The skyline of Taechung, the third largest city in Taiwan, will never be the same after the winner of the Taiwan Tower Conceptual International Competition was recently announced. The 390 meter (1,280 foot) tower looks like a docking station for airships with a number of large inflated elements on its sides. Designed by Romanian architect Dorin Stefan, the prizewinning scheme is slated to begin construction in 2012.
The plan is certainly audacious. The airships are helium-filled observatory "leaves" covered with PTFE (the same lightweight, transparent construction used for the famous "Water Cube" from the 2008 Beijing Olympics) which can carry as many as 72 people up and down the sides of the tower. The rest of the building features many other green and high-tech elements, including geothermal heating and water heating in the basement, natural ventilation through the "chimney" effect, solar cells and axially mounted wind turbines around the building's core for power, fiber optic lighting for its basements, and a rainwater collection and purification system.
written by Rachel, December 29, 2010
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