The New Taichung City Civic Center

International Competition
Architects: Celestino Soddu, Enrica Colabella
Collaboration team: F.Piccarreta, P.Carchedi, A.Caroppo, R.De Benedictis, A.Monti, R.Pietra, M.Pizzini

Taichung City Civic Center 1 DESIGN  CONCEPT
The global approach to the design  of  The  New Taichung City Civic Center.
The challenge of our project is to characterise and increase the identity in progress of Taichung City. To achieve this objective, we have organised a design approach able to control the complexity of the natural and artificial environment.
We aim to build a town environment based on the chineese traditions and, in the same time, looking to the future, to the new century.
A beautiful town is a town with a characterised identity and with a stratified complexity. We begin to design the park system as an urban environment for increasing the identity. We want to build an unique site that follows and enlarges the dynamic evolution of this town.
Our objective is to build a new urban microsystem that represents the culture of Taiwan and also its dynamic evolution. The park system and the two buildings must be the image of one of the four little dragons of Asia.
To achieve that, we designed two great events, two architectures, the City Council and The City Government. We adopted this choice in front of the consideration that a large and well identifiable building is more interesting for the increasing identity of an urban environment.
Concerning the parks, we adopted the traditional approach stratifying, in this natural/artificial, a multiplicity of possible paths of multiple discoveries.
The park is a natural green environment for the use of Government, but also for all the people of Taiwan, especially for the children.

The Taichung City Government Building

Taichung City Civic Center 2 1. Image and Characterisation.
This building is organised following the North-South axis, and appears in front of the street that come from South. It is structured, on ground level, with a floor opened to the park with a glass gallery, an interface between parks and the building. The building is identifiable with its particular shape, based on a complex geometry that starts from an octagon with, overside, the rounder shape of the Major office that looks to the South. This image seems the head of a dragon.
Taichung City Civic Center 3 2. Functional and Structural Organisation.
The building is m.80 high, jointed following the department's identities and differences. There is, on the top level, the office of the Major.
The underground level is used for the covered parking, stratified in two levels. We can arrive to this parking directly with the elevators of the building.
Taichung City Civic Center 4 The structure of these buildings follows the need to identify the differences. It is organised with two structure levels. The first level, realised with large steel spatial structures, redefines the large multifloor blocks of departments.
The second level is the secondary steel structure of each department, depending upon the first one or, if it is necessary to gain more large open spaces, linked to the hanging over large spatial steel structure.
Taichung City Civic Center 5 This choice allows us to gain the recognisability of each department, and the autonomy of functional organisation inside each of them without deny the identity and recognisability of the This structure of differences is increased also with the different treatment of the some interior and exterior walls, on each department.
Moreover, The building is organised with four blocks for the "normal" spaces of the department functions and four corners used for the "exceptional" spaces as particular needs of a specific department. With this organisation we can increase the explicit order, the characterisation and the identification signs system of this building.

The Taichung City Council Building

Taichung City Civic Center 5 The City Council is organised as an unique building, m.87 high. At the ground floor there is a large hall with a glass curtain surrounded by the park. The hall is six floors high, beginning from the underground level to the fourth floor level. Four floors, with the library and others people services, looks out on this hall.
We arrive in the underground level with a large staircase, with a fountain on side, and we find, in this space, the people services and the entrance to the underground parking.
Taichung City Civic Center 6 From six to eight floor there is the auditorium and cafeteria with the connected services. From the 9 to the top level there is, in sequence, the lobby with the facilities, the medium and the assembly hall with all around the connected services and the councilors and councilors study rooms.
On the top of the building the cupola of the assembly hall and the speaker office with its services and secretariat.

Taichung City Civic Center 7 The structure of this building is organised with a pentagon geometry in the centre, in front of the need of large spaces, and with an octagon geometry surrounding the pentagon, organising the structure of the connected spaces. The councilors studies and offices are shaped as two wings, on the right and left side of the assembly halls and lobby, with a getting out spatial steel structure that built a characterised image for the City Council Architecture.

The structure of the buildings

Taichung City Civic Center 8 Both buildings, the City Council and the City Government buildings, presents an entirely steel structure. The structure is designed with big bored columns, shaped with a sequence of four column, and linked one another at different quotes with horizontal spatial trusses. These trusses are located in the technical floors and support, with columns and wrangling elements the different floors. In the vertical facades the columns are linked with structure against wind.
Taichung City Civic Center 9
Foundations are designed with enforced concret slabs, one for every group of four columns, with foundation piers.
The principal actions we have considered in our project are: 1. the overload belonging the use for offices, 2. The action of wind, 3. The thermical variations.
The City Government Building is realised with four buildings with a rectangular plan, and with four towers in the intersection between the buildings.
Taichung City Civic Center 10
Every building is supported with groups of four columns and there are four spatial horizontal structures.
Among the buildings are located the vertical joints to get a free movement concerning the therminal variations.
plan. on the half of the height, the structure of the building expand itself with a bound if25 meters.
The structure is organised with eight groups of columns linked with the spatial horizontal trusses and with the structures against wind actions. The two bound elements are supported with opposite cantilevering beams v-formed, the control the tensile and compressive stresses, getting to the columns only the vertical loads.

Taichung City Civic Center 11Building Technology and materials

The curtainwall system proposed for this project is entirely prefabricated in the factory (inside Taiwan) prior to installation.This method of construction is highly advantageous because of the following:Good quality control of the fabrication work, streamlined operation and high productivity, reduce wastage of component materials, good control of production schedule.All of the above contributes to a cost savings.Shop fabrication also ensures that all the sealant and caulking work required for the curtain wall panels is done properly and inspection of the integrity of the seals may be carried out easily.
Taichung City Civic Center 13 The design of the curtainwall system is such that there is only one field seal to be carried out at the joint sleeve which is located at the point where the corners of 4 curtainwall panels meet.The mullion is designed as a coupling section, and it comprises of two sections, known as the male and female mullion.The design of the sections create a chamber with pressure equal to the pressure of the external atmosphere (pressure equalised system).
Thus preventing the penetration of water that, hence, is channelled downwards as there is no force to push the water into the building.
Taichung City Civic Center 14 Gaskets are used at the mating zones to separate the pressure equalised chamber from the exterior.The curtainwall panels are attached to the building superstructure by means of galvanised anchor brackets (one number per panel in most cases) and Halfen channel embedded in concrete.The anchor bracket is fixed to the pane
This set-up allows the individual panel to rotate about a single point, thus absorbing any building movements due to the thermal expansion contraction, seismic loads or slab deflections due to loading.
Taichung City Civic Center 15 The anchorage system also provides a much greater degree of movement than conventional systems in which the panels are attached to the superstructure at two or more points.
The granite panels and the blind areas, such as the spandrel section of this curtainwall, are designed as ventilated panels.The chamber between the rear of the granite or the spandrel glass/aluminium panel and the insulated panel is linked to the external by means of slot holes in the transom framing members.Other technical characteristics of the curtain wall:Earthquake proof.
Taichung City Civic Center 16 The panel system is earthquake proof due to the telescoping joints, both horizontally and vertically, isolated by gaskets in neoprene EPDM, able to absorb expansions of +/- 10 mm, for a total of 20 mm.Thermal interruption obtained due to the elimination of external conductivity through the exposition of the aluminium mass interior = 10%.The openings (invisible from both internal and external viewpoints) for double ventilation.Waterproof barrier between floors.
This allows for an absolutely independent seal for each floor so that in case of flooding water, is drained to the exterior of the building washing system. The tie-ins can be incorporated in the curtain wall system and be exteriorly invisible.

Taichung City Civic Center 17

The Parks
The Park of the Taichung City Civic Center
We have organised the park system in respect of the ancient technical of Feng Shui.
We have designed the natural environment divided into three gardens. The area 1-1, near the City Government building is called "The Rain Garden", the area 1-2,2-2,2-1, expanded in the area 2-3 and into the area 1, under the City Government building till the area 2, under the City Council Building, is called "The Garden of Pomegranates tree", and the last one, area 1-3, connected with a bridge with the area 2, is called "The Garden of the green Dragon".
The parks are subdivided into many scenic sections to create the impression of spaciousness , an enchanting constructed and thematic environment.
The centrally located main section and the surrounding subordinate sections are characterised by different themes.
Every garden scene has its own point of interest (a tower, a pavilion, a mountain, etc) to give originality and individuality, but at the same time the park is unified by the theme of prosperity and by water.
Each construction in the garden has a double function: as a scenic spot for static viewing and as a point of interest from other dynamic viewing points.
The dynamic viewing points are located along the paths and the walking galleries giving different vistas during a touring route. Static and dynamic viewing are the basis of the planned organisation.
Hills and water have taken priority in the process of structuring the landscape. Artificial hills are shaped to simulate the distilled and enhanced beauty of natural mountain views creating peaks, cliffs, precipices, ravines, gorges and caves.
Water is the element of conjunction of the park. Its composition undulating lines and forms derived from nature.
Garden architecture is another important element of the garden.
The main hall occupies a key position in the center of the park as a center of activities .
It is south oriented and located in a position to command the dominating garden scene.
Pavilions of different sizes and forms are distributed throughout the park. They represent a pause during walking. They are a visual attraction and at the same time serve as sheltered vantage point commanding views in all directions. They are located on the hillside, on the stream and near the forest.
The walking galleries are the connections between the different garden buildings. They divide and at the same time unite the scenic sections, greatly adding to the depth and sequence of the garden views.
The parks can be walked through in three different ways. The most direct paths cross the park longitudinally through parallel arcades. The second way is the main touring route, thought of as a fast and covered path. The last path is the slowest and most winding which connects all garden architectures situated along the stream.
The Rain Garden is near the City Government .It is symbol of richness and success. It is limited by Taichung Harbor road. It is organised with six pavilion of facilities and one main hall named The main Hall of the White TIger.Inside we have a small hill of 5 m. one only great pond, one walking gallery, two way street of access at the City Government We define two scenic section;one concerning the main hall of white tiger and the other concerning the City Government The garden of the pomegranates tree is a pleasure garden characterised by a big tree planted in the courtyard of the main hall, not only for its spectacular fruits, but also as an auspicious symbol of prosperity. Inside we have the main hall of pomegranates tree;formalised by an octagon,the lake of CH'J, many ponds,two walking galleries, two great hills, two little hills, ten pavilions for facilities. There are three different scenic section. The garden of the Green Dragon is between Shin- ien road and Shin-jen N.1st Road. It is linked to the City Council by a bridge. The main hall is called of Black Turtle. This is a fractal building of The City Council. We have one double pavilions named Red Phoenix, two little hills, two walking galleries, three ponds,one bridge.

The Autors
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Mail to Prof. Celestino Soddu

Mail to Prof. Enrica Colabella