New York-based architectural company LOT-EK has unveiled its proposal for the Taiwan Taichung City Cultural Center. The concept comprises a public library and fine arts museum, both of which feature sustainable tech in the form of solar panels, water recycling, and green roofs. The project is to be constructed using 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a primary building material.
Both the library and fine arts museum feature large atriums. A continuous study desk running along the library's inner edge, and "reading bridges" reaching across its atrium to produce shared spaces. The fine arts museum's atrium, meanwhile, incorporates a triangular central space suitable for art installations, performances, and meetings. The museum also sports a rooftop garden that can be used for outdoor cinema viewing during summer evenings.
The facades of the public library and fine arts museum are perforated with small holes at key points in order to allow natural light to be utilized, and a green roof is complemented by vertical gardens. Both buildings measure 200,000 sq ft (18,500 sq m) each, and they are laid out in the shape of a parallelogram.
Up on the roof, solar panels provide electricity (though no details are available), and a water recycling system of some sort filters rainwater and grey-water, repurposing it for irrigation, filling toilets, cleaning, and temperature-control systems.
LOT-EK cites its choice of 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a practical and affordable basis for the design, and the company makes reference to a process of "cutting, shifting, and opening, [to] create an extraordinary collective object," though again, there's no finer details on exactly how this will be achieved. The shipping containers themselves would be sourced from unused units located in ports worldwide.
Perhaps one to take with a grain of salt, then, though LOT-EK does have over 20 years experience in creating buildings from shipping containers, so should be in a position to bring it about, should the proposal go forward.