Taipei's twisting eco-tower with a Belgian accent is almost complete.


Vincent Callebaut, 44 years old and living in La Louvière, has excelled himself after coming up with this innovative piece of top-class architecture – the Agora Garden Tower in Taipei, also called Tao Zhu Yin Yuan. This 93-metre high, 21-storey residential tower known as the Agora Garden Tower looks particularly futuristic, inspired as it is by the shape of the double DNA helix.

Each floor turns by about 4.5°, which means that at the very top, the colossus is at an angle of no less than 90° to the ground floor. In the coming years, a total of 23,000 trees, shrubs and plants will turn the façades, balconies, terraces and garden green and will successfully filter out an estimated 130 tons of CO₂ from Taipei's atmosphere each year. Botanical specialists are particularly on the look-out for tree species with a higher carbon absorption capacity that have the potential to improve air quality even further than local regulations already require. It would be entirely appropriate to call the development a colourful urban forest park. Add to this the numerous sustainability features, such as solar and wind energy for reduced power consumption, energy monitoring systems, rainwater reuse, natural ventilation and innovative lift technology, and we come to realise that this is clearly a very unusual type of eco-friendly building indeed. Especially when you realise that the design of the building was inspired by the body structure of a skier, so as to provide the building with seismic protection equivalent to that of a nuclear power station, which is extremely important in an earthquake-prone region like Taiwan.

The Agora Garden Tower – a feat of mechanical ingenuity, sustainability, art and aesthetics all in one.