Tech

Design of Taichung's 'Floating Observatories' wins top prize

Updated: 2010-11-22
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It looks like something designed for the set of a Star Wars film or science fiction video game.
 
But these remarkable images are the actual design for a futuristic new skyscraper set to dominate the skyline in a Taiwanese city.
 
The tower, called ‘Floating Observatories’, is to be built in Taichung, Taiwan’s third largest city after winning first prize in a recent design competition.
 
'Floating Observatories' will have eight floating elevator observatories shaped like leaves
 
The main building is designed to resemble a tree with eight floating observatories that move up and down like leaves on its branches.
 
Each observatory will function like a lift to carry 80 people and will be designed in the shape of the Taiwan island.
 
According to the architects, the observatories will be built from a space-age lightweight material and glide on a vertical track positioned within a strong electromagnetic field.
 
The tower itself will contain a museum, offices as well as restaurants and an ‘urban park’.
 
Romanian architect Stefan Dorin, who designed the tower, said: Starting from the ‘geographical' visual of Taiwan – which is an island resembling a leaf – we have developed the concept of the technological tree: we have designed 8 spatial leaves (with eight being a propitious number in the local culture) in the form of zeppelin-like elevators which glide up and down the ‘tree trunk" and which serve the purpose of observation decks.'
 
The central 'tree' houses lift shafts, office and conference space as well as a museum
 
The tower will be almost 1000 feet high with the floating observatories gliding up and down the building along an electromagnetic channel
 
It is also designed to be packed with green technologies including turbines and solar cells as well as a geothermal power plant in the basement to provide heating and hot water.
 
At just under 1000 feet high the Taiwan Tower will still fall short of being the tallest building in Taiwan, which remains  the Taipei 101 skyscraper at 1,671 feet.
 
Building is expected to begin in 2012 and will be paid for by the Taiwanese government.
 
Dorin said: 'Even though the floating observatories design was influenced by the sci-fi computer gaming culture they are feasible and play a major role for the pathway of the tower’s museum by adding a new vertical dimension.
 
'Seen from above, the city itself becomes the key exhibit for the Museum of Taichung City Development. Seen from inside the museum, when they are nested, the floating observatories become themselves exhibits, fascinating proof of the present technological achievements.'
 
A diagram of the entire tower which shows how it will be sub-divided, left, and how it will dominate the skyline overlooking the Taiwan Strait
 
SOURCE: Daily Mail
 
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