FLOATING GREEN LANTERNS Can the contemporary city be conceived as more than a collection of iconic nature parks and cultural centers... more than the proliferation of feudal master plans and suburban hamlets?

Situated on the northern edge of Taichung Gateway Master Plan, the proposed Taichung City Cultural Center is positioned to radically reinvent Taichung urbanism. To compliment the master plan and increase the iconic value of the proposed cultural center...

we propose to lift the 62,996 m² museum of fine arts and library into three interconnected Floating Green Lanterns.

Catalyzing the master plan, the proposed Taichung Gateway Park slips through and up into the floating lanterns, connecting park to cultural activity.

Like a stack of weightless boxes, the cultural center is conceived as a collection of Floating Green Lanterns tethered by three separate structural cores, creating a dense network of museum, library and amenity spaces.

In contrast to conventional cultural centers, which often proliferate into series of isolated objects, the Floating Green Lanterns bridge between the two cultural entities with a cascading series of interconnected roof gardens.

At strategic moments, these roof gardens connect, sponsoring the building's collective and ecological activities—at the same, structurally resisting seismic loads like a tripod. At the heart of the Floating Green Lantern is a 3-dimensional matrix of stepped boxes that shift in plan and section to maximize porosity and natural ventilation.

Above, a web of stepped roof gardens are connected into a "living machine", which filters and cleans the building's grey and black water usage as well as houses on-site composting.

At grade, open air courtyards bring light and air into the subterranean parking, while porous pavers absorb all storm water runoff for reuse.

Like a feng shui raumplan, the volumes connect internally to create a natural ventilation stack effect, while the sectional and urban deployment of the lanterns enhances prevailing breezes while reducing humidity.

The building is situated to take advantage of solar absorption chillers to cool and de-humidify the conditioned spaces. The internal relationship between programs structurally, socially and mechanically connect—cascading and collating into a series of public hanging gardens along the naturally ventilated facades.

Connected by a series of inhabited trusses, these stacked boxes are wrapped in a vegetal gauze that provides natural cooling/ shade/ ventilation in the summer, while sheltering from wind and water in the winter.

A permeable skin breaks down the barriers between the museum, library and city... internally punctuated at key moments as to optimize the boxes' exteriors for solar orientation and views, which connect the social space of the museum to the surrounding urban context.

This spatial organization refuses to compartmentalize the hierarchies of everyday life. Instead, the surrounding urban context weaves through the museum and library to form a new typology: a vertical park for Taichung City.

© 2013 NOA + ARIAL 10 PROJECT: Fine Arts Museum, library TYPE: Competition SIZE: 62,720m² (675,000 ft²) CLIENT: Construction Bureau, Taichung City Government. Address: 5F, Wensin Building, No. 99, Sec. 3, Taiwan Boulevard, Xitun Dist., Taichung City 40756, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel: 886-4-22289111 Ext. 34600 COLLABORATORS: ARIAL 10, Buro Happold LOCATION: Taichung City, Taiwan STATUS: Not settled 2013 VALUE: $81 million KEY PERSON: Andrew Heid TEAM: Lourenço Rebelo de Andrade, Daniel van Dyk, Nicolas Hannequin, Tomas Janka, Katerina Paitazoglou, Christopher Purpura, Marta Rodrigues, Joey Yeh

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