On a magnificent ocean view site 40 minutes from Taipei, the Necropolis of PaoSan requires a new arrival hall to serve the complex (with 10,000 existing burial sites) and a new pavilion for 150,000 additional ashbox sites. The arrival building will contain a 21 room hotel, a restaurant, a ceremonial chapel, an auditorium, and two small museums. The new pavilion will accommodate 1,000 people for ceremonial days, as well as 50 presiding Buddhist monks conducting ceremonies. There will be an adjoining amphitheater with seating for 5,000. All religions are respected and accommodated in this Necropolis. Steven Holl drew inspiration from the symbolism of the sphere in different religions and study of the intersection of circles as in the Borromei rings, which represent the karmic laws of the universe and the interconnectedness of life. Based on hand drawn watercolor series of intersecting circles the architect developed a concept of intersecting spheres. The final design incorporates white cement spheres at different heights which interest on a rectangular surface covered with a pool of water.
Photovoltaic cells sit only a few inches below the water surface providing 60% of the electricity for both buildings. The cooling via the water increases the photovoltaic efficiency by 20%. To keep the water constantly cool, the pool is connected to a geothermal system.
Transsolar performed various thermal and daylight simulations. Based on the results Transsolar suggested the use of skylights in the Oceanic Pavilion and in parts of the Arrival Hall to enhance and balance the natural light level in the buildings. For the Arrival Hall additional studies were conducted showing the spatial effect of colored prisms planned to be installed in the roof.
Wind power, rain water collection, passive cooling strategies and a displacement ventilation system will also be employed in an effort to obtain LEED Platinum certification for which Transsolar prepared a precheck.