Every city needs an architectural icon. They're anchors of identity and calling cards for the rest of the world. After all, look what the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Empire State Building have done for their respective cities and countries.
Chicago-based STL architects are hoping to bring that same architectural identity to Taichung City, Taiwan, with their submission to the Taiwan Tower competition. Closing that loop is the firm's impressive proposal, which would create a dramatic circular tower at the heart of the city.
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Arching 1,049 feet above a park, the ring tower would incorporate sustainable energy initiatives like CO2 filters and solar energy. Featured in the central lobby would be a cultural museum and, like any good sky-scraping landmark, the tower would boast an observation deck, offering visitors stunning views of the park and Taichung City.
The tower's exterior, or "skin," would be pixelated with glazed openings that could be calibrated to let in 20 to 60 percent of sunlight, helping to cut down on material and cooling costs.
To establish a sound foundation and resist lateral movement, the ring tower would be embedded several stories into the ground. By designing the stucture wider at the bottom, the architects would give the building a low center of gravity and prevent the building from twisting.