Observation Tower in Taichung | 3GATTI

Observation Tower in Taichung

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THE VOID
Concept for an observation tower in Taichung, Taiwan.

The Void is a project for what will be the next biggest landmark in Taichung.
It contains mostly low density cultural and leisure functions and this allowed us to emphasize the structural shape leaving most of the space empty, creating an iconic void scenography from any observation point of view.
Those are some of the most interesting features:

FORM-RESISTANT STRUCTURE
The scheme of the tower structure mixes two different types of systems, one more traditional made of the two vertical cores at the two opposite corners of the plan and another one made by the surface around the internal void.
The amorphic surface thanks to its shape increase the total strength to horizontal and diagonal forces of the tower and keeps the total structural weight very low.
In particular is made with a reticular rhomboidal mesh structure in prefinished steel profiles protected by casted self-compacting concrete (SCC).

DIRECTED VIEWS
Some of the holes of the building are positioned so to force directed views of particular interests. The designed observation point of view is usually situated in the middle of the round plazas of the site landscape from where you will see in particular month of the year, the moon, the sun and some planets or stars. Those specific views can be developed also putting the point of view from important buildings or from the nearest mountains.

SHADE PROTECTION
During the warm seasons the best energy saving system is to protect the glass volumes from the sun irradiation. The caved interior space of the tower will protect during the hottest hours of the day the habited areas, and in winter or in the summer early mornings or late afternoons, the rays will be able to reach the glass surfaces as necessary.

NATURAL VENTILATION
Thanks to the stack effect the central tower void will be transformed into a huge chimney that will suck the cold air from the ground water surface into the roof hole.
The greater the thermal difference and the height of the structure, the greater the buoyancy force, and thus the chimney effect, consequently this void design will create an big drive of vertical natural ventilation that will help to cool down the habited glass volumes during the wormer season saving energy.

WIND PERMEABLE
In case of strong winds or typhoons the tower behaves very well letting the air mass pass easily through the volume thanks to the large holes that pass trough all the tower.
In this way the architectural structures will not be stressed over the safety limits.

FLOATING GARDENS
The green element will be dominant in this project, starting from the urban park that enters in the site and covers the total landscape going up to the tower into several floating gardens.
The plants are protected by the caved space of tower that surround them, this looks like carved by an ant colony or like an inhabited tree from an “avatar” movie scenography.
The gardens are one on top of the other facing to each other creating an interesting complexity of the central caved space; from there you will also enjoy the beautiful view to the outside panorama to the city and the mountains.

GEOTHERMAL STORAGE SYSTEM
The building will be equipped of an underground geothermal collector that brings into the tower the desired air temperature.
During the night the system will still running and fill the huge empty structural caved space with cool/warm air conditioned from the underground. This big volume of stored conditioned air will be release during the day improving the performance of the HVAC that will be helped also by a traditional AC fan coil system placed also inside the caved empty space of the mega-structure.

THE VOID CREDITS:

Architecture firm: 3GATTI
Chief architect: Francesco Gatti
Project manager: Karen Cheung
Collaborators: Zenan Li, Karina Samitha, Florian Wessel, Priyanka Gandhi, Pozdnyakova Lena

Client:
Taichung City Government, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Location:
Park Avenue 3, Taichung, Taiwan

Programme:
Observatory, restaurant, environmental quality monitoring station, radio and digital
signal transmission base, offices for the department of urban development, the museum of Taichung city development etc.

Total area:
2445 m²

Construction Budget:
NT$4,000,000,000

Design period:
December 2010

Materials:
Steel, reinforced concrete, mesh in prefinished steel profiles, casted self-compacting concrete (SCC), white pre-mixed high performance concrete (ductal), glass.