Sou Fujimoto’s Mirage-like Taiwan Tower
December 12, 2011
Sou Fujimoto’s ’21st-Century Oasis’; All images: Sou Fujimoto
The latest renderings churned from the architectural competition machine that is Taiwan come from Sou Fujimoto’s winning proposal for the Taiwan Tower International Competition. The design, whose elaborate arborescent-like structure is derived from regional Banyan trees, will be, in the architect’s terms, a “21st Century Oasis” lifted 1,000 feet above the Taichung cityscape. Fujimoto’s proposal, done in collaboration with Taiwanese firm Fei & Cheng, appropriates the organizing logic of the Banyan tree’s perpetuating network of branches, abstracting and multiplying it into a forest of intersecting columns, each 800 mm in diameter. The superstructural system is comprised of porous perimeter walls surrounding intermediate and inner clusters of columns, both perpendicular and angled for lateral stability, connected by horizontal floors of spiral beams. Together, they carry the floating island above and weave gradient spaces throughout the labyrinthine columnar fabric, including a central conic atrium, with secondary and tertiary spaces programmed for cultural and public use. While the elevated park’s lush greenery draws a visual and metaphoric link to the nature of outlying landscapes, the tower itself is designed to be a model of green construction, embedded with a slew of renewable energy systems and passive design techniques.
The project draws its conceptual strength by transcending the limitations of its operative diagram and refusing to establish explicitly defined, impermeable borders. Fujimoto’s spectral tower passes in and out of view against the day sky and the sun’s glare, while at night a series of lighting effects will variably light the structure and make it disappear altogether into darkness. If the $220 million project is approved, construction will begin promptly, with an estimated completion date of 2017, at which point officials believe it will drive major new sources of revenue to the city. Click through for more images of the tower.
The elevated garden and park