United Daily News
United Daily News
United Daily News Co., Ltd.
- GROSS BUILDING FLOOR AREA (Approx.)
- COMPLETION YEAR
- DESIGN YEAR
The offices and apartments of the United Daily News Building are interwoven in a crisply detailed 30-story tower that faces a busy boulevard and extends the full width of the block. Sitting in close proximity to the Xinyi Commercial District, shoppers, workers, and residents flow through the site going about their businesses. The open and spacious boulevard significantly lessens the intimidation from such a tall and polished building, encouraging passersby to pause and enjoy a rare serenity within the overwhelmingly fast-paced city.
Three architectural elements make up the elegant and modernized edifice of the United Daily News building: an eight-meter-high lobby, fully glazed and set back behind steel-clad columns; 18 floors of offices, shaded by vertical screen-printed glass fins on the wider sides, and wrapped by horizontal aluminum bands on the shorter ends; and a 10-story residential block at the top. The three elements are stacked one on top of the other, with privacy and quality of views increasing in line with ascent.
Multiple allusions to movable type hint at the former occupant of the site—the United Daily News. The rear wall of the lobby is covered with large relief sculptures of Chinese characters, transforming a plain wall into a captivating display of protruding and recessing blocks. Likewise, the stone blocks that complete the water feature at the southeast corner of the building take the form of giant printing blocks, with a hidden mechanism creating vapor, as if concealing the secrets of ancient China’s printing technology behind a misty veil. Though such methods have long been superseded by modern technology, these physical reminders give the building its distinct identity, and pay tribute to one of the most significant achievements of Chinese civilization.
Sandwiched between the busy Zhongxiao East Road and a quiet alley, the tower divides its arrival circulation into north and south at ground level. The office lobby faces the lively street to the south, drawing in multiple visitors and clients from its bustling pedestrian traffic. The apartment entrance opens onto the serene passageway to the north, giving residents maximum privacy from this buzzing commercial district. Trees shield the building from traffic on three sides, and beside the main entrance to the apartments, a discrete ramp leads down to several levels of subterranean parking, covered by a decorative canopy. The separate lobbies not only alleviate security controls by restricting access, but also increase elevator efficiency through vertical zoning, dividing the tower into high (residential), mid (office), and low (office) zones. Between the offices and the residential zone there is also a double-height event space, shared by both residents and workers.
Views from the apartments take in the two most prominent and most contrasting features of Taipei—its central business district, and the mountain ranges that surround the Taipei Basin. The units enjoy unobstructed views of the man-made world to the south, and vistas of the natural world beyond to the north.
Playing off the United Daily News is a 24-story apartment tower on the next block, placed at the other end of the boulevard and employing a similar language of stepped balconies and aluminum trims. It is from such simple juxtapositions—of tall and short, wide and narrow, vertical and horizontal thrusts—that lively streets are made. Setbacks and jutting balconies enrich the profiles of both towers, hinting at the shared bloodlines between these two simple-looking yet intricately detailed buildings. The drama of the contrast, and the harmony of their constituent parts, demonstrate KYA’s skill in urban planning, and the cachet that impeccable finishes and detailing give to a luxury development.