In 2010, Vincent Callebaut was awarded the tender for the construction of a new residential tower in Taipei. Construction on the Agora Garden Tower began back in 2013 and now, newly released images show the Belgian architect’s eye-catching and imaginative renderings effectively being translated into reality in the Xinyi District in Taipei. With a shape inspired by the DNA double helix, the twisting eco-tower will be filled with greenery capable of absorbing 130 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
"The concept is to build a true fragment of vertical landscape with low energetic consumption," Callebaut told Dezeen last year. "The project represents a built ecosystem that repatriates the fauna and the flora in the heart of the city and generates a new box of subtropical biodiversity." Its twisty structure will also provide its residents with panoramic and transversal views of the city.
Envisioned as an inhabited and cultivated vertical farm tended to by its own inhabitants, Callebaut’s design allows for the development of an entirely new lifestyle for the building’s residents – one that works in accordance with nature and the climate. With its plans for vertically wide planted balconies, suspended orchards, organic vegetable gardens, aromatic gardens and other medicinal gardens, the building looks set to surpass its passive role as an energy consumer, instead becoming a producer of clean solutions and creating an environmental cycle in which everything is reused.
Other features being incorporated into the building include a rainwater capture and recycling system on the roof that will feed the building’s toilets, and a large 1000 square metre roof-based solar panel array to reduce the building's reliance on traditional forms of energy. Expected for completion by September 2017, its architects are aiming for an LEED Gold certification – one of the world’s leading green building standards.