This ultra-futuristic solar skyscraper by Romanian firm Dorin Stefan Birou Arhitectura was recently crowned the winner of the Taiwan Tower Competition. The 390-meter tower is designed to serve as an observation deck, office tower, museum, and urban park. The out-of-this-world skyscraper seems almost too far-fetched to be real -- it even includes helium blimp elevators, a facade covered in photovoltaic panels, vertical axis wind turbines and a whole slew of sustainable strategies.
Dorin Stefan Birou Arhitectura collaborated with Mihai Bogdan CRACIUN architect from the USA as well as upgrade.studio to design the iconic tower for Taipei. The project was inspired by the leaf, the shape of the island of Taiwan, the money tree, and other Taiwanese symbols. Eight zeppelin-like elevators serve as observation decks for the tower and run on a track positioned vertically in a strong electro‐magnetic field. The floating observatories will be constructed out of lightweight materials including PTFE, and the balloon is filled with helium. Each deck can carry from 50 to 80 people up to the top for stunning views of the city.
The lower 85 meters of the tower provide space for a museum and offices, while the upper portion of the tower houses vertical axis wind turbines and a facade covered in photovoltaic powers for renewable energy generation. Geothermal heat pumps help reduce the energy needed to heat and cool the facility, while the small building footprint encourages cross ventilation and the tower’s height creates a stack chimney effect. Fiber optic cables bring natural light into the museum, and the photovoltaics produce energy for an electromagnetic field that provides heating for the floating observatories.
Although the proposed tower does feature an impressive array of green building strategies, a small building footprint, and lots of green open space, we are very curious to see if this becomes the final design. Now that DSBA won the competition they have the chance to design the final tower, which could start construction as early as 2012.
Images © Dorin Stefan Birou Arhitectura