Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel completes Taiwan residential tower with honeycomb façade
La Bella Vita high-rise reunites fine living with social sustainability – emphasizing informal luxury, promoting harmonious relations with the surrounding urban context and fostering human interaction
International architecture and design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) has completed residential tower La Bella Vita in the fast-growing 7th District of Taichung, Taiwan. The 128-meter-high tower aims to integrate the character and identity of nearby Charlotte Park, while fostering a dynamic relationship with the surrounding urban context. Located in close proximity to several department stores, civic buildings and cultural venues, the 33,000-sqm high-rise creates a new residential community in the commercial heart of the city, and activates the street level areas with a series of retail spaces.
La Bella Vita is located in the new prime district of Taichung. The area represents a cluster of the city's high-end housing and service sector developments from the last ten years. The site of the new residential high-rise is situated halfway between the City Hall and the new National Taichung Theater by Toyo Ito. Within its characteristic grid plan, the city of Taichung combines green public spaces and public art in a unique manner.
The tower is designed as a continuation of the surrounding public spaces. Through the artworks and the green landscape at the foot of the building, La Bella Vita ’s ground floor creates a continuum with the exterior areas. As ACPV’s design for the Treasure Garden residential tower in the same building block, La Bella Vita blends elements of an Italian approach with influences from the East.
The distinct identity of La Bella Vita is expressed by the composition of the building's seemingly disjoint, yet complementary volumes. Four lower volumes of stacked balconies allude to the materiality of long stretches of rock formations found on the surface of the Earth. They combine with the tallest 37-story amber volume that ties all building masses together, creating a sense of sophisticated playfulness.
“La Bella Vita creates a new quality of living in the city through a pragmatic and atemporal approach. The use of cut stone and clean geometric shapes in the building’s interiors and exteriors creates a timeless quality,” says architect Patricia Viel, co-founder of ACPV. With its core wrapped in a honeycomb-patterned window structure that breaks light and reflections, La Bella Vita bears a crystalline quality that sets it apart from neighboring buildings. This tall central volume ties together the four residential volumes in a permeable structure that maps out an arrival sequence from the green landscape of the street level to the privacy of the 168 residential units.
“The design of La Bella Vita encourages practices of communal living by creating a series of livable biospheres along the entire height of the tower. These three-story lobbies bring communities of residents together, creating multiple opportunities for exchange and encounter. The lower floors create a new infrastructure for co-living with the presence of shared areas such as the library, the gym, the pool, the dining and meeting rooms,” says architect Antonio Citterio, co-founder of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel.
The building's architectural concept is mapped out by the clear separation between the shared and private areas of the residential tower. Shared areas, vertical connections, technical and support spaces are located in the middle of the rectangular space enclosed by the four residential volumes, creating a central vertical core that emerges from the ground level and stretches to the tallest point of the building.
“The vertical core of La Bella Vita is wrapped in an amber honeycomb structure that generates warm crystal reflections,” says Claudio Raviolo, partner at Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and in charge of architecture for La Bella Vita. “This pattern lends a distinctly Milanese quality of fine living to the building.”
“The design process for La Bella Vita involved a careful study of the urban context. The result is a high-rise building that creates living spaces with interiors that are infused with effortless luxury,” says Chung Yi-Yang, partner at ACPV and in charge of interior design for La Bella Vita.
"La Bella Vita brings a one-of-a-kind piece of Italian design to Taichung in a way that feels contemporary and seamlessly connected to the city. The fresh yet timeless design of the building and its interiors provides for the demands of residents for years to come," says Christopher Chang, Chairman of Continental Development Corporation.
La Bella Vita embeds a different approach to building design, putting the needs of the people who occupy it at the heart of the process. All elements were considered and curated with the well-being of residents in mind. In the spirit of social sustainability, shared areas are conceived as a framework for interaction among residents and visitors. The tower features a vertical sequence of biospheres that gather around large indoor trees, fostering connections among groups of residents. The clear and long sightlines within the biospheres mirror the uninterrupted views of the surroundings from the large balconies of the residences.
La Bella Vita is an architecture and interior design project by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel for Continental Development Corporation.
ACPV team: Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel, Claudio Raviolo, Chung Yi-Yang, Paolo Aranci, Massimo Frigerio, Slavko Milanovic, Antonio Paciolla.
Photography by Yuchen Zao (趙宇晨), Studio Millspace.