This translucent tree of a building seems like something that might grace the cover of an old Popular Science as a concept for the very distant future. In fact, construction is set to begin in 2012. The design was selected out of 237 entries in the contest to design the Taiwan Tower, which, at 984 feet, will be the tallest structure in Taichung, Taiwan's third-largest city.
Its pod-like leaves are mobile observation decks that glide up and down the trunk of the tower. The tree theme stems from the fact that Taiwan is shaped like a leaf, according to Romanian architect Stefan Dorin. He says the observation pods were also influenced by "sci-fi computer gaming culture," and are made of lightweight materials "borrowed from the spacecraft industry."
Not unlike a tree, the Taiwan Tower was designed to be eco-friendly. It has a small footprint at land-level, collects rainwater and purifies it for use as well as generating power from turbines and photovoltaic panels. It also uses a chimney-like system for natural ventilation, and has a geothermal power station in the basement for heating.
Upon completion, the tower will be the focal point for the Taichung Gateway Park, an area being developed after the relocation of the former Taichung Airport.
I still like Dubai better. However, if Taiwan keeps building stuff like this, my opinion may change.
Taiwan is in typhoon country, those leaves are gone or highly modified on the final draft for sure.
You'd think we'd be able to put a webcam on every politician in Congress, because the regular people are subjected to an ever-increasing surveillance state, and Congress works for us - but that is not the case.
Ha, I never thought I'd see my hometown on PopSci. It's still kind of provincial here, so it'll be interesting to see such a futuristic structure in the midst of rice fields and ugly buildings constructed before Taiwan developed its economy. The surrounding area around the planned building is basically a huge ghetto. Hopefully, if this building does go up and it becomes a major attraction, the government will take more initiative to make the city as a whole a little bit prettier.
@Ian1108 Thankfully, typhoons don't affect Taichung that badly compared to the rest of the island because the city is protected by a series of mountain ranges, but that building had better be mega earthquake-proof. Hopefully they replant trees in the area elsewhere, though, because I can totally see those observation pods being ruined by all the flying debris during storms.
We never do anything innovative, exciting, or cool in the US...sigh, it sucks watching your country fall behind the rest of the world.
Does construction start on December 21, 2012??????
It is amazing that as poor as Taiwan, they can afford to build a building such as this, and as rich as America, they can't even afford to build a storage batters that can light one light in this building or an hour.
It's ironic that other countries are building huge structures like this and almost none of the huge countries (Germany, France, U.S.A ,etc.) have anything like this.
This is very cool though.
There are lots of cool, although not necessarily "huge" structures in the developed countries: http://villageofjoy.com/50-strange-buildings-of-the-world/
I think the reason you see so many cool new large buildings in the developing world is because it is much cheaper to build them there than in fully developed countries.
I think in many cases the actual architects end up being European, while the location of the buildings ends up being in cheaper places to build than the U.S. or Europe.
Still... I wish we could get some cool mega-structures up in here... Instead, we get gawd-awful McMansions and strip malls :(
You don't see things like this in the US because the government doesn't build sky-scrapers. When you don't have to worry about cost or profitability you can do things like this. In a free market economy where businesses are more concerned with functionality and value, living and working in a work of art has little to no value.
Yeah, why can't we build structures like this in the U.S. We can! People just need to take the initiative! This building is just so cool and different looking. We seriously should bring architecture such as this to the U.S.!!!
RE: James Davis with his comment "It is amazing that as poor as Taiwan, they can afford to build a building such as this..."
Country as poor as Taiwan? Do you even know where Taiwan is? Taiwan is considered an Advanced Economy with HDI Index of 0.94, and GDP (PPP) higher then even South Korea. Taiwan also have Taipei 101, a 508m tower that was the tallest building in the world until Burj Khalifa was finished. If you regard Taiwan as poor, then how can a poor country have big brands such as HTC, Asus, Acer etc...? Or infrastructures such as a high speed rail system that travels at 300km/h?
Please be more considerate of other countries before leaving comments like that and keep the US-centric arrogance to yourself.
It looks ugly to me.
I would like to see more futuristic buildings such as this one being thought of or even going into construction here in the US. It'd be great to have them in our homecountry.
Taiwan also have Taipei 101, a 508m tower that was the tallest building in the world until Burj Khalifa was finished. www.robesfr.com
Yeah, while I'm proud to see such a structure go up in my home country, I am still worried in many things that tend to come with these sort of attractions. For example, the observation floor in the 85 Sky Tower in Kao Hsiung is poorly maintained, and the windows are stained and dirty by polution.
My brother once said that Taiwan is damn good with coming up with things, it's just that we never seem to maintain or perfect it, and the government seems to want to do even less than that. During that time, I thought it an arrogant thing to say. I mean, after all, what does he know? Right? A few years past, now, and I've begun to agree with what he said.
@nebulation I'm sure America has its share of amazing architecture. Perhaps some have passed their prime, amazing nonetheless. I think that we need to take a moment and appreciate what we have in our own lands, cultures, and the like, so that we do no take them for granted.