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Taipei’s vibrant new landmark seems inspired by a game of building blocks!

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Compiled by Team IAnD

Renders: MVRDV

Read Time: 2 mins

©MVRDV

MVRDV’s bold and ambitious design for the mixed-use Taipei Twin Towers proposes to create a vibrant and charismatic landmark that re-establishes Taipei’s central station area as the city’s premier location for shopping, working, and tourism — a la NY’s Times Square!

The site of the Taipei Twin Towers project is currently occupied by the city’s Main Station, which serves the city’s railway, airport lines, and metro networks, and several underused parks and plazas. The new buildings will be built on top of the existing station, combining retail, offices, two cinemas, and two hotels; while the plazas will be unified and redeveloped.

©MVRDV

©MVRDV

Characterised by a pile of blocks, the design of the towers proposes to create a vertical urban neighbourhood, with several interactive media façades that will artistically communicate the diverse program contained by those blocks.

The proposal combines two contextual scales. When experienced from up-close, the main visual impact of the buildings will be provided by the bases of the towers, comprising connected stacks of small blocks housing retail, with each proposed to house different retail outlets and thus contain different identities. Above, larger blocks complete two towers of 337 and 280 metres, providing the dominant impression of the buildings when seen from afar. These larger blocks house the offices, cinemas, and two hotels: the one crowning the East tower is targeted at young, trendy travellers; and the other crowning the West tower focuses on the luxury market.

©MVRDV

©MVRDV

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 bringing to light 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.

Natural light and ventilation will be taken care of with the provision of a central atrium that results from the staggered design of the retail stack. Outside, escalators and walkways will connect the terraces on top of the retail blocks 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.

©MVRDV

©MVRDV

This vertical village approach continues MVRDV’s investigation into the future of high-rise buildings. Whereas traditional skyscraper typologies create a separation between the ground-level public realm and the elevated and isolated world of the building’s interior, the Taipei Twin Towers will allow these two conditions to intertwine. By extending exterior pedestrian routes over the bottom 20 floors of the building, the public realm of the city is expanded into three dimensions, while the interior life of the tower can spread out into its surroundings.

©MVRDV

Fact File:

Project Name: Taipei Twin Towers

Client: Nan Hai Development

Architect: MVRDV

Principal-in-Charge: Winy Mass

Partner: Wenchian Shi

Co-architect: CHY Architecture Urban Landscape

Landscape design: Topotek 1

Consultants: Envision Engineering, ARUP, RWDI, Mercury Fire Engineering Consulting

Size and Programme: 434,000 sq. m. mixed-use (201,000 sq. m. offices; 182,000 sq. m. retail; 51,000 sq. m. hotel)

Location: Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan

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