Located in the heart of the Central Taiwan Science Park, the project consists of a 15-story office tower, a 3-story cycling culture museum, and an underground parking garage, with a total gross floor area of approximately 33,000m². With a design language echoing that of Giant’s bicycle frames to convey a sense of freedom and motion, the architecture of the soaring tower and curvaceous museum form a dynamic composition that is bold and forward looking.
Specifically the tapering tower form corresponds with the program arrangement, with the public and amenity areas in the podium followed by the R&D labs and offices, and culminating in the executive suites at the top. The service core is placed on the west to mitigate heat gain, while the other three sides feature floor-to-ceiling glazing to take full advantage of the unobstructed surroundings. Appropriate shading on each façade is provided by the sharply profiled slab covers with the deepest and widest overhang on the south side in the form of balconies with views towards downtown Taichung. A series of zig-zagging ramps lead from the plaza level to the connecting bridge on the second floor, then on to the bicycle storage room on the third floor and terminate at the outdoor deck on the podium roof.
The cycling culture museum features approximately 3,700 m² of dedicated exhibition space on two floors, while the third floor is utilized for special exhibition and administrative purposes. A lofty atrium greets the visitors upon arrival and a grand stair between two oval exhibition halls leads up to the second floor. The fluid interior spatial sequence and circulation pattern fully complement the architectural design. On the south side of the building, the Giant logo is subtly composed of perforations in the metal panels and is backlit at night.
The choice of aluminum panels as the dominant façade material draws inspiration from the use of aluminum as the main material for bicycle frames. Careful geometric manipulation and analysis during the design stage was followed by a series of mock-ups and inspections to ensure a satisfactory outcome using the minimum number of expensive double-curved panels to achieve the desired appearance. In terms of structural systems, the tower utilizes steel construction while the museum makes use of thin shell reinforced concrete construction.
The landscape design is conceived as a natural extension of the architectural design. Elements such as the flowing pebble paving patterns and a set of curved exterior stairs that integrate with the surrounding architecture. The highlight of the outdoor spaces is the activity plaza that is buttressed by the two buildings and ideally configured for exhibitions and performances. The plaza is reached from the sidewalk via a pedestrian/cyclist bridge formed by z-shaped bent steel plates.
In sum, the architectural design of the project evokes the speed of cycling and the raw material of the bicycle frame to create a distinct temple of cycling culture uniquely suited for the new headquarters of Giant Group.