A 300-m-tall skyscraper complete with eight propeller-powered, Zeppelin-like elevators that spiral around its exterior will soon be constructed in the Taiwanese city of Taichung. Dubbed the Taiwan Tower, the behemoth is supported by eight spires with individual glass and concrete “pods” sprinkled between them for living and office space. It’s meant to look like a gigantic tree, a design inspired by the shape of the Taiwanese island itself, while the bizarre elevators are supposed to resemble floating platforms in video games, which have become an integral part of Taiwanese culture.
The tower, set to begin construction in 2012, was designed by Dorin Stefan, a Romanian architect. He included a geothermal plant, natural ventilation, solar cells, wind turbines and a rainwater collection system in the blueprints to make the building environmentally friendly, as well as space for offices, apartments, and a museum. Taiwan’s government, which is funding the project, hopes the concept will be a draw for tourists, who can view Taiwan’s third largest city from observation decks built into the bottom of the balloon elevators.