New York 2016


The helix of life

This tower by Vincent Callebaut Architectures is respectful of the Taiji Philosophy and is directly inspired by the structure in double helix of DNA, the source of life, dynamism and the symbol of harmony.

In November 2010 Vincent Callebaut Architectures based in Paris was awarded as the successful tenderer for the construction of a new Sustainable Residential Tower located at Taipei, Taiwan. This Project is currently under construction and completion is expected in September 2017. The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan sustainable tower will carry 23,000 trees planted on the ground and balconies, which can absorb 130 ton CO2 annually in Taipei.

The Tao-Zhu-Yin-Yuan project benefits from an exceptional location in the Xinjin District, in the heart of Taipei City, between the mountains and the river, close to the Taipei 101 and the Sun Yan Sen Memorial Hall.

The tower presents a pioneer concept of sustainable residential eco-construction that aims at limiting the ecological footprint of its inhabitants by researching the right symbiosis between the human being and the Nature.

On this last and biggest parcel of land for residential use, the concept is thus to build a true fragment of vertical landscape with low energetic consumption.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures’ leitmotiv is: “The City is like an ecosystem, the centre is like a forest, and the tower is like an inhabited tree”

The tower is respectful of the Taiji Philosophy and is directly inspired by the structure in double helix of the DNA, source of life, dynamism, symbol of harmony revealing the notion of ultimate balance praised by the project.

The 20 inhabited levels in the double helix stretch and twist themselves at 90 degrees.

The tower is eco-designed to represent the perfect fusion between Climate, Landscape and Architecture.

The sunlight, thermal and wind analysis have enabled us to improve the bioclimatic design of the project.

The landscape, designed by SWA from San Francisco, reinforces the spiralling movement of the tower by a continuum between the landscape balconies, the garden on ground floor and the seismic joint in circular shape all around the basement.

The central core has been designed to separate totally the vertical circulations into two housing units on the same level. This core is fixed (it does not pivot). But in order to ensure the rotation of the storeys floor by floor, it is surrounded by a (naturally lightened) horizontal circulation loop welcoming the entry foyer dedicated to each unit. This buffer loop enables thus to set the main entrance always in the axis of each apartment and this despite of the 4.5 degrees rotation storey by storey.

From the top of Taipei 101, the project seems to be a unique ecological landmark, new symbol of sustainability and reintegration of the Nature in the City.

This other view from the main Song Gao Road shows to you the harmony between the architectural and the structural concept developed by King le Chang.

According to the point of view of the pedestrian from the four surrounding streets, the tower changes of face and proposes four amazing profiles:

The “V” profile, the “X” cross profile, the elliptical profile, and the pyramidal profile.

On these first conceptual section submitted for the competition, our intention was to design a vertical landscape from the sky lobby to the basement through all the inhabited levels.

During the studies, the most important challenge was to develop with all the team all the structural, seismic, interior design and landscape concepts in order to reinforce the initial spiralling concept.

The objective of the client, BES, was to develop two large units, of 550 sq m each, completely free of column presenting a maximum of flexibility for the interior layouts of each tenants.

The architects have thus developed two typical plans:

The typical uneven floor plan with vierendeel beams along longitudinal facades

The typical odd floor plan without vierendeel beams.

The detailed cross section through the uneven and odd number floors presents the integration of the planting beds in the thickness of double decks in order to maximize the indoor-outdoor connectivity towards the skyline.

The spiralling mega-columns, located at both ends of the storey, are doubled by oblique shafts wrapping the skew pipes.

These skew shafts are transformed into continuous vertical skew green walls all along the height of the tower.

The drawing presents the unfolded double curtain wall wrapping the central core.

This sustainable double skin, developed with the architect’s facade consultant, enables to temperate passively the vertical circulation inner spaces.

These sections show the unfolded section along all the apartments and the integration of all the double decks for the maintenance of pipe woks.

The project is eco-conceived by the integration of bioclimatic passive systems (as natural lighting and ventilation for the core and the basement, rain water recycle, e-low glass, double curtain wall) but also by the renewable energies (as the big photovoltaic solar roof and canopies, the automation for the energy saving, and lifts utilizing energy-saving regenerative drives).

The facades illustrate the use of white granite as a main material and the balconies ceilings to keep the fresh and emblematic look of the tower and to create a contrast with the green coloured vegetation.

In 2050, there will be nine million of human beings on our blue planet and 80% of the world population will live in megacities.

It’s time to invent new eco-responsible lifestyles and to repatriate nature within our cities in order to increase the quality of our life with the respect of our environment.


PHONE : 0033.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
7, place Félix Eboué
75012 Paris


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