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Sustainability with Beauty

Location Taipei,, Taiwan, Taiwan

Scope Landscape Architecture

Size 10,152 square meters

VITALS

First green roof envisioned and built by a private party in Taipei

Generous open space around the tower gives it distinction in a dense urban context

This major Taiwanese electronics company chose the site for their new corporate headquarters, with the “Electronics Center” of Taipei overlooking the Gee Long River. The owner retained the architect and SWA to work together to achieve three key objectives:

1) Design an energy efficient, sustainable building. 2) Integrate the building and site with the landscape. 3) Provide secure and functional outdoor space for passive use by employees and visitors.

The overall concept was a 25-story slender tower rising above a sloped landscape podium that covered much of the site. The podium built over four levels of below-grade parking sloped toward the river on one side and  the urban center on the other side. This configuration maximizes views from the tower and for users of the landscape gardens. The podium provided security, view gardens, and a green roof, retaining storm water, storing it for irrigation, and providing insulation for the public spaces below.

The podium at the rear of the site slopes one story to the street, where a major vehicular entry provides access into the recessed atrium court. The larger podium on the riverside slopes two stories down to the boulevard. A second vehicular drop off is on this podium at the front building face. As the garden slopes away from the tower, stepped water features create visual and audio interest. The landscape features take into account the limitations on the soil depth, weight, etc., imposed by the structures below. The view corridor of the long sloped podium is emphasized by linear planting beds, lawn panels, and granite walkways. Garden spaces are created to allow for informal seating and outdoor gatherings. Halfway down the garden, a light well opens to a courtyard below that is viewed from the cafeteria at the lower level. Stepped fountains in the courtyard and a grove of Madagascar almond trees can be viewed from the cafeteria or from the pedestrian bridges on the podium above.

The two podium gardens are flanked on the street below by orchards of Camphor trees and Golden Rain trees also serving as street trees. The generous open space around the tower gives it distinction in a dense urban context, and plays a major role in accomplishing the vision of the owner: a total “green” development. Conceived before LEED accreditation, this was the first green roof envisioned and built by a private party in Taipei.

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