Photo of the Day: 'Proof that Aliens have landed in Taipei'

Nighttime photo of Taipei's futuristic-looking Agora Garden Tower

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Agora Garden. (Photo by Instagram user @Adam Woolhether)

Agora Garden. (Photo by Instagram user @Adam Woolhether)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An American-Canadian marketing manager took this photo of Agora Garden Tower (陶朱隱園) in Taipei's Xinyi District looking highly futuristic and a bit alien. 

The photographer, 30-year-old Adam Woolhether (吳亞當), who works as a global marketing manager for AsiaYo.com, captured the image in Taipei's Xinyi District on Oct. 27. On Oct. 29, Woolhether posted the image on Reddit with the title "See the PROOF that ALIENS have landed amongst us in Taipei?" where it soon received 104 upvotes and 17 comments. 

As for Woolhether's inspiration for taking the photo, "I love futuristic architecture that has an alien-like feel to it. They did a great job with this building."

Agora Garden Tower, also known as Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower, is a sustainable building created by Belgian architect named Vincent Callebaut, whose inspired for the tower was the shape of the double helix structure of DNA. After his firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures was awarded the bid to create the building in 2010, Callebaut decided to erect a structure that was "like an inhabited tree," that could create a green urban landmark for the city with a minimal carbon footprint.

The tower will stands 20 stories tall with a 90 degree twist that is achieved with a 4.5 degree turn per floor as the building ascends. The beauty of this configuration is that occupants will have panoramic views of the skyline and a variety of internal arrangements to choose from, and privacy by avoiding direct visual axes. As for the outward appearance of the structure, it takes on a range of appearances when viewed from different angles.  

Once fully completed, the building will be able to "breathe" with the planting of 23,000 trees on both the grounds and balconies, which will absorb 130 tons of CO2 each year, according to Callebaut's firm. The cascading design allows for open air gardens and at two apartments per floor, there will be a total of 40 luxury apartments with a total floor space of 42,335 sp m (455,690 sq ft). 

In order to achieve LEED Gold certification, a rainwater recycling system on the roof feeds the toilets, while a 1000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) solar array on the roof will reduce the building's reliance on the city's power grid. The core and each cascading level forms a network of water, air, heating, and electricity "flows" that maximize energy efficiency and while still allowing modification by the inhabitants. 


Agora Garden Tower at night. (Photo by Instagram user @Adam Woolhether)


Rendering of the completed tower.