Vincent Callebaut Architectures’ extraordinary Agora Garden—a DNA-inspired carbon-absorbing eco-tower—just topped out in Taipei, Taiwan. Set in Xinyi District just blocks from the LEED Platinum Taipei 101 skyscraper, Callebaut’s twisting tower will be filled with plants, vegetable gardens, and trees on every floor, as well as the grounds; the new greenery will be capable of absorbing 130 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The eye-catching building is expected to house the city’s most expensive luxury apartments on one of the city’s largest designated residential sites.
Built mostly from concrete for seismic stability, the twenty two-story skyscraper comprises luxury apartments, rooftop clubhouses, a swimming pool, gym facilities, and car parking. The energy efficient tower’s unusual shape draws inspiration from DNA’s double helix structure and the Chinese Taiji philosophy of yin and yang. By twisting the building’s form, the architect also creates a beautiful cascade of open-air gardens that offer inhabitants panoramic and transversal views of the city. Landscape architecture firm SWA created a landscape design with 23,000 trees planted on the grounds and on every balcony.
“The tower is eco-designed to represent the perfect fusion between Climate, Landscape and Architecture,” said the architects. “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, low-e 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 Agora Garden tower is expected for completion in September 2017.