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MVRDV's new twin towers will revitalise central Taipei with a pile of blocks and media façades
Taiwan Architecture News - Dec 26, 2018 - 07:22 13586 views
MVRDV has released design for twin towers in the heart of Taipei, Taiwan, to act as "an urban catalyst" for the revitalisation of the central station area of Taipei.
The project, called Taipei Twin Towers, is characterised by a pile of blocks that create a vertical urban neighbourhood, and by the façades of those boxes, including a number of interactive media façades that artistically communicate the diverse program contained by those blocks.
As part of a consortium led by Nan Hai Development, MVRDV's proposal has been selected as one of the two last entries for the tender.
"The aim of the project is to provide a vibrant and charismatic destination that re-establishes the central station area of Taipei as the city’s premier location for shopping, working, and tourism—a Times Square for Taipei," explained MVRDV.
MVRDV has only released a few renders and the detailed images of the project are expected to be announced later. The project is comprised of larger blocks completing two towers, one reaching 337 and the other reaches 280 meters, which will provide the dominant impression of the buildings when seen from afar.
The site of the Taipei Twin Towers project is currently occupied by the city’s Main Station, which serves both the city’s railway, airport lines and metro networks, and a number of underused parks and plazas. MVRDV's new buildings will be built over the top of the existing station, combining retail, offices, a cinema, and two hotels; meanwhile the plazas will be unified and redeveloped.
The neighbourhood surrounding the building includes a mixture of small, human-scale buildings and larger towers. MVRDV’s proposal combines these two contextual scales. When experienced from up-close, the main visual impact of the buildings will be provided by the connected "plinths" of small stacked blocks housing retail, with each proposed to house different retail outlets and thus contain different identities.
These larger blocks will house the offices, cinema, and two hotels: one targeted at young, trendy travellers crowning the East tower and the other focusing on the luxury market crowning the West tower.
At ground level, the design proposes a sunken plaza, with a variety of interventions inspired by the history of the site: structures marking the former locations of the original station and plaza and some old houses will turn this plaza in the centre of Taipei into a kind of archaeological study, a vision combining the city’s past. These structures will include pergolas to provide shade, tribunes to allow for public events, and a variety of other public services.
"Arriving at Taipei Central Station is currently an anti-climax. The immediate area does not reveal the metropolitan charms and exciting quality that the Taiwanese metropolis has to offer," said MVRDV principal and co-founder Winy Maas.
"Our Taipei Twin Towers proposal will turn this area into the downtown that Taipei deserves, with its vibrant mixture of activities matched only by the vibrant collection of façade treatments on the stacked neighbourhood above. This is the place we want to celebrate New Year!."
The retail blocks are stacked in such a way that at their centres public atriums are created, which allow for a natural ventilation system. Outside, escalators and walkways connect the terraces on top of the retail blocks together, and provide alternative access to the stores, making a vertical shopping experience that rewards exploration.
An elevated walkway that connects the station with the surrounding destinations will also become the spine of the area. Currently two design variations of this element are possible: one that runs straight through the site, and another that runs close to the facades of the new buildings, connecting with the larger network of escalators and walkways.
"We break down the required program into pleasant small blocks that echo the surrounding urban quarters, thus fitting the density fit into its surroundings. People can climb over the blocks to the top—a true vertical village. And the space in between allows for social gatherings and natural ventilation," Maas added.
Thanks to the small size of the retail blocks, it makes it possible for each to contain just a small number of tenants – and in many cases just a single store. This opens up the possibility that each block could communicate its unique character through an individual façade. A number of these facades are also proposed to feature interactive media displays, making the buildings dynamic hosts for showing major cultural spectacles, sporting events, and of course advertising.
MVRDV expands its project portfolio in Taiwan, MVRDV’s green-infilled urban corridor Tainan Axis is under construction. The firm also completed the Jut Group Lecture Hall with Alexandra Kehayoglou in Taipei last year.
All images courtesy of MVRDV
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