Vincent Callebaut's twisting tree-covered tower takes shape in Taipei

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The Agora Garden Tower is due to be completed in September, 2017 (Credit: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

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We regularly cover Vincent Callebaut's sustainable architecture concepts, but have wondered how well his eye-catching renders would translate into a real, completed building. Well, we need not wonder for much longer, as the Belgian architect's twisting, greenery-clad Agora Garden Tower is beginning to take shape in Taipei, Taiwan.

As we reported when construction began back in 2013, the interesting form of the Agora Garden Tower (also known as the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan) is inspired by DNA's double helix shape. It rises to 20 stories and twists 4.5 degrees at each floor, to a total of 90 degrees. Vincent Callebaut Architectures says that this twist lets residents enjoy panoramic views of the nearby Taipei 101 super-tall skyscraper.

The residential tower will also feature 23,000 trees, located both in the grounds and the balconies, which Callebaut's firm calculates will absorb 130 tons of CO2 each year. This brings to mind the award-winning Bosco Verticale.

Inside, the building will include a total of 40 luxury apartments, each with its own greenery-clad balcony, and a total floorspace of 42,335 sq m (455,690 sq ft). Amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center and rooftop terraces.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures is aiming for LEED Gold certification (a leading green building standard). To this end, a rainwater capture and recycling system on the roof feeds the toilets (surprisingly, irrigation use isn't mentioned). In addition, a large 1000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) roof-based solar panel array will reduce the building's energy reliance on the grid.

We'll have more to report on the sustainable tech and overall design once the building is completed, which is expected by September, 2017.

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