The garden-building that you will want to visit

The buildings that permeate its surface of green areeach time more, this week us approach to Taipei to discover the fantastic AgoraGarden.

As soon as the fearfulteacher heard the rhythmic and melodic voice of his pupil, he knew that he hada problem. All her classmates had obediently responded that the letter drawn onthe Blackboard was “Y Greek”,even the bold and surprising Abelardo, so hard time who had made him pass…, had interpreted the melody alongwith the other children. But Stephaniehad not been able to contain her character, and, against all logic, she hadrisen to say out loud: “In additionto being one Y Greek, this consonant is amystery”.

The most popular girl inthe class, at least, the most required by her peers, was standing,defiant, determined not to be less than her colleague. “This can be a catastropheif not handled it with subtlety,” thought the master, aware that, despitethe alleged sufficiency of the girl, she was as vulnerable as the others. “Explainus, Estefania, what represents this consonant”, said, with toomuch slow.

Stephanie realized ofthe contempt in the way of speaking of the teacher, but did not fall in theprovocation, and explained her point of view. “The life is full of mysteries, as in the mathematics, so, the equations to which have that face usduring our existence tend to have more than one variable, for me, the”Y” represents the unknown of how fits the nature in our cities, andits resolution should seem to the building that is running in Taipei in these moments, the award-winningTao Zhu Yin Yuan, or, how itchristened its architect, the AgoraGarden.

Surely you have already seen its curious shape in some media, its architecture and engineering to transcend the technical and the aesthetic, linking the natural environment to the urban one like never before it had become. The building has a height of 93,20metres and a shape representing the DNA, in other words, a core joins two towers that are moving as it rise up to complete ninety degrees… All surrounded by up to 23,000 trees and shrubs! (In some medium I have read that could reach up to 40,000… We will see!).

Since the start the promoters of the project, BES Engineering Corporation, bet by aninternational architectural competition for the design and construction ofluxury apartments, able to integrate into the new philosophy of environmentalcare. The Belgian Vincent Callebaut won the award and the construction began in 2013, it is estimated thatthis year (2.017) will end and the lucky owners may take possession of theproperties (42 apartments of different types at 21 storeys).

Overlooking to the famous Taipei 101, the skyscraper that was the top of the world for morethan six years (already isn’t), our AgoraGarden represents an orchard without equal, in 8.160square meters of plot develops 42,000 square meters of construction. It has aprivate swimming pool and a fitness centre for the users of the building, exclusive space for a helicopter,Ballroom (with six meters from floor to ceiling) and a colossal lookout on thelast floor. In its central tower fit two stairs and four elevators of highspeed, of which one is large-tonnage, and can go up the heavy furniture, grandpianos… or cars (do you like theidea? Oh, masterof teachers!).

The team of architects collaborator of thisincredible mega-project (whose cost, ensure, is of the double of any other ofarchitecture of high level) is the Taiwanese LKP Design. Each floor of the building has approximately990 square meters distributed in two wings (or helixes), with a view to 270degrees. These wings move 4.5 degrees inthe clockwise sense whileit go climbing, taking advantage of theirmorphology to obtain an outdoor and one indoor terrace.”

Stephanie left her desk,in the first row, and turned to the rest of her companions, giving the back(deliberately?) to her red teacher, to continue with her sharp and crisp toneof voice. “This building opt to Leed Gold certification thanks to its highenergy efficiency (almost independent from the mains) due to photovoltaic panels covering its upper part, itsdesign, which includes an analysis of the environmental conditions of theplace (sunlight, wind and temperature variations), its green surfaces that absorb 130 tons of annual carbon dioxideand other features such as the collection of rainwater for reuse, greywaterrecycling, the use of Low-E glass low emissivity, or the inclusion of automated saving monitors that areadapted to the climatic conditions.

One of the innovations that makes it”different” to other buildings with vertical forest is that part of its species are aromatic plant, medicinal herbs andvegetables, turning the property intothe first energy self-sufficient building and with food, an importantmilestone for the future. Another milestone is the ecological care during itsconstruction, using recycled or reused materials, treating its waste toreintegrate into the nature or return it to its industrial life, nothing is discarded, even it has beenreused part of the foundations of the old building which occupied the plot(brilliant!).

The space inside of each apartment has asurface diaphanous and without columns in its odd plants, possessing pillars inits outline each five meters in the plants pairs, the plants are perfect forenjoy of its generous three meters of height in each floor. The structuralengineer, King-Le Chang & Associates details that the building rests on 68 piles that reach the bedrock,possessing an advanced seismic isolation system.

Also, explains as you do with your matter,Professor, that the structure can bedescribed as a skier. Thus, the canes of ski would be the fourmega-columns that follow it while the building tilts to the edges (two to eachside), the arms of the athlete would be the frameworks stabilizers upper towhich connect the mega-columns and, the Tower central, would be the back, thatholds all the set. The columns of the plants pairs are part of the beams Vierendeel that support theforged between the core central and the mega-columns (how I like this word!)and that allow that the homes to be diaphanous.

The beams Vierendeel are constructed indifferent materials (usually of steel or reinforced concrete) and consist of anetwork similar to a lattice in which the upper and lower sections areconnected by vertical bars, is a convenient form and useful of save greatdistances, and, although you may not believe it, carries the surname of hiscreator, the civil engineer Jules ArthurVierendeelsaid the girl winking an eye. In silence, she returned to her desk, withcrestfallen head, seemed to have ended, but it was not so.

“To the next generations goes us to touch a world best thanks to the advances technical that so much progress have brought to the specie human, and, also, thanks to performances as this, capable of save the distance that had between the nature and us by understand wrong the process industrial to which submitedus hastily -with a tear in the eyes, concluded- thanks, Professor, for letting me to expose my preferred question”.

The master had the bloodpressure by the clouds, confused, angry, e unstable emotionally is directedagain to the slate, his hand, trembling, supported the chalk an instant beforestart to write (he had to write a “Z” and ask his students for it), after ones moments, drew a beautiful pufferfish.


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