The project is a donation by Dr. Chee-Chun Leung to National Taiwan University. KRIS YAO | ARTECH provides the full service scope, including design and inspection service for the project. The main design period was from 2013~2014, and the construction period from 2015~2018. The site area is approx. 3,100sqm, and the building gross floor area is approx. 10,900sqm. It is a building with 8 above ground floors and 2 basement floors, housing the research rooms, class rooms, administration offices, and a circular conference room, etc.
The project’s design concept derived from many ideas: the ancient Chinese has defined the term Yu-Zho, or cosmos, as Time/Space, and in Chinese culture, the circle is the symbol for Heaven, and the square is for Earth. Also Inspired by the idea of acting against the force of gravity; therefore, NTC Cosmology Hall is designed as a floating cube in space, structurally supported by the concrete core setback in the center. While the building height is 40 meters, the main body of the building is exactly 34 x 34 x 34 meters, a perfect cube seemingly floating 5m above ground. The cube form is cantilevered 7meters on 4 sides from a rigid concrete core, which also formed a circular atrium in the center. On the outside, architectural concrete is the finishing material, and all four elevations have vertical sunshades placing at certain diagonal angles. The diagonal sunshades were slightly carved out by a spherical shape, so when one moves around the building, one will see the appearing and disappearing of a circle in the square.
The design takes a concept that man pays tribute to the gods in Patheon, and the scientists pay tribute to the cosmos here. Therefore, it was a design decision to pay homage to the Patheon, and to make the central atrium a similar scale to Patheon. A moon-tracker was installed to reflect the moonlight into the pond in the center of the ground floor lobby.
The atrium is where the factor of Time comes into play. The ever changing sunlight comes into the atrium, casting its footprints onto the blue metal panel. The light go thru the perforated panels, creating stunning images of numerous moving light dots. Although indoors, one senses the changing of time, the ever revolving of the earth. Above the atrium space, a cantilevered platform is set there on the seventh floor as a unique space for people to have a moment of reflection.
KRIS YAO | ARTECH is an Asia-based architectural firm comprised of more than 160 professionals with offices in Taipei and Shanghai. Kris Yao, Hon. FAIA, established the firm in Taipei in 1985. The firm is hailed as one of the best professional practices in Taiwan as well as the most internationally renowned Taiwanese firm. The firm’s projects are mainly located in the Greater China area, but are also found in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. The firm’s portfolio demonstrates years of practice in commercial, hospitality, cultural/educational, transportation, performing centers, residential, spiritual, and urban design.
KRIS YAO | ARTECH’s design philosophy strives to achieve excellence in design, by respecting and incorporating the needs of the clients and functionality, finding ways to employ innovative yet appropriate technologies to create architectural spaces that integrates a sense of scale and place, the cultural context, and spirituality.