Floating competition entry by M-system Architecture harnesses nature's tempest
Typhoons are associated with danger and destruction and are often experienced in Taiwan. However this competition entry by M-system Architecture and WSP embraces the positive aspects of this natural phenomenon and aims to harness its dynamism, beauty and structure as a form of inspiration.
In essence the museum occupies the ground plane with two artificial hills reminiscent of ‘land art’ and the hilly context of the region. From the centre of the main mound erupts ‘The Tempest’, a floating museum that gradually gathers momentum as it lifts off the ground.
The main mound grows from the ground, spiralling upwards to form a seamless, integrated pedestrian bridge link. This route way becomes an attractor forming a platform for activities related to Taiwanese street culture and park life, inviting sections of the community who would not normally visit a contemporary art museum to enter and explore. Encapsulated within, are the more public aspects of the programme enclosing a new urban plaza to serve the town of Yingge. The second smaller hill houses the children’s museum and offers extended links with the park itself, encouraging learning and experience through play and interaction both internally and externally.
Raising the museum enables the controlled penetration of natural daylight to all of the main galleries when required, creating bright and airy spaces. The museum offers a multitude of flexibility with varying heights on each floor and an open continuous floor plate. The museum is clad with shiny stainless steel to further evoke its typhoon qualities, a finish also somewhat akin to local ceramic gloss finishes.
Inserted into the centre of the atrium is the ‘Reverse Stack’ glass sculpture. Fresh, hot air from the exterior is captured at roof level and channelled downwards into the spiralling duct set within its coloured, glass casing. Cool water is dripped onto the air duct to cool the warm air within. As the air cools, it naturally sinks to ground to be released into the entry hall as a form of passive cooling. This strategy is also combined with ground source cooling in the summer (heating in the winter). The ‘eye of the storm’ atrium is capped off by a kinetic, pv helium balloon.