The rapid urbanization of Asian cities is driving innovation. In Taipei, one of Asia’s key cultural and economic hubs, growth and densification threaten to erode the quality of life for residents and visitors if continued unchecked. With limited resources to meet robust public agendas, governments are looking more and more to private development to meet their public infra-structure needs. A new luxury residential tower by Richard Meier & Partners creates a new model of urban living in Taiwan. Commissioned by the Continental Development Corporation, the Xin-Yi Residential Tower sets an important precedent in Taiwan as the first building to dedicate its entire landscape for public use.
Occupying a prominent site in the Xin-Yi District, the cultural and financial heart of Taiwan, the 31-story tower fronts Xin-Yi Road where it enjoys high visibility. Architecturally, the tower has many of signature elements of a Richard Meier & Partners building: an elegant shaft rising from a transparent base, a façade with a rhythmic cadence, interiors with sublime proportions, and a pristine white exterior that gleams in the Taipei sun. Here these elements are presented anew with fresh intelligence to meet competing goals of the residents for privacy and security, and the community’s aspirations for openness and visibility. Strategies of building placement, programmatic experimentation, and structural innovation are employed resulting in a building with a dynamic presence that is at once an urban landmark and a private oasis.
The Tower is composed of two volumes, oppositional in character. A transparent, light-filled south volume contains the living and social spaces. It flows seamlessly into a solid north volume containing the core services of the residences. This organization is functional and also provides for richly varied experiences. The lower levels of the building have two apartments per floor, with the upper levels hosting full-floor apartments designed with an open plan. The building’s roof is wholly dedicated as communal space. It features a swimming pool and roof deck offering views of the skyscraper, Taipei 101. Enveloping the building is a landscape of a field of trees sourced from the nearby mountains punctuated with sculptures by international artists, freely accessible to the public at a key node in the city’s transportation system.
The Xin-Yi Residential Tower is a civic landmark unique to its place and time. It aims to spur the continuing growth of the Xin-Yi District and Taipei and serve as an exemplar of sustainable development that fosters vibrancy and community while symbolizing a Modern Taipei.