Japanese architecture firm Sou Fujimoto has won the Taiwan Tower International Competition with its green architecture design that features a floating forest. The competition is part of a larger urban plan in Taichung, Taiwan as a part of a new development for the "Gateway City." Architects were given the task of designing a tower that would be located at the southern tip of Taichung Gateway Park, with a minimum height of 300 meters (984 ft).
The winning Sou Fujimoto concept features a tower that in essence is a "21st Century Oasis." The structural design is inspired by the Taiwanese Banyan tree and incorporates a roof-top garden that seems to float 300 meters above the ground. The tower will create a symbolic landmark for Taichung City, with the garden being visible from within a vast radius.
The structure will adopt several green architecture initiatives by implementing a forest roof; rainwater harvesting; solar hot water panels; wind turbines; photovoltaic cells; a ground source heat pump; a desiccant air-handling unit and natural ventilation. Sou Fujimoto also hopes that these green strategies will be a significant contribution to acquiring the LEED Gold certification.
The superstructure of the tower will feature a series of steel columns, spiral beams and roof beams. The perimeter columns and intermediate columns will be positioned in various directions so that they can resist strong lateral winds and earthquakes.
At night the tower will be lit up without any obvious form. Like a breeze, the light display will pulsate and flow as the tower eventually falls asleep. "The light of this tower will evoke and engage to all, the spirit of Taiwan," says Sou Fujimoto. "Light that allows one to feel and be connected to the spirit of life, this will be the ever-changing face of Taiwan Tower, Taichung Gateway, and for Taiwan."
The total construction budget for Sou Fujimoto's Taiwan Tower is about US$220 million and is subject to approval by the city council.