This slender 38-story tower, elliptical in plan, is the symbolic center of a master-planned residential community under development on a splendid hillside site overlooking the Tan Shui River, 20 kilometers northwest of central Taipei. Oriented on a view axis that extends across the river toward the revered mountain of Kwan Yin, the tower's clear and simple form rises above its neighbors to serve as a focal point for the surrounding area.
The Ellipse 360's short southwest-northeast axis, through its broad face, is oriented toward Kwan Yin, while the long northwest-southeast axis projects toward downtown Taipei. The elliptical form gracefully turns from one axis to the other, reaffirming the significance of the sweeping north, south, east, and west views from the apartments, which are limited to one or two units (600 or 300 square meters each) per floor. The expression of the façade is functional and direct: deeply recessed windows bound by continuous terraces edged with sunshades. While the elliptical form is contemporary, the multi-story façade of sheltering roof-forms is evocative of traditional Taiwanese architecture.
The tower's plan is, in fact, an ellipse (the window line) within an ellipse (the edge of the terrace), creating a continuously varying cantilever of terrace and sunscreen, extending up to 3.7 meters (12 feet) along the long axis. The elegant dialogue of encapsulated elliptical forms is accomplished with carefully calibrated dimensional variations for each unit of window, guardrail, sunscreen, and soffit panel within each of the four quadrants of the tower envelope. Inserted between the guardrail panels are freestanding stanchions containing LED luminaires. Viewed from a distance, the 5,000 lights trace the figure of the tower, magically transforming it into a figural lamp on the skyline, celebrating the Ellipse 360's role as the symbolic center of its community at night as by day.