an underground water tank to supply water for the plants, the artificial lake, the air-conditioning and the occasional production of cooling mist through high pressure nozes, enabling the creation of an artificial cloud on the lower lounge areas of the site, to refresh both the building envelope and its surroundings.
The Tower is located in the centre of the site, emerging from the structural volume. It is formed of four uplifting stripes, ending up on a spherical glass element. The shape indicates the inside circulation and use of the areas. The entrance of the Tower is located in the beginning of the stripe on the street level. The information centre, the safety check and the tickets are linearly located inside the horizontal part of the stripe. At the point of the uplift the vertical circulation is located, to transport the visitors to the top of the Tower. However, the body of the structure widens, strategically orientated towards the view over the Dadu Mountain. There, are placed several uses as the monitoring station, a speedy food and beverage service, and observatories affording different views at different heights. The whole structure ends up unifying its four stripes with a spherical volume where is located the restaurant with a 360° view and the main observatory.Location: Taiwan Architect: Office 25 Architects
Project name: Taiwan Tower