A trio of dome-shaped structures enclose the Taoyuan Sewage Treatment Project in northern Taiwan, designed by Habitech Architects to resemble mountains, complete with a waterfall and fish pond.
Taipei-based Habitech Architects designed the complex to provide offices and an ecological education centre for a sewage plant located north of Taoyuan.
The domes unite the different facilities. Constructed from modular steel frames with horizontal aluminium louvres, they provide some shelter from the sun, but allow cooling air to enter.
Two of the dome-like forms contain buildings. The largest covers a three-storey administration block for the sewage works, while the smallest one contains a single building with a multifunctional space for use by visitors or for events.
The third dome, which is the highest, does not contain a building. The open-air space accommodates the ecological educational centre.
It contains a platform suspended three storeys up, which is accessed by a spiral stair or a walkway from the roof of the administration building.
Planted with plants and grasses, the centre of this raised platform is a water feature that utilises the treated water that has been purified at the sewage works.
Water falls from this platform into a fish pond below, which forms the central feature at ground-floor level.
Habitech Architects said the structures are designed to look like mountain chains.
"In pursuit of purity in lifestyle, the ancient Chinese poet and literati Yuan Ming Tao had written a fable known as The Peach Blossom Spring to describe his ideal world of Utopia," explained the studio, which was founded by architect Mark Ongg.
"The mountains surrounded and protected the hidden path leading to the dreamland of Utopia in the story and kept it from being discovered."
"Like the spirit behind The Peach Blossom Spring, the sewage treatment centre is a cleansing plant that purifies and cleanses water; hence we took the image of mountains portrayed in the fable of The Peach Blossom Spring as our main theme and concept."
The Taoyuan Sewage Treatment Project is one of several notable projects to have just completed in Taiwan, along with the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts by Mecanoo and a Starbucks by Kengo Kuma.
Architect: Habitech Architects
Structure: Kejian Joint Structure Technician
Electrical water supply and drainage: Xiangyuan International Industrial
Landscape: Old Farmer Landscape Architecture
Engineering: Dahe Advanced Engineering Consulting and Zhunyang Metal