Babbuza Dreamfactory in Taiwan received a MUSE DESIGN Gold Award for its striking combination of contemporary structural design and aesthetics with a natural material – wood. RJC’s CC Yao was the speciality timber engineer, bringing his expertise in wood design to help make the project vision a reality.

The 2021 MUSE Design Awards is an international competition for designers whose ‘craftsmanship shift paradigms.’ The awards program recognizes those whose work inspires others to greater heights. The awards are divided into ten award programs, with architectural design being one program. The awards honour the best in creativity from around the globe.

“We’re thrilled to see this project recognized with a MUSE Award. The creativity of the architectural team and the vision of the owner made this project so impressive. We were pleased to lend our expertise in wood design to help deliver the centrepiece Tree of Life and skywalk” says RJC Principal, CC Yao.

Shuter Bubbuza Dreamfactory is a new demonstration facility designed integrate within the community and contribute to the social atmosphere. The design is inspired by the banyan tree, which has for centuries been regarded in Taiwan as an important symbol of shelter and strength. The 30.8-meter-tall spruce structure (aptly named the Tree of Life) stands stately and supportive in the center of the building. The Tree of Life serves as a central circulating element connecting the administration quarters, the manufacturing floors underground parkade and other ingress and egress access points. The trunk of the tree is made of 16 glulam members that start as straight pieces and gradually turn into curved glulams. More than 450 cube-meters of engineered wood was applied to create this structure as a spiritual and powerful tree covers 1,700 sq. m of tree area for people to get close to in the future.

Babbuza DreamFactory Body

The enormous trunk of the Tree of Life is rooted deep into the ground of the Nantou County mountainside on which Babbuza Dreamfactory stands. At the same time, a 350-meter-long human-accessible skywalk wraps around the trunk. Curved glulam beams create the tree “branches” and the skywalk surrounding the tree trunk is made of GLT on flat and connects four different floors.

WoodTek Taiwan was key in the early stages of the project to help develop the Tree of Life concept design. Subcontractor M.H Timber Design & Engineering Taiwan took the challenging design and turned it into striking reality.

This groundbreaking architectural project represents Shuter’s efforts to solve the ecological imbalances created due to current manufacturing systems. The spruce used to craft the Tree of Life, for example, is free from stains or paint–allowing it to breathe–and it sits in a building that embraces carbon neutrality.

At over 15,000 square meters, Babbuza Dreamfactory is also set to become the most significant tourist factory in Taiwan. Shuter is partnering with MIT (Made in Taiwan) brands, designers, craftspeople, restaurateurs, government agencies, and indigenous communities to create exciting retail and education spaces inside the Babbuza Dreamfactory open to the public.