A spiraling, green high-rise designed by Paris-based Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is currently under construction in Taipei, Taiwan. It’s dynamic and fresh design will add interest to XinYi District’s existing mixture of buildings which range from LEED Platinum EBOM-rated Taipei 101, the world’s tallest green building, to a traditionally Chinese-styled Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall built in 1972.
In a 2010 international design competition, Vincent Callebaut Architectures won first prize and was awarded the commission of the Agora Garden residential tower. Inspired by nature, Agora Garden consists of a double helix of housing units where each floor is rotated 4.5 degrees from its adjacent level. The project aims to accomplish multiple goals:
- Explore the concept of sustainable eco-construction that aims to minimize the inhabitants’ ecological footprint by finding the right symbiosis between human beings and nature.
- Create a vertical farm where vegetable, medicinal herb, and aromatic gardens can flourish and enable the building to become a living organism and the occupants to be self-sufficient.
- Minimize its contribution to climate change.
- Protect nature and biodiversity.
- Protect the environment and the quality of life of the occupants.
- Manage natural resources and waste (rainwater harvesting, BIPV solar photovoltaic systems, and composting).
Slated for construction completion in 2016, Agora Garden is targeting LEED Gold certification. Project team members include San Francisco/Sausalito-based SWA and Los Angeles-based Wilson & Associates. I look forward to watching the double helix rise out of the ground.