The slender 38-story tower is the symbolic center of a master-planned residential community under development on a splendid hillside site overlooking the Tan Shui River, 20 kilometers northwest of central Taipei.
Oriented on a view axis that extends across the river toward the revered mountain of Kwan Yin, the building rises above its neighbors to serve as a focal point for the surrounding area. The tower’s form is clearly stated, without distinction between front and rear. Its short southwest-northeast axis, through its broad face, is oriented toward Kwan Yin, while the long northwest-southeast axis projects toward downtown Taipei. As the building turns from one axis to the other, its elliptical geometry reaffirms the significance of the sweeping views from the condominium apartments that occupy each floor.
1.54 hectares within a 34.3 hectare master-planned residential development overlooking Kwan Yin mountain and the Tan Shui River, 20 kilometers northwest of downtown Taipei
38 stories plus mechanical penthouse; a mix of one and two apartments per floor; ground-floor public rooms; below-grade parking; pool and cabana area plus special landscape and site amenities
Southern Land Development Co. Ltd.
Architecture; exterior envelope; interior design of public spaces
Henry N. Cobb
Roy G. Barris
With its multi-story facade of sheltering roof-forms evocative of traditional Taiwanese architecture, the expression of the facade is functional and direct, consisting of deeply recessed windows bounded by continuous terraces edged with sunshades.
Viewed from a distance, more than 5,000 luminaires trace the figure of the Ellipse 360 at each floor for its entire height, magically transforming the tower into a figural lamp on the skyline.
Executive Architect: Jou Min Lin, Architect / The Observer Design Group, Taipei, Taiwan; Structural: Columbus Engineering Consultants, Taipei; Landscape: The observer Design Group, Taipe; Lighting: George Sexton Associates, Washington. D.C.; Energy Consultant: energydesign-asia, Stuttgart, Germany; Images: Jou Min Lin