Architects may come and architects may go, but ol’ Frank Lloyd Wright will never stop influencing the next generation. French firm Influx Studio entered their Spiral Garden Museum in a conceptual competition to design the new Taipei City Museum of Art, and its silhouette is a bit familiar. “Of course, as shown in the diagrams, we’ve taken the idea of the Guggenheim but revisited it in this new context,” architect Mario Caceres tells Co.Design. Here, however, the views extend out and over sprawling greens and adjacent urban skyline.
Following the curving pathways of the surrounding park, the ramp that circles the structure climbs at a low 4 percent grade--the maximum allowed for wheelchair accessibility--and there’s also a bike lane that goes from the ground all the way up. On the inside, the swirling, sprawling levels offer a bit of fun for the whole family, including three floors of children’s museum, and two each of the contemporary museum of art, and art gallery mall and plaza (all dictated by the competition guidelines). “The shape allows a great openness and flexibility,” Caceres says.
Atop it all is a sky terrace which, though stunning, makes the building look precariously top-heavy, a potential liability in earthquake-prone Taiwan. The submission didn’t place, but FLW’s legacy lives on (and on… and reaching even further back, a classics-loving reader at designboom referenced the visual similarity to Botticelli’s depiction of Dante’s Inferno!).