Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower – Taipei (Taiwan)

Hi there! All good? Nature is truly an infinite source of inspiration for human beings. The designers of the ‘Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower’ based their main ideas in attributes found in nature and the result is fantastic!

The Architect based his main idea for the spiral shaped tower in a DNA helix structure. The Structural Engineers based their balance system on the movements of a skier coming downhill, with its main balance centre located in its core, just like the building’s central core concept. Structure that needs to be earthquake proof, by the way!

When I look at this building the first thing that comes in my mind are spirals. Spirals are everywhere in nature, that’s actually how energy flows most of the time. Tesla’s Coil is actually based in this idea that energy moves in spirals, check this article. Perhaps, that is also connected somehow to the balance this totally unconventional building achieves. In the words of the famous artist, author and scientist:

All motion is curved and all curvature is spiral.” (Walter Russel).

 

An iron core solenoid, or coil, making use of spiral shape in the electrical current transmission. Source: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/magnetic/elemag.html

As we have already mentioned in one of our previous blog posts – The Taj Mahal, spirals can be found everywhere in nature. Perhaps that is because everything in nature grows and evolves in a spiral energetic pattern. This nice short video summarizes this idea:

 

Based in those ideas, in the bustling heart of Taipei, amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, stands a beacon of innovation and sustainability – the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower. Designed by the visionary architect Vincent Callebaut, this architectural marvel is not just a symbol of modernity but also a testament of its creators’ commitment to a greener future.

The tower’s heliport on the top of the building surrounded by the highly efficient solar panels. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

The tower’s communal garden level with its lush landscape architecture. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

A Fusion of Nature and Technology

Named after the ancient Taoist philosophy (Yin-Yang), which emphasizes harmony with nature, the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower seamlessly integrates natural elements into its design. The tower’s unique twisting form resembles a double helix, reminiscent of DNA strands, symbolizing the fusion of nature and technology. This fusion is not merely symbolic but is deeply embedded in the tower’s design philosophy, another example of Biomimicry Architecture.

DNA’s double helix structure and its components. Source: https://biologydictionary.net/double-helix/

DNA’s double helix structure (top images) and its structure’s sections viewed from the top, bottom images. Source: https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.040571197

The Yin-Yuan symbol, or Yin-Yang, representing the ancient Chinese theory of the dynamic balance of opposites reflected in the processes of unfolding events and change. Source: https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/

The Yin-Yuan, or yin and yang, principle that inspired the tower is also found in the Indian Hindu ancient culture, as the Kundalini Serpent theory. Source: https://maypoleofwisdom.com/the-kundalini-serpents-and-dragons/

Sustainable Design Principles

At the core of the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower’s design are sustainable principles aimed at reducing its environmental footprint. The tower boasts a range of eco-friendly features that set it apart from conventional buildings:

Vertical Forests:

One of the most striking features of the tower is its extensive vertical forests. Lush greenery adorns the exterior of the building, providing not only aesthetic beauty but also numerous environmental benefits. These green spaces act as natural air purifiers, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, while also providing habitats for local wildlife. Not to mention, reducing the “Urban Heat Island” effects in this area.

The tower’s different perspectives showing its cantilevered balconies and central structural core. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

Passive Design Strategies:

Callebaut incorporated passive design strategies to minimize energy consumption within the tower. The building’s orientation and shape maximize natural day lighting and ventilation, reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. At the same time that its cantilevered balconies provide continuous shading throughout the day. Additionally, the tower’s high-performance glazing and insulation further enhance its energy efficiency, ensuring optimal comfort for occupants year-round.

Renewable Energy:

To further reduce its reliance on traditional energy sources, the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower harnesses renewable energy through various means. High performing solar panels installed on the building’s rooftop generate clean electricity, while six wind turbines integrated into the structure harness wind energy to power the tower’s amenities. These renewable energy systems not only reduce the building’s carbon footprint but also contribute to its self-sufficiency.

Earthquake Proof:

The building is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire tectonic plate and for this reason the project attend to high-level earthquake-proof specifications that can resist the 2,500-year earthquake return cycle, another challenge overcame.

A Sustainable Lifestyle Hub

Beyond its innovative design, the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower serves as a hub for sustainable living. The building houses residential units and recreational facilities, all designed with sustainability in mind. Residents have access to communal green spaces, that also serves as potential flood absorbing areas, fitness centers, and community gardens, promoting a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle.

Perspective from inside of one of the apartments to the external private gardens. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

Green Mobility:

In line with Taipei’s efforts to promote green transportation, the tower encourages alternative modes of mobility. Bicycle parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations are provided, incentivising residents to opt for environmentally friendly transportation options. Additionally, the tower’s proximity to public transit hubs reduces the reliance on private vehicles, further lowering carbon emissions.

Sustainable Practices:

The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower implements various sustainable practices to minimize waste and conserve resources. Recycling and composting programs are in place to reduce landfill waste, while water-saving fixtures and rainwater harvesting systems help conserve water resources. These initiatives not only benefit the environment but also foster a sense of environmental responsibility among residents and visitors alike.

The tower’s collective gardens and its exuberant landscape architecture formed by local species. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

Inspiring a Greener Future

The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower stands as a beacon of hope in the global efforts towards climate resilience. By showcasing the possibilities of sustainable architecture, it inspires architects, developers, and policymakers worldwide to prioritize environmental conservation in their projects. Moreover, it serves as a reminder that sustainability and modernity are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary aspects of a harmonious future.

Conclusion

The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower in Taipei is more than just a skyscraper; it is a testament to our collective vision for a greener, more sustainable future. Through its innovative design, eco-friendly features, and commitment to sustainable living, it sets a new standard for urban development. As we continue to face the challenges of becoming climate resilient, in harmony with nature’s cycles, structures like the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower serve as beacons of hope, reminding us of the power of human ingenuity and our ability to coexist harmoniously with nature and also being inspired by it.

Night view of the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower surrounded by Taipei’s urban landscape. Source: https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

The construction was a big challenge for all the stakeholders involved and it took 11 years to be completed. The very interesting video below shows all the process of construction as part of a Discovery Channel special episode about the Taiwanese tower. We hope you enjoyed learning more about this amazing project! ♣

 

 

 

 

Important Sources:

https://vincent.callebaut.org/object/230118_taozhuyinyuan/taozhuyinyuan/projects

https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-a-tesla-coil-22723

https://study.com/academy/lesson/inductor-definition-function-uses.html

https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.040571197

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/magnetic/elemag.html

Yin / Yang Theory

Double Helix

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