The Agora Garden Tower is a 20-story luxury building that is eco-friendly in every sense imaginable with gardens on each floor. But wait, we haven’t even got to the piece de resistance – the brilliant design by Vincente Callebaut Architecte. Inspired by the double-helix shape of DNA, we are sure you would have seen nothing like it anywhere else. A shape that is twisting from bottom to top, the awe-inspiring design of this building makes jaws regularly drop in amazement, the building seemingly appearing to rotate 90 degrees along its profile as you move from bottom to top.
The building is designed to be fully self-sufficient for energy with a couple of giant photovoltaic shades fitted at the top of the building. All the construction will be out of recycled and recyclable materials. The Agora Garden is setting new standards for brilliant design.
The design is based on the ecosophy of self-sustaining biomes. The Agora garden focuses on constructing an ecological footprint by studying and implementing the relationship strategies between nature and humans. It is conceptualized as a double helix DNA structure that mimics the biological dynamism of the Deoxyribonucleic acid in any organism’s body, which carries the genetic instructions for development, functioning and growth. The twenty levels of the building stretch and twist at 90 degrees coiling the central core creating a rather harmonious pattern personifying the ultimate balance appraised by the project.
To produce a local and more sustainable micro-ecosystem, the team of architects and skilled landscape designers, focused on shaping the Agora garden as an urban forest. Nearly 6000-sq.m area is accountably covered by plants creating a green coverage of almost 246%.The idea was to establish mental peace and physical balance for the residents by incorporating nature into their immediate surroundings. There are forest-like trails, artistic landscaping, recreational zones, feng shui gardens, a natural waterfall etc. All this accounts for no less than 23000 trees and shrubs in this eco mimicked tower.
The different plantations and green covers provided in the entirety of the tower focus on many important features to create a sustainable living for the residents.
The idea is to incorporate cultivable flowers, vegetables, aromatic plants and falling/climbing species in the residential balconies right outside the bedroom. While the idea of kitchen gardens and outdoors garden sanctuaries will line the balconies for the kitchen and the living areas. Whenever the tower is observed from the locality, instead of appearing as a reinforced tower with glass and steel, the building appears as a twisted green mountain. Thus the plants, which form the skin of the building, play a very important role.
The majority of these plants are deciduous, and as a result, they give a chance to these planted essences to naturally evolve through different seasons. It will appear as a verdant green in the summers, a mix of fiery red and bright golden in the autumn while blooming with thousands of colours in the spring. This, in turn, will change the skin of the tower every season.
The ideology behind the design was to build a true image of a vertical landscape with low energy exhaustion. The tower is not only rich in design but sustainability as well. Consider facilities such as rainwater recycling, BIPV Solar photovoltaic roofs, light wells, compost pits, organic fertilization, ecologic nests, and the power to absorb 130 tonnes of carbon emission, which is equivalent to the emission by 24 cars.
The Agora tower is a wonderful manifestation of a sustainable future. It is a self-sustaining living being.
The Agora Tower has luxury residential apartments of 540 sq. m superimposing each other with the planted twists coiling the core. There are four different typologies of 2 and 4 unit floors. The first typology has 2 units of curved living rooms coiling the core. The second typology has 2 units with living rooms stretched along the southern façade.
The third typology has 2 units of living rooms supporting the panoramic view and the fourth typology has 4 units of luxurious duplexes with double-height living rooms. Along with this, there are multiple landscaped recreational spaces for the residents, along with two huge rooftop clubs.
The Agora Garden is built on the plan of a circle with two wings on either side. The exoskeleton of the building is steel bearing to stiffen the structure. The tower is twisted over the entire height by 90 degrees forming an inverted pyramid.
This structure is supported by a strong truss system behind the reflective glass facade. Oblique shafts support vertical flow while light vents go down to the basement for natural lighting. The entire structure works on a double wall and double glass system, which in turn creates a thermal balance and protection from solar radiation.
Another interesting feature for improving the residential experience and privacy is the mineral water moat that surrounds the Agora Garden. This moat is no less than an exotic glade, which not only enhances the view of the individual residences but also acts as a buffer from the surroundings.
Even though the access road, that is, the Song Yong road, isn’t too active, this moat is a great value addition. It has organic urban furniture and walls, which rise to become planted surrounding walls.
The amazing Helix structure of the Agora Garden gives the tower a chance to overlook the beautiful city of Taipei from every angle. Every floor plate shifts by 4.5 degrees for the building to achieve the structure. As a result of this, the perspective of view for the people residing within the tower changes for every floor.
The Agora garden isn’t only a result of exceptional biomimicry. It has the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang associated with it. Humanity and nature coexist to improvise and nourish each other, just like the tower, which shows a fusion of grace and sophistication by creating the seamless interdependencies of this urban forest with its residents.
Taiwan Kumagai is the construction contractor for the building. LKP Design is the local architect for the project, while Taipei-based Enertek provided green building consulting services.
Another Taipei-based company, King Le Chang & Associates is responsible for the structural engineering works, while Sine & Associates is undertaking the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering. Los Angeles-based Wilson & Associates is the architect for the interiors.
SWA and Horizon & Atmosphere are the international and local landscape architects, while New L’Observatoire International and Unolai Design are the international and local lighting designers respectively.
Agora Tower is a high-rise luxury residential building in the Xinyi District of Taipei, Taiwan.
Also known as Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, the eco-friendly residential tower was developed by BES Engineering Corporation on one of the largest designated residential sites in Taipei that once housed the five-star Agora Garden hotel. BES Engineering Corporation signed a joint venture contract with the hotel’s owner, Agora Garden Corporation, in March 2010 to build the residential tower. Both the hotel and BES Engineering are owned by Core Pacific Group.
The green and twisting tower was designed by Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architecture, which won the design competition for the project in November 2010. The building broke ground for construction in March 2013 and was completed in September 2017.
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