The TEK (Technology, Entertainment & Knowledge Centre) building, planned for an urban block in Taiwan, was designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) Architects. It is a cubed building consisting of a hotel, shops, showrooms, offices, restaurants, and galleries in the center. The outside, however, is made up of planes laid on top of each other to create a spacious spiral staircase. The bottom of this staircase starts right off the public street and works its way all the way to the top where there is an open “rooftop” space. The roof is not the only open space; there are holes that follow the path that create a sense of being outside with the comfort of shade under the spiral.
This building is talking the idea of a row of shops, offices, restaurants, and a hotel, and putting it in a vertical format. Instead of taking up blocks of the city with all these businesses, along with a pathway for people traffic, BIG Architects took the usual horizontal plan and stacked them on top of each other to create a vertical space. The public street flows straight into this space and the people can follow the path all the way to the top without entering any businesses. This again mimics the idea of a path in between buildings that let’s people walk through without having to go inside. However, the spiral staircase flips the horizontal axis to a vertical axis creating a path moving upwards instead of straight. This building plays with the idea of public space moving from the horizontal axis to the vertical.