Taipei set to welcome its own ‘Times Square’

Designed by renowned studio MVRDV, Taipei’s “twin towers” will be made from stacks of large, fluorescent cubes.
Designed by renowned studio MVRDV, Taipei’s “twin towers” will be made from stacks of large, fluorescent cubes.

Architecture studio MVRDV has revealed plans to build a “Times Square for Taiwan”, part of a redevelopment project that hopes to position the area surrounding Taipei Main Station as the capital’s premier shopping, working, and tourism destination.

Referred to as the Taipei Twin Towers, the new build will be made from stacks of large, misaligned blocks, wrapped in interactive screens that display advertisements, sporting events and cultural spectaclesin a style similar to New York’s Times Square.

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MVRDV moved the larger fluorescent cubes towards the top of the structure and positioned the smaller cubes at the bottom, in a bid to maximise the design’s sensitivity towards the area’s pre-existing architecture.

Taipei Twin Towers

The building will be built over the top of the existing train station.

The upper levels will be occupied by offices, cinemas, and two hotels; the lower levels, by retail outlets, stacked in a way that creates public atria between them.

The ground level will also play home to a sunken plaza, filled with structures that mark the former locations of the original station and plaza, as well as pergolas to provide shade, and spaces to hold public events.

Taipei Twin Towers

MVRDV’s principal and co-founder Winy Maas describes the building as “a true vertical village”.

Elsewhere, escalators and walkways will connect a number of terraces housed on top of retail blocks, an elevated walkway will provide easy access to the new train station, and extended pedestrian routes will cover the bottom 20 floors of the building – an attempt to undermine the conventional understanding of skyscrapers as inherently exclusionary structures.

“Arriving at Taipei [Main] Station is currently an anti-climax. The immediate area does not reveal the metropolitan charms and exciting quality that the Taiwanese metropolis has to offer,” said MVRDV principal and co-founder Winy Maas.

“The Taipei Twin Towers will turn this area into the downtown that Taipei deserves, with its vibrant mixture of activities matched only by the vibrant collection of façade treatments on the stacked neighbourhood above.”

Taipei Twin Towers

The development has plenty of outdoor areas open to the public.