Luxury condo with a twist in downtown Taipei

The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan apartment block in Taipei's Xinyi district is a green building that conserves energy, recycles rainwater and sucks up carbon dioxide emissions. The twist ensures that all 40 apartments will get sunshine. The building will be comp
The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan apartment block in Taipei's Xinyi district is a green building that conserves energy, recycles rainwater and sucks up carbon dioxide emissions. The twist ensures that all 40 apartments will get sunshine. The building will be completed next month.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

TAIPEI • When completed next month, the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan apartment block in downtown Taipei will not only be a consummate work of art, but also a green building that conserves energy, recycles rainwater and sucks up carbon emissions.

The luxury condominium, nicknamed the "twisted building", was designed by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, known for his greenery-filled buildings, and built by Taiwan Kumagai.

The 20-storey green tower was modelled after a strand of DNA - a double helix twisting 90 degrees from base to top - Mr Callebaut told CNN Style. The twist also ensures that all 40 apartments at Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, or The Hidden Garden of Tao Zhu, will get to enjoy sunshine.

The condominium will have more than 23,000 trees and shrubs in its hallways and balconies.

Mr Callebaut said in the CNN Style interview that the plants are likely to absorb 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year - about what 27 cars would produce.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's landscape design is the work of Taiwanese designer Chu Chih-kang, The China Post reported. "Traditional Chinese architecture likes to bring natural elements such as mountains and waters indoors - this produced indoor gardens and potted plants and even landscape paintings," said Mr Chu.

"We, too, are bringing mountain and water into Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's ground-floor lobby."

His landscape design concept has been recognised by the internationally acclaimed GAA Foundation and will be showcased at the Venice Art Biennale, said The China Post.

Located in the Xinyi district, the green tower is also built for exceptional shock insulation and fire resistance that exceeds what is required by law.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2017, with the headline 'Luxury condo with a twist in downtown Taipei'. Print Edition | Subscribe