Taichung City Government commissioned master planning of the former Taichung (Shuinan) Airport area in January 2007. In the master plan various functions including trade and economics, R&D, university campus, ecology, cultural and living are all integrated as the “Taichung Gateway—Active Gateway City”. A Central Park is targeted as an international portal into the vibrant urban oasis of Central Taiwan—an oasis for lifestyle, innovation, culture and biodiversity. The more then 300m high Taiwan Tower is to be located at the southern tip of the Central Park and gives visitors a panorama view of the park, the city and the natural surroundings. Besides its sightseeing functions, the tower will also double as a telecommunication base. It will become a new landmark for both Taichung and Taiwan.
Our competition entry of the tower design is introducing a new innovative way of structural design of towers. The design includes an inner floor structure embraced by a standalone secondary facade structure.
In Taiwan typhoons and earthquakes are of main influence on the structural solutions of buildings. The often governing deflection and the acceleration that wind causes are motions that can be felt by occupants. The necessity to increasing the stiffness, the structural weight and adding large dampers is avoided by the standalone secondary facade structure that protects the inner floor structures from the horizontal wind loading. The inner structure can be designed on its vertical loading with significantly reduced stability requirements to resist earthquake loadings.
The secondary façade being standalone makes it possible to allow larger deformations and accelerations. This opens the option of using lightweight facade structures. The second skin is designed as a lightweight cable net structure. The high strength steel quality, not having bending moments but only axial loadings and the clear separation of tension and compression makes the structure highly efficient and therefore reducing the material usage.
The external skin and the internal structure split structural functions and separate loadings and comfort requirement in a way that both structures can be optimised to its primary functions.
This design concept is based on previous designs made by Arjan Habraken and the research done at the Technical University Eindhoven under his leadership.