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Double Helix Rising

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.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Agora Garden located in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Vincent Callebaut Architectures’ Agora Garden located in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Elevation of Agora Garden designed by Paris-based Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Elevation of Agora Garden designed by Paris-based Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Elevations of Agora Garden designed by Paris-based Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Elevations of Agora Garden designed by Paris-based Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

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).
A night view of Agora Garden in its urban context of Taipei City. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

A night view of Agora Garden in its urban context of Taipei City. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

A night view of Taipei 101 from a unit balcony in Agora Garden. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

A night view of Taipei 101 from a unit balcony in Agora Garden. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Interior view of a unit in the Agora Garden. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Interior view of a unit in the Agora Garden. (Image courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

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.

 

About Mignon O'Young

Mignon O’Young, Editor, is a California licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and Certified Green Building Professional with more than 15 years of experience in the design, construction, green building, and affordable housing development industries.
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