Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier will be joining the growing list of top-flight designers with new and upcoming projects in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. Officially announced today and slated for completion in 2017, the 127-meter CDC Xin-Yi Residential Tower will mark Meier's first foray into the bustling metropolis of two-and-half million.
Renderings from the firm reveal a tower very much in the familiar Richard Meier & Partners signature style, reminiscent of popular projects like their Perry Street condos in New York and Rotschild Boulevard tower in Tel Aviv. A slender gridded shaft rising from a glassed-in rez de chaussée, Xin-Yi sports the firm's trademark rhythmic, reticulated façade in the firm's favourite color, a gleaming white.
But for Taipei, the building represents a significant break from much that's preceded it. 'What makes this project different than other projects here is first the approach defined by the site is to make the site "public",' notes the firm's senior associate Stefan Scheiber-Loeis. The landscape immediately fronting the tower will be open to all, the first such hybrid private-civic park space in the city. Not only that, adds Scheiber-Loeis, but "the curtain wall exposes the entire south facade towards the main street," giving the high-rise a more open, welcoming urban presence than has been typical in the city's streetscape to date.
In recent years, Taipei has seen major commissions go to architectural luminaries like Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid; Meier himself is already working on two other projects in Taiwan, though not in its largest city - also this tower will be the first one to complete. The surge in international talent seems a bid by the island to keep pace with the building boom in nearby mainland China, and Meier's client, the Continental Development Corporation, was determined to create a project that would stand out in the crowded East Asian marketplace. CDC 'gave Richard Meier & Partners so much freedom in the design and honored our design principles,' says Scheiber-Loeis, 'without giving up on their expected end result.'