Located in the dense central core of Taipei, MVRDV’s design for this 25 story tower seeks to create a more diverse set of apartments with an exciting modular façade, which offer a higher quality of life to their inhabitants than the typical extruded floor plan blocks that surround it. A catalogue of different elements such as balconies, laundry rooms, shower cubicles and dining alcoves, each forming extrusions and intrusions on the building’s exterior, is added to thirteen different apartment types.
The Jinlin tower is the first housing project designed after the Vertical Village research conducted by MVRDV, The Why Factory and the JUT Foundation. In 2011 The Vertical Village became theme of an exhibition exploring the rapid urban transformation in East Asia, the qualities of urban villages and the potential to realize this in a much denser, vertical way as a radical alternative to the identical block architecture with standard apartments and its consequences for the city. Like in other major Asian cities, the design trends of housing towers in Taipei are packed with repetitive apartment units where instead design efforts go to façade materials or balcony design.
MVRDV wondered if these towers are the right answers to the needs of the people and the city and invited filmmaker Hsinyao Huang to make a documentary on housing desires. In the documentary, Unfulfilled Housing Desires in Taipei, five families talk about their ideal houses. They all dream about a bigger outdoor space, a roof garden with greenery, a view to the city and nature, an affordable housing price, yet the most common desire is to be able to make your own choice.
The Jin Lin section of Chung Shan District in Central Taipei is characterized by dense, low-rise buildings 30-50 metres in height, which mostly contain a mixture of different commercial functions with occasional residential buildings. The site is adjacent to a major artery, but is desirably located close to a large park and a school.
The blocks in the area are mostly rectangular, with slight angles on some sides and chamfered corners. A 10 metre offset around almost all of three of the sites sides restricts the buildable area of the plot to 65% of its total surface. The resulting possibilities point towards a narrow, slightly wedge-shaped tower of 90 metres in height, with a setback at 50 metres to reflect the surrounding context.
The Jinlin tower is the first attempt to realize the Vertical Village idea within the current housing market, site limitation and building regulation in downtown Taipei. The 24-storey residential tower has a total surface of 30.000 m2 comprising 325 housing units and some commercial functions on the ground floor. The housing units vary from 35m2 to 240m2; the housing types range from studio, single family apartment to luxurious duplex apartment with patios or gardens.
The future residents can choose the apartment layout that suits their lifestyle, the size of apartment which fits within their budget, the balcony/outdoor space according to their needs, the colour of window following their own preference. In order to ensure the vivid outcome and to allow each unit to have its very own unique appearance, colour palette has been produced from which the future residents can select a window colour according to their preferred choice. As a result, every unit is different yet composing a harmonious village.
The privacy issue is carefully studied by placing low visibility, translucent panels between the units. The diverse housing layouts such as U-shaped, I-shaped, cross-shaped and corner-shaped provide different views toward the surroundings. The fine daylight conditions are studied for each unit while the diverse depths of cantilevered balconies create shaded patios below. This type answers to the wishes of local residents who normally prefer to sit in a shaded outdoor space.
The patios and cantilevered rooms can be individualised even further: instead of standardised pre-configuration, they can be programmed according to each individual’s wishes and become the living, dining, bed or bathroom, or something completely different. The rooftop awaits with a communal terrace and swimming pool for the residents offering panoramic views to the city.
- Design team