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Application Number 0000701548
Author Tsai, Cheng Ta , Taiwan (Republic of China)
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Work title: The Fluid Ground (0000701548)

For the past century, cities have scrambled to accommodate increasing population with limited land. As urban centers developed skyward, more usable spaces become available by stacking. Yet, as people move further and further away from the ground plane, programmatic efficiency on an urban scale becomes a potential issue: Ground plane acts as a hub where activities transferred among buildings, vertical and isolated developments ensure only disjointed, inefficient, and inarticulate urban programming. This project investigates Taipei’s city center, where it has one of the busiest commercial logistic flows and population density in the world: What opportunities in its “program-to-ground structure” can attribute to an improved operative efficiency, both socially and economically? Metabolizing daily at an astounding rate, Taipei''s city center is experiencing a heavy dose of density, congestion, traffic, networking, and transactions; Such extensive commuting culture shapes city’s traffic/logistic framework: Taipei’s ground plane is not about bordering the above and the below, but a distributive mechanism, where it constantly channel goods, people, money, activities, and various other programs to places where they should be allocated. However, this “ground hub” is limited to a two-dimensional structure, where buildings, operate vertically, do not integrate efficiently. Interestingly, programmatic borders emerge at distances parallel to the ground plane. In areas of highest traffic flow, naming bus and pedestrian traffics, a majority of economic activities are maintained through on-the-go, mobile transactions, where purchases were made non-purposely while consumers passing by. As a result, mobile vendors dominate this urban landscape, congesting the ground plane, while highly priced commercial rental spaces at heights lack the necessary flow to sustain business operation. These mixed-use blocks can’t neither provide high quality residences due to their mixed nature, nor provide economically sound commercial spaces, attributing to a real urban hormone imbalance. This project proposes to integrate traffic systems, from the current ground, three-dimensionally with building blocks. And through controlled distances from this distributive network, programs strips engage this new ground at a maximized efficiency. New programmatic allocations and distances are calculated basing on “programmatic borders”, or how well people travel vertically from “ground” to pursue certain activities. This in a way is the new "land use" system in three dimensions. Such “new ground” brings distributive equilibrium in a three-dimensional urban framework, in lieu of the traditional two-dimensional channeling hub. As a result, traditional understanding of building envelope becomes redefined; building’s interface to the ground is no longer the lobby, but the building skin itself.