Taiwanese superstructure to float on forest of steel

Twisted steel columns somehow manage to reflect an open, airy base as they rise 1000 feet into the sky, holding a forest garden. The ambitious architectural design, though made of modern material will mimic the look of a classic Taiwanese Banyan tree forest rising above the cityscape.

The design, aptly named "The 21st Century Oasis," was submitted by Tokyo-based architects Sou Fujimoto and has captured the first prize in the Taiwan Tower International Competition.

The building is hoped to represent the spirit of Taiwan as much as the Eiffel Tower represents France.

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Created with 800 millimeter thick, hollow circular steel columns from the outside the renderings look like a haphazard display. In reality, the columns are specifically placed with interior, intermediate and perimeter columns and spiral beams and roof beams. Together the beams will support a rooftop garden.

The inner columns will create a swooping interior cone for visitors to wander through. The perimeter columns will be both vertical and leaning, to resist typhoon winds and earthquake loads. The spiral beams will form two bracing planes extending from the ground to the roof between the interior and perimeter columns to prevent buckling.

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If the unique floating design wasn't enough, the architects are also planning for the building to be an environmental triumph. Rising out of park land, the building utilizes renewable energy systems, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water panels, a wind turbine, photovoltaic cells and more. It is planned to achieve a LEED Gold standard.

With its mix of nature inspired design combined with modern materials and aesthetic, when built, the Oasis could indeed become an iconic "Eiffel Tower" of the East.

ArchDaily, via Gizmodo

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