Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Apartment Complex in Taiwan Could Change the Way We Design Higher Density

Ever wondered how apartment buildings and unit complexes could incorporate more public green space full of natural light and open air for residents to use without people having to go to a park accross the street?

A firm called BIG has proposed a solution.

BIG has developed a modern, pixelated design for a community tower called Taipei City Wall, which comprises of stacked apartment blocks. BIG arranged the layout of the boxes in a way that maximizes the site area in order to provide more light for each residence and access to green space as well as recreational areas. The result is a residential complex with significant urban density that still retains many of the suburban qualities that some covet, like access to open space and lots of light.

Currently in progress, the Taipei City Wall will make use of an 82,000 sq meter site in Taiwan. The design process for the residential complex envisioned a series of boxes stacked upon one another, leaving gaps between each box to let in light and encourage natural ventilation. BIG first stacked the boxes linearly and vertically, then condensed the tower in an accordion fashion, leaving behind a three-dimensional checkerboard facade.

Each box measures 15 x 15 x 15 meters and overlaps enough for an elevator shaft to connect to the highest floor. Five different types of spaces are available for the residents; a green forest where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city, a Japanese stone garden for relaxation and immersion, a wooden pool garden where you can go for a swim, a playground for the kids, and finally a rooftop terrace on the 25th floor. The hope for the design is that the ample recreation and green spaces create a place for a local community to grown and develop.

When considering higher density, and the current perceptions which favour private backyards rather than communal park space; this proposal might hold the key to gradually introducing higher density outcomes in Brisbane. Although you share spaces with other residents, there are several different areas and it is for residents only - so it's semi-private. The social benefits associated with communal areas would also create a healthier place to live.

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