You are on page 1of 39


High-Rise Iconic Buildings



1. Opened-up section of the tower where becomes clear how the program is
allocated through the build- ing. Note the various gardens inside.
2. The inspiration for the decoration of the Namast Tower comes from the henna
tattoo tradition.
3. Applied to the elevation of the tower every view through the henna tattoo
from the interior appears different.
4. Floorplans of the luxurious hotel suites up to the 44th floor. The deep coves in
the corridors makes the building more connected to the outside.
5. Rendering view of the building on its location.

Mumbai, India, 2014

Architect: Atkins, Dubai
Client: Jaguar Buildcon
Plot Area: 6500 m2
Building Footprint: 4100 m2
Gross Floor Area: 120.000 m2
Height: 301 m Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 15 + 3 Service
Status: Proposed

SOURCES cfm?id=2878

Namast means respectfully greeting or bowing to your visitors in Hindi.
It is an friendly expression what makes people feel welcome. The clasped
hands are the basis of the concept for this hotel tower and clearly make a
statement to invite people into the building. Since the luxurious hotel will
mainly conceive celebrating people for events like weddings and family
diners the architect expresses this even more in the faade idea. The
decoration directly comes from the henna tattoo art. Indian people cover
themselves with these decorations with the occasion of weddings and big
birthday parties. Translated to the building envelope this means a partly
coverage to keep the heat outside and collect sunlight in PV-cells. Also the
roofs of the two large canopies have an additional layer of sun collecting
cells which can provide about 12% of the total energy demand.
In between the two hands the space for corridors of the hotel remains.
This transparent volume has a visual connection to the outside and
provides a nice view over Mumbai and the adjacent race track. It almost
feels like you are outside. This feeling is embraced by the many gardens
applied to the corridors.
On an urban level the entrance flows are wellconsidered. Besides hotel
guests, the office workers, deliveries and visitors has to be led into the
building. Distinct entrance roads and ramps regulate the movements.
Below the canopies, an urban green oasis invite people to visit the
building. Going up with panorama elevators brings them to the top floors
where a restaurant and bar provide a wide view over downtown Mumbai.


The very literal translation of the traditional Indian expression for hospitality
makes the building an icon with benefits. Instead of placing a big sign what
says hotel at the street side the building itself acts like one. The clasped
hands decorated with the henna patterns immediately shows clearly what
the purpose of the building is. Indian people will experience it as an inviting
symbol for their natural habit to be friendly and cooperative. The icon will
become the highest building of India and become an entity in Mumbai.


The main programmatic occupancy of the Namast Tower will
be hotel. The middle part houses regular hotel rooms, while
the top part mainly consists of luxurious suites. The layout
between the 36th and 44th floor varies from 3 to 8 suites per
floor. Above there is one entire layer intended to be one single
apartment, probably for the hotel owner.
The top of the building houses bars, a restaurant and
panoramic decks, enclosed by a glass roof where the fingers
of the building come together.
The lower floors contain 9000 m2 of office space and 6000
m2 of retail. All program will be accessed from the street level
where ramps go up and down to enter the parking places
or the drop-off zones at the back of the tower. The specialty
restaurants and the lounge are public accessible from the retail
floors.Inside the cores, elevators provide vertical transport for
the different users. From level 10 upwards less elevators are
needed so the configuration changes. The left-over space is
used for both hotel service as corridor.



The building incorporates four large openings, approximately 3 x 4 meters

wide. The building s unique curved design is intended to focus the strong
southern winds that blow through the region. Orientated to face these
winds headon, the Pearl River Tower s sculpted facade will increase the
speed of these winds (by two-and-a-half times) and channel them through
two main slots in the building where wind turbines will be located. Because
of this focusing of wind and higher speeds, it is estimated the vertical
turbines will produce up to 15 times more energy than they would if they
were standalone units. By placing vertical axis wind turbines, one inside
each of the four openings of the building, the increased power potential
of the air stream can be leveraged. These wind turbines provide power
year round. In most cases the velocity increases are more than twice the
ambient wind speeds.

Guangzhou, China, 2011

Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM)
Client: China National Tobacco Company
Plot Area: 10,635 m2
Building Footprint: 3015 m2
Gross Floor Area: 214.100 m2
Height: 310 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 13
Status: Constructed


Double Facade Insulation
Pearl River has double facades on the North and South facades. Hot air is
vented to the north face and is drawn out through a stack effect. Cool air is
brough in at night to cool the thermal mass of the building. The south fagade
is double glazed for insulation and ventilation purposes. The facade features
an internally ventilated double-wall system that incorporates a motorized
blind system controlled by a photocell that tracks the path of the sun.
Daylight Sensitive Lighting Controls
Sensors in the rooms detect the current lighting level and adjust the artifcial
lighting so that it supplements the natural daylight, rather than replacing or
overpowering it.

The city of Guangzhou, China experiences some of the worst air
pollution on the planet. China s growing economy has increased
their energy consumption this in turn has lead to a rapid increase
in carbon emissions. In response to these great problems, the
Chinese government has recently set a goal to reduce their
carbon emission by 10% by the year 2010.
The Pearl River Tower has been designed to be the most energy
effcient of all the world s supertall structures. The original goal
was to design a net zero-energy building that would sell its
excess power to the local electrical grid, but now the building is
expected to consume nearly 60% less energy than a traditional
building of similar size. Economical considerations and reulatory
challenges made this goal unachievable.
The tower features both active and passive approaches to limiting
carbon emissions. The photovoltaic cells will be integrated in the
building s skin. To achieve the greatest productivity, the cells will
not only function as a source of power, but also function as a solar


photovoltaic cells integrated in the building s skin

the design of the building sculpted for a better air fow
air fow (section)
air fow (foorplan)
Increasing wind speeds (m/s)
The 3x4 meters wide openings
Vertical axis wind turbines
Birdview impression
Section of the double facade
Ventilation priniciple

http // tail.asp?iNID=6943&iNTypeID=55&extUrl=1
http //
http // tower-world-greenest.html



http // line/SkyCaseStu.../Pearl.pdf

What really makes this building stand out is its unique integration
of wind turbines into the maintenance levels of the building and
the sculpting of the building form to channel wind through those

http // mercial/pearl-river-tower-to-be-one-of-themost-ener- gy-effcient-skyscrapers-in-the-world

http // Yashaswini-Case-studies.pdf

http //


Taipei, Cheng De Road, Shilin District
Architect: Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse
Client: Unkown
Plot Area: Unknown
Building Footprint: 110 x 80
Gross Floor Area: Unkown
Height: 64 m
Cost US$: 124 million
Lifts: 25
Status: Not realized


course- not freely accessible.


At the basis lies a four legged table construction that is reinforced in the corners.
Multiple variants of stiffening are used to create a variety of identities for the legs.
By expanding the legs towards the top automatically the spans are reduced. The
structure in a way is an orthogonal version of a dome.

A building simple but sophisticated, elitist but accessible, simple but

innovating. That was a challenge for NL Architects and it seems that they
managed to combine all the above elements by creating TPAC. The Taipei
Performing Arts Center could be considered a table with four legs each one
different from the others. If this sounds ordinary then youd better have a
look at the pictures as TPAC is far away more than that. An Urban cavity, a
Proscenium Arch, an Upside-Down Skyline all in one.

The ground-level square bends up to allow cars and motor cycles to enter
the parking garage. Here trucks can enter the basement. Heavy logistics will
be handled from here. Taxis will be able to drive up this Hill, culminating in
a glamorous drop off. Locally the square folds down to allow more spacious
connections to the underpasses to Night Market and the Jiantan train station.
The act of lifting the building allows for a more or less unobstructed crossing
of the square an elegant feature, since most architecture tends to stand it the
way. Whether you are walking from Bai Lin Highschool to take the bus or you
are coming from Shinlin Market and are looking for a place to eat your lunch, the
square will provide everybody with a sheltered and exciting route or place to stay.

The Taipei Performing Arts Center aspires to become accessible for everybody.
The principal act performed by the building is to elevate a substantial part of
its program. By doing so a public square is created underneath it. As such the
square fundamentally becomes part of the building: it is included inside it. This
could turn out to be a radical innovation

Balconies or terraces with several different programs activate the space.

Sometimes they are open and public; sometimes exclusive or intimate. Ticketable,
VIP or free. They act as swimming pool, skate area, public green, play ground,
hotel garden, breakfast caf, thus attracting many different target groups. The
audience can take center stage.


In a way the building could be considered a Table: four legs support a
horizontal slab. This open block measures 110 x 80 meters with a total height of
64 meters. The tabletop is 14 meters high and can in principle accommodate
3 stories. Inside youll find a kind of Mall; a fragment of the city that is elevated, a
public browsing space in the sky. This will be the domain for cultural facilities:
the multimedia library, music stores, galleries, lobbies, bars, restaurants and
clubs. A gaming zone and a casino might be exciting additions.

A Hotel could be a successful additional pro- gram. It might be beneficial for the
exploitation of the complex as a whole. It is supportive also in a literal way, since
it constitutes the fourth leg of table. The Performing Arts Hotel can comfortably
feature 60 bedrooms and additional facilities. The bedrooms overlook the city
and the spectacular Urban Interior that it helps forming. The Revolving Bar
somewhere hangs from the ceiling.

The legs are programmed as well; in fact they are small skyscrapers. All four
are different. One has a waist, with a large plan that narrows half way and
widens again. One has an oversized foot; it contains the Proscenium Theater
at its base. And then becomes more slender. One is small at the bottom and
expands towards the top -here youll find the Grand Theater. By lifting the main
plateau of the building to a level slightly higher than the adjacent structures,
wonderful panoramas are created. It becomes possible to overlook the city
and the surrounding hills.

In a way, the project is an Upside-Down Sky- line. The horizontal top layer helps
to frame the space beneath. It is not so much the beauty of the form itself that is
compelling, but the space in-between. With every step you take this urban cavity
changes shape. The structure could be understood as a Proscenium Arch in 4
directions framing city life in many ways.

The additional asset of this gravity-defying operation is the urban void that
comes into being. This 3D urban square creates an informal foyer for the
building as a whole. There is no interface, no threshold. Come in, were open!
It is a place for interaction, for performances, for concerts, for markets. It is a
square with a ceiling. Rain and Sun automatically are kept out. It is open-air,
but covered! Surprisingly the building contains more void than mass; its a
space-container, a 3D Plaza.
The three main programmatic elements, the Theatres, are positioned on
different altitudes. The Proscenium Playhouse is placed at the base of the
southeast Leg. The Lobby is placed under this theater so that it is flush with
the square, activating the space around it. The Multiform Theatre however, is
connected to the southwest leg close to the top. The volume of the Grand
Theater is suspended under the horizontal slab. It hovers over the square while
still being a part of it.
There are many ways to travel through the building. There are elevators,
stairs and escalators. It is possible to go in a direct way or to take the scenic
route. A detour is rewarding! It is no longer necessary to take the same path
on your way out. A System of Loops comes into being. Some of the elevators
are oversized. They can be used for transportation of large goods, but also for
moving large groups of people at the same time. Many elevators are placed
towards the outside. They are not hidden in a core but become part of the
performance. Riding them gives you the feeling of being part of an interactive
urban environment. They move up and down like ants on the leg of a table.
When reaching the top some elevators suddenly move sideways, allowing
unexpected horizontal movement: Logistic Entertainment. The Grand Route
connects the Lobbies of the Theaters with a series of escalators. It ties them
together. Part of the Foyers as such will be open to everybody, but here you
will also find the ticket control. Beyond a certain point the theaters are -of


building image
floor plan
concept drawing, stage
concept diagram, creating a square
concept diagram, routing
side view drawing of TPAC , sun shading, rain
taipei performing art center structure diagram
taipei performing art center program
taipei performing art center image square
taipei performing art center image square
taipei performing art center image square

SOURCES html Taipei_competition.html forming-arts-center-proposal-bynl-architects/




The tower was initially built by the Hong Kong
Branch of the Bank of China, but the entrance
continues to display the name Bank of China,
rather than BOCHK. The top four and the bottom
19 stories are used by the Bank, while the other
oors are leased out.

Hong Kong, 1989

Architect: I.M. Pei
Client: Bank of China / Hong Kong
Plot Area: 8000 m2
Building Footprint: 2.700 m2
Gross Floor Area: 130.000 m2
Height: 370m
Cost US$: 130 million
Lifts: 21
Status: Constructed

When the Bank of China was completed, it was

the tallest building in Asia and was the rst
building outside the USA to break the 1000
foot mark (305 meter).The towers sharp corners
and bright, reective features caused a lot of
controversy when it the designs were made
The tower was contrary to Feng Shui for its
sharp edges and its negative symbolism by the
numerous X shapes in its original design. Thats
why Pei modied the design to some degree
before construction following this feedback,
he decided to incorporate a few water features
around the building as a remedy to the sharp
edges of the tower. Unfortunately, some of the
water features were incorrectly placed.

I.M. Pei designed the building with the structure of bamboo in mind.
However, the building looks nothing like a bamboo stalk, but more like a
glittering tower of diamonds. The cross braces and triangular framework
of the building are designed to withstand typhoons. Because of the
strong framework of the building, there was less steel needed for the
buildings construction.
The Bank of China Tower is reminiscent of the Willis Tower in Chicago
that was the tallest building in the world for a long time. The difference
is that the Bank of China Tower is composed of triangular sections with
triangular frames and the Willis Tower is composed of rectangular blocks
and has rectangles The glass faades of the building reect the light and
its surroundings, so it is like a bright and shiny white crystal, while the
Sear Tower appears dark and ominous.
The whole structure is supported by the four steel columns at the corners
of the building and one in the centre of the building, with the triangular
frameworks transferring the weight of the structure onto these ve
columns. It is covered with glass curtain walls.
For the rst time a megastructure composed of a pure space-truss was
used to support the weight of a skyscraper. The megastructural steelwork
is expressed externally by naturally anodized panels that form part of the


1. Isometric drawing
101 of the worlds tallest buildings By Georges Binder
2. Breakdown of the tower structure,_Hong_Kong
3. Floorplans; A 51-66; B 38-50; C 20-37
101 of the worlds tallest buildings By Georges Binder
SOURCES china-tower-i-m-pei/



Mexico City, Mexico, 2009


Architect: BNKR Arquitectura

Client: Evolo
Plot Area: 57.600 m2
Building Footprint: 57.600 m2
Gross Floor Area: 775.000 m2
Height: -300 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Status: Competition proposal

The main plaza of Mexico City, known as the Zocalo is 57,600

square meters (240m x240m), making it one of the largest in
the world. It is bordered by the Cathedral, the National Palace
and the Federal District Buildings. This is the location of the
proposed Eathscraper, an inverted skyscraper that digs down
through the different layers of Mexico City. The Earthscraper
preserves the iconic presence of the Zocalo and the existing
hierarchy of the buildings that surround it. It is an inverted
pyramid with a central void that allows all habitable spaces
to enjoy natural light and ventilation. The first ten stories are
dedicated to a pre-Columbian museum. The next ten stories
are retail areas and housing while the deeper 35 stories are
The architects think that Earthscraper may have burst the
bounds of the architectural world because it has taken a truly
new approach to escalating megacity problems like planning
for population growth, curbing sprawl, preserving open space,
and conserving energy and water. In the process, however,
the concept also incorporates respect for the citys past, by
seeking to integrate the centuries of Mexico Citys history into
its proposed solutions to present and future problems, rather
than obliterate them.
The Earthscrapers multi-use design is aimed at curbing urban
sprawl and its attending problems. Although by law a project
of this size would normally have to plan for 10 15 thousand
parking spaces. The interior design concept also incorporates
a system of gardens occurring roughly every 10 stories, to
help generate fresh air. It will be insulated by earth while the
gardens would create microclimates inside the tower.
The innovation of this utopian project is the fact that it is the
first totally underground skyscraper. In many competitions
concerning skyscrapers, groundbreaking ideas are often
suggested yet this one is by far the closest to reality. The
reverse pyramid shape of the atrium also suggests a solution to
the casting of natural light into the building which is the most
common problem in all underground buildings.


Birds eye view of Zocalo with the Earthscraper

The Reverse-Pyramid shape atrium
The glass plaza above the Earthscraper
Green Walls to increase sustainability
The History Museum in the palimpsest
Pathways under the zero level
Perspective section of the building

SOURCES bnkr-arquitectura/ bnkr-arquitectura/ takes-sustainable-designunderground considers-earth-scraperbrilliant-or-bogus/question-2273777/ scraper/




Guangzhou, China


Architect: Information Based Architecture

Client: Guangzhou Construction Investment & Development Co, Ltd,
GuangzhouTV station
Plot Area: 174.000 m2
Building Footprint: ... m2
Gross Floor Area: 114.000 m2
Height: 600m
Cost US$: 326 million
Lifts: 6
Status: Constructed

Mark Hemel, IBA architect and director, comments, Where

most skyscrapers bear male features; being introvert, strong,
straight, rectangular, and based on repetition, we wanted to
create a female tower, being complex, transparent, curvy,
gracious and sexy. Our aim was to design a free-form tower
with a rich and human-like identity that would represent
Guangzhou as a dynamic and exciting city. The result is
a tower, very slender and tall, that EHDUV VLPLODULWLHV
ZLWK WKH JXUH RI D IHPDOH, the reason that it earned
the nickname: supermodel.
The form, volume and structure are generated by two ellipses,
one at foundation level and the other at a horizontal plane
at 450 meters. The two ellipses are rotated relative to one
another, where a tightening caused by the rotation between
the two ellipses forms a waist. The structure at the bottom
of the tower is porous and spacious, but becomes denser at
waist level that occurs about halfway up.
The structural engineering was performed by Arup. The
structural concept exists out of three primary elements:
columns, rings and braces. None of the 1100 steel nodes are
identical, but they were able to create one single type of node
to be used in all areas.
The rings are placed on the inside of the columns so that they
are connected but dont intersect with each other. This creates
an inside view dominated by rings, while the outside views
are dominated by the sloping columns. All rings are placed at
an angle of 15 degrees so that an opening is created for the
entrance at the base of the tower, and a sloping viewing deck
is created at the top of the building.
The columns are all perfectly straight although they lean
towards one direction, giving the tower its dynamic twist. The
columns also taper from bottom to top, further amplifying
the perspective view up the tower from the ground.
The Scala Tower is interesting because of its twist and
parametric design, which allows the use of just one joint for
the whole building. Another interesting element are its stairs
that creates possibilities for a expansion of public spaces and
transition between different public spaces on the skywalk.

1. Construction design build-up
2. Floor Plans
SOURCES section_dwg.html shapes_illustration.html Sep_2010_GZ_TV_Tower_opens.
aspx aspx



The waist of the tower contains a 180 meter open-air stair walk
(Skywalk) where visitors can physically climb the tower starting at
170 meters and spiralling almost 200 meters higher, all the way through
the waist. There are outdoor gardens set within the structure, and at
the top, just above 450 meters, a large open-air observation deck is
encircled by a sort of Ferris wheel. The interior of the tower is subdivided
into programmatic zones with various functions, including TV and
radio transmission facilities, observatory decks, revolving restaurants,
computer gaming, restaurants, exhibition spaces, conference rooms,
shops, and 4D cinemas.


Beijing, China, 2010
Architect: Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
Client: China Central Television (CCTV)
Plot Area: 75.000 m2
Building Footprint: 44.000 m2
Gross Floor Area: 473,000 m2
Height: 234 m
Cost US$: 1.13 billion
Lifts: 76
Status: Constructed

The new headquarters for China Central Television, OMAs largest
project to date, combines the entire process of TV-making
(administration, production, broadcasting) into a single loop
of interconnected activity. Rising from a common platform
accommodating production facilities, two towers (one for
broadcasting, one for services, research, and education) lean
towards each other and eventually merge in a dramatic, almost
impossible cantilever.
CCTVs distinctive loop offers an alternative to the commonly known
typology of the skyscraper. Instead of competing in the race for
ultimate height and style within the traditional two-dimensional
skyward tower, CCTV creates a three-dimensional experience, that
symbolically tries to embraces the entire city.
The loop also facilitates public access to the production of Chinas
media: visitors will be allowed in to a internal path circulating
through the building, connecting all elements of the program and
offering spectacular views from the multiple facades towards the
Central Business District, the Forbidden City, and the rest of Beijing.


Distribution of the program

The morphology of the building allows the program to have a visitors loop with corresponding renders
Regular diagrid; colours indicate the amount of stress distribution
Generative designed structure grid with equally dimensioned beams
Structural set up of the towers
Structural set up of the 37th and 38th floor
Construction order
Building overview
Picture of the facade
Facade set up

Architecture and Urbanism, July 2005 Special Issue, CCTV by OMA quarters


The unusual shape of the building asked for a different structural
approach than the conventional way. The large overhang could be
realised because the outer shell consists diagonal beams and lets
the entire building functions as one stiff tube-structure. Instead of
covering the facade with large trusses and overdimensioned beams,
engineers used computer generative design based on algorithmes
to come up with a structure that directly expresses the stress
The overhang floors have a regular grid of internal colomns, which
are supported by two storey transfer trusses on the 37th and 38th
floor. These trusses span between the tube faces and provide a
space-frame like arrangement for the tip of the overhang.


The tube system made the actual construction of the building possible. On its
own the leaning towers had enough stiffness to be constructed first and later on
suits the construction of the overhang link, which cantilever from the towers in
the temporary situation.
The flow of forces which is expressed in the structure is also visable in the face of
the building. But not the entire structure can be seen from the outside, because
only the diagonals of the structure are copied to the facade. U-shaped beams are
placed in front of the larger structure on the inside with conventional rectangular


Bombay, India, 1970-1983
Architect: Charles Correa
Client: Plot Area: 2900m2
Building Footprint: 432 m2
Gross Floor Area: 5,260 m2
Height: 84 m
Cost $ Unknown Lifts: 3 + 1
Status: Constructed

The Tower is one of the masterpieces of Indian
architect, Charleas Correa. Kanchanjunga Apartments
is a 28 story height high end residential building built
in Bombay, 1983. It was clear that the architect has
reference to Lecorbusiers crossover units in Unit
habitation in Marseilles in 1952. Correa planned
the 3 and 4 bedroom units interlocking with 5 and
6 bedroom units. 3-4 bedroom units occupies on
and half level, and 5-6 bedroom units occupies two
and half levels. There are small level displacement
within the units to differenciate outdoor terrace and
indoor living space, dining room and bedrooms and
so on. These change of levels hide the living and bed
rooms from the heat of sun and rains, while the big
opening of balcony could get as much day light as
possible. The whole building structure is built by
reinforced concrete. The open terrace part is a 6m
deep cantilever structure. Central core with lifts and
shafts and building services so it also provide central
stability element for lateral loads.
The appearance of the building has strong
resemblance of modern western building design.
Especially the white plain surface with concrete
construction. But the apartment design is an
interperation of traditional Indian bungalow with
verandah which is a main part of living area of indian
The tower is 21m square on plan, and 1:4 proportion
on elevation, 84m height. It has a plain facade surface,
with cut away to open up double height balcony.



The tower design reinterperated the traditional
living style of indian with modern architecture.
And it is succesfully merged with environmential
consideration, and social needs in this tower. Correas
strong design signiture of sectional displacement
where appropriate by changes in oor surface is
most elaborated in this project. The complexity of
internal spacial organization to create level changes
and interlocking four types of units was pushed to an
extreme in this project..


Partial Section of two apartments

view from east side
Sectional perspective of environmential considera- tion
Diagrams of spacial organizatiion and units inter- locking
Terrace photo from outside
Terrace photo from inside

SOURCES housing-inbarcelona-made-with-100-recyclable-materials/ ments.


The building is oriented in eastwest direction to catch the natural

wind from the sea and also this
direction has best view from city
to the sea. But this face is also most
heat up surface by the sun. The old
bungalows solved this problem by
warpping a thick layer of around
living area verandas to protect
from heay monsoon rain and sun
heat. Kanchanjuna Apartment is
applying this concept into the
apartment design.

Abu Dhabi, United Emirates, 2012
Architect: Aedas R&D
Client: Abu Dhabi Investment Council
Plot Area: 11.500 m2
Building Footprint: 1.960 m2
Gross Floor Area: 32.000 m2
Height: 150 m
Cost US$: 245 million
Lifts: 25
Status: Constructed

In Abu Dhabi, it is a neverending battle against the suns heat, mostly with airconditioning.
The temperatures in July and August can reach till 48 degrees Celcius. Because of that
reason, the Al Bahr towers got a unique second skin facade. The north side of the second
skin is open because it never sees the sun.
The design is a new twist on an old Islamic tradition. It is inspired by Islamic patterns,
called a `mashrabiya, which protects the most exposed parts of the building. In history,
the mashrabiya was also used to produce shade. This modern mashrabiya has been
conceived as a dynamic faade which will open and close in response to the suns path,
it will significantly reduce the solar heat gain and providing a more comfortable internal
environment. By using the data of the suns path, it was possible to let the umbrellas
respond to the path of the sun.


Traditional mashrabiya
Closed facade
Open facade
Section of the double facade
Impression by night
Floorplan in 3D
The second skin is open at the north side

The frame of the mashrabiya components is a combination of aluminium and duplex

stainless steel. It gives a high resistance against corosion, that is because the building is
near the sea. The mash is made out of fyberglass, coated with a teflon based material.
Most elements are 6 x 4 meters and weights more than 600 kilogram.
The mash wraps the whole building, only tq, north side is open because it will never
see the sun. The south facing roofs of each tower incorpo-rate photo-voltaic cells,
generating approxi-mately five percent of the total required energy from renewable
energy sources.

view/all/project/al-bahr-towers-cdr php/2011/08/03/al-bahr-towersby-aedas-and-arup-uses-brilliant-dynamic-shading-system/ x2-%7C-Com-(AL-BAHR-TOWERS-)



The Masharabiya shading system based on a traditional Arabic shading work is
the main concept of the winning competition. The 1000 facade panels response to
sun exposure and changing incidence angles during the different days of the year. The
second skin is saving on energy consumption and carbon emissions, it reduces the
cooling load by over 20 percent. The windows in the first facade dont have to be heavily
tinted, so the light transmission is up to 40 % better than in comparable buildings in Abu



Hong Kong, 1985
Architect: Lord Norman Foster and Partners
Client: Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)
Plot Area: Building Footprint: Gross Floor Area: 99000 m2
Height: 179 m
Cost US$: 5.2 billion
Lifts: 10
Status: Constructed

Fosters first sketches of the design for a new bank building, which needed to be
constructed on a site of limited size, and phased in order for banking to continue
in the old building during construction, resemble in a large part the final design.

1. Preliminary design sketch, of bridge-like construction
above the old building.
2. Axonometric drawing of the floors, trusses and supporting
3. More detailed drawing of the hanging floors system.
4. Seawater pipes in tunnel under the building; the seawater,
pumped from and back to the bay, is used for cooling and
5. Section of the building showing the voids in the
construction (white) and the sunscoop, letting light into
the atrium.
6. A service module, prefab, being lifted into place to be
fixed to one of the main columns.
7. Picture of the large wind supports between the main
8. Sketch of the lobby with atrium above.
Bennet, D., Skyscrapers, form and function, 1995, Simon and
Schuster Publishers, New York


The main themes in the design were: reflecting the essence of Hong Kong, high
rise but also to maintain the human scale. Therefore, the building reached the, at
that time, existing maximum building height in Hong Kong, at 180m. However,
soon after the opening of the Hong Kong Bank building, the maximum building
height was raised, and the Bank of China Tower, built soon after, reached much
Very revolutionary is the fact that bridge building techniques have been used
in the construction of this skyscraper. Eight large tubular steel columns on two
sides of the building, braced by rectangular beams, act as bridge supports, with
the floors suspended from them. This allows for very free floor plans with ample
floor area lost to columns. Services are also located in and around the concrete
columns. The floors are built up of sheet metal topped with reinforced concrete.


Beijing, China, 2007
Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Client: Modern Investment Group, Beijing
Plot Area: 61.800 m2
Building Footprint: 15.500 m2
Gross Floor Area: 221.000 m2
Height: 68 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 34
Status: Constructed

Linked Hybrid projects a renewed thinking about the public space within
large scale high rise projects. Holl shows us in this project how his ideal
vertical city should work. It is his ideal city within a city.
The horizontal traditional urban structure, continuous plinth with services,
is combined with the vertical city, disrupted plinth.
Living is combined with commercial program in various towers. The
commercial program is located in the plinth and living above. An urban
ring of commercial and cultural public activities link the towers on the
twentieth floor. This skyhigh public space provides a cinematc experience
of the whole complex and the city surrounding it. A big variation of
urban functions are located in this ring, for example: a swimmingpool, a
fitness centre, a nail and hair studio, an architecture office, galeries, bars,
theesaloons and stores (more info on page 3).
To prevent the city within a city to become an isolated island, Holl
introduces the term urban porosity. He connects his ideal city with its
context by attracting people to the centre of linked hybrid. Urban space is
enclosed in the heart of the project. On street level pedestrians are able to
move in and out the project.
These two themes, city within a city and urban porosity are also the basis
for Holls second big housing project in China, the sliced urban porosity


The ensemble of high rise towers instead of the vertical tower pinned in the
city projects a new way of thinking about high rise architecture.
The public space in heart of the large plot area connected with the highly
accesible program in the skyring makes a unique contribution to the public
life in the city.


interwoven vertical and horizontal structure public vs private concept

core that attracts publc life
poetic idea of conected bodies (Matisse, la dance, 1909)
linked bodies after construction

A+T hybrids 1



Three different public entrances connect the skyring with the
public space on ground floor. These entrances (coloured red in the
floor plan above) each offer a different variety of pro- gram. One
area for health and sportcentre, one area for recreational program
opened through the day and one area for restaurants openede
during night. The entrance to the restaurant is located next to the
acces to the cinema within the heart of the project.


1. reading room
2. design/book store
3. architecture gallery
4. sculpture gallery
5. art gallery
6. viewing platform
7. dinning deck
8. ultra lounge
9. bar/cocktail
10. listening lounge
11. fitness
12. juicebar
13. group axcersice space
14. spinning room

15. office, locker rooms

16. lane lap pool
17. suspended catwalk
18. spa/massage
19. meetin place
20. viewing platform
21. hair/nail salon
22. health food store
23. tea seating
24. tea store/gaming place
25. coffee shop
26. caf seating
27. book event space
28. book store




Louisville, Kentucky, 2005

Architect: Christopher Agosta, David Chacon, Stephane Derveaux, Erez Ella,

Selva Gurdogan, Javier Haddad, Uenal Karamuk, Vanessa Kassabian,

Joshua Prince-Ramus, Alejandro Schieda, Dong-Ping Wong
Client: Museum Plaza, LLC
Plot Area: 141,800 m (1,530,000 sf)
Building Footprint: Unkown
Gross Floor Area: unkown
Height: 214 m
Cost US$: 490 million
Lifts: 21
Status: On Hold

building image
site, Louisville, USA
floor plan
concept diagram
program diagram
concept model, museum
model, museum
building image, from square
skyline Louisville
model, Building
floorplan, low-rise
floorplan, mid-rise
floorplan, high-rise

a+t, Hybrids I, high-rise mixed use building

Museum Plaza rethinks conventional attitudes towards
property development. Culture is placed physically and
spiritually at the projects center to support the capital and
operational costs of a 3,700 m2 museum, a development
o over 140,000 m2 is required. To avoid over-saturating
Louisvilles market with any single commercial program, its
uses are mixed, including luxury condominiums, hotel, offices,
loft apartments, and retail. Building development convention
would typically position the public program at street level and
the profit-making towers above. This strategy is not possible
at Museum Plaza: the site would isolate any ground-level
public program and position the towers implausibly close to
each other. To liberate these conditions, the plinth of public
program is elevated twenty stories aloft and the towers
evenly distributed above and below. Within the lsland of
public program, a rare synergy between commerce and
culture occurs. Unusual proximities enable the contemporary
art space to overcome the banal specter of museum flexibility.
The towers, in contrast, are platonic, and their areas and
proportions are dictated by efficiency ratios and financing.
To maximize rents and sale prices, the luxury condos and
offices above and the hotel and loft apartments below are
optimally positioned for views, circulation, and structural





Groningen, The Netherlands, 2014


Architect: NL Architects
Client: Municipality of Groningen
Plot Area: 2.400 m2
Building Footprint: 2.400 m2
Gross Floor Area: 18.000 m2 (excl. parking)
Height: 45 m
Cost US$ 81 million
Lifts: 3 + 2 Service
Status: Unbuilt

In the competition question for the Groninger Forum a surprising

ambition occurred: Many diverse cultural functions will be combined in
one building, The will to cooperate between four partners, Public Library
Groningen, The Museum of Groningen, Film theatre, Images en Regional
Historical Centre, City Archives / Audiovisual Archives, is surprisingly.


Scheme different program in public and private

Scheme program divided by vertical location
Scheme program public and private mixed
Scheme program designed for function
Vertical transport
Public domains
Facade drawings


In a automated world, dominated by privatization and individualization

there is a lot of optimism of a new type of collective space. The
cooperation is leading to added quality of functions. The growing supply
of information (from news papers till films, from theatre till Internet) is
united in the Forum with the wish of the inhabitants to become a active
participants of the city life.
The accessibility of functions is separated in two main elements: free
accessible public spaces (the cultural caf and the Domains) and the
spaces that require a ticket or the ones that are only accessible for certain
persons, such as offices. A part of the functions needs daylight and a
view, wile others are explicit served by artificial lightning and controlled
conditions. In the Groninger Forum these last functions will be used a
supporters and the other parts a backbone. Where needed windows are
added to get more light in the building. The domains will be in general
transparent, but in some types of presentation or usage it is wishful to
close some parts..
Cutting part of the building away had a surprising side effect: The, in
principle, two dimensional scheme becomes spacious. The diagram
becomes 3D, the building becomes sculptural. From the Atrium become
surprising sight-lines. The Groninger Forum is a warehouse full of actual
information and presentations. On the other side the visitor receives net
spectacular insights about the traditional city.
The Groninger Forum has to become an example for sustainable buildings.
The Netherlands have high standard rules when it comes to sustainability.
The sustainable ambitions of the Forum building can be considered a
higher scale. This ambition is translated in different possible systems that
will increase the sustainable value:

Durable energy
Climate facade
Heath transporting facade material

As an articulation of the ambition to make one building for different
activities the shape came from one volume. The maximum height is 45
meter, but surprisingly the average height is not more than 30 meter.
This goal is reached by cutting fragments off the building. These cutaway surfaces serve different needs. They make the access of light to the
other buildings better. The geometry of the Forum makes a gesture for
the parking and entrance functions. As a result two mini-squares appear
as a so called anti-chambre. The access to the parking garage is left
separate from the facade. As a result the Forum is accessible from different
directions for pedestrians.





Hamburg, Germany, 2013

The new Philharmonic will be not only a site for music; it will
include an extensive complex of flats and adaptable facilities
for a wealth of cultural activities. The core the major concert hall
seating 2200 and a multipurpose hall for ca. 550 listeners will be
complemented by a 5-star hotel with a projected 220 rooms,
with built-in services as restaurants, a health and fitness centre
and conference facilities, as well as some 35 luxury flats.

Architect: Herzog & de Meuron

Client: ReGe Hamburg
Plot Area: 5.885 m2
Building Footprint: 5.885 m2
Gross Floor Area: 120.000 m2
Height: 100.0 m
Cost US$: 500 million
Lifts: 12
Status: Constructed

The Kaispeicher A has long been a relatively mute monument to

the postwar era, through it is occasionally rented out for oneoff events; after its renovation, it will become a vital centre for
musicians and music lovers, attracting both tourists and the
world of business, the latter able to enjoy the use of state-ofthe-art technological facilities as well as the luxury of a first class
hotel in this centrally-located historical landmark.
The bold new Philharmonic will inject the surrounding
neighbourhood with energy and dynamism. Similar cultural
implants in other cities provide impressive proof of the way in
which such projects contribute substantially to urban renewal,
enhancing the attraction of urban districts and, indeed,
functioning as agents of change. This will also be the crowning
achievement of the Hafencity Hamburg, an ambitious project of
urban expansion.
The main entrance to the Kaispeicher complex lies to the east.
A breathtakingly long escalator will run diagonally across the
entire warehouse, transporting visitors from the way up to the
plaza. Situated on top of the Kaispeicher and under the new
building, it will function as a gigantic joint between the old and
new, forming a spacious public area with a unique panorama:
to the north, downtown Hamburg and a view reaching beyond
the Aussenalster; to the east, west and south, the River Elbe and
its vast, sprawling harbour.
The new building has been conceived as an extrusion of the
warehouse, an iridescent, multifaceted crystal with an identical
ground plan, placed flush on top of the brick Kaispeicher. But the
top and bottom of the crystal are different: the broad, undulating
sweep of the roof rises to a total height of 100m. at the Kaispitze,
sloping down to the eastern end, where the roof is som 20 m
lower. The Elbphilharmonie will become the crowning symbol of
the expansion of Hamburgs city centre towards the south into
the harbour district along the shores of the river Elb.


The lobby will be the overture or the echo of the large concert hall.
Mounted under the belly of the great hall, a landscape of stairs an
Escherlike sculpture climbs in all directions.
The great hall and the lobby are stacked on top of each other like
bowls; the floor of the hall doubles as the ceiling of the foyer, while
the foyer in turn forms a vaulted ceiling stretching to the floor of the
Plaza and incorporating its visitors in an alien landscape that steadily
climbs past several floors all the way up to the highest galleries of
the concert hall. Everything is stairs: floors, ceilings and walls become
almost indistinguishable. Climbing the vast carpet of stairs, the visitor
reaches horizontal areas that intersect at each level,using bars or
cloackrooms. The festive atmosphere already appararent in the foyer
is heightened in the grand hall. There, the warm white of the foyer
gives way to an intense amber; the surfaces shimmer and sparkle,
reflecting the light. The orchestra and the conductor are placed in the
midst of the audience; the galleries sweep into each other, overlap
and form a steep amphitheatre.
The architecture dissappears in a sea of faces; the house seems to
consist only of people, of listeners whose intense concentration on
the music becomes physically palpable.
The smaller, multifuntional concert hall belongs to the shoe box
family; seating out 550, its flexible technology allows a wide variety
of different uses.


Major concert Hall
The Kaispeicher A
Entrance, schematic
Entrance model
Plaza with view of Hamburg
Design process
Plaza as a transition between old and new
Actual use of the building
Plaza defined by stairs
Small multifunctional hall

SOURCES, P.: El Croquis,




Beirut, Lebanon 2009
Architect: Lan Architect
Client: HAR Etudes, Bank Med
Plot Area: 9950 m2
Building Footprint: 625 m2
Gross Floor Area: 125,000 m2
Height: 142 m
Cost US$: 160 million
Lifts: 3 + 1 Service
Status: Competition proposal

T he project is located at Beirut, as architect said, the city is an
unnished superposition of histories, contexts architectures
and situations. They want the project to be an interface to
generate new connections and create new view axis to observe
the history, the present and the future. The project is divide into
3 parts with 3 approaches corresponding to programme demand
and diverse scale in the project.


Urban integration through topographical/territorial

and spaial scenery. The BASIS is the bottom part of the
project, which is located between Marina and Solidere
district. Through site analysis by the architect, they
found the lack of public space and over green space is
an important character of the site. The BASIS made use
of the sites 8m level difference, created three levels of
retail space combine with green area and pedestrian
road connected to the North, East and West of the
plot. The spacial quality of BASIS is inspired by existing
urban morphology of Beirut.


Above BASIS is the CLUSTER HOUSE, a the residential

part of the project. The housing typology is a react
of traditional oriential patio house, which has a
rich relationship between interior and exterior. The
apartment design is structures around a central patio
for natural ventilation and distribution between
different units.


The TOUR is the central object of the project, a tower

with 145m height. The architect want the tower to bear
a new meaning as a catalyser of the city, restores the
concentration of history and culture. therefore the
material consists the citys images, lights, tranforms,
and renews. The architect chose a material with
characteristics of weightlessness, glass and nely
hatched steel. The envelope reects the surroundings
and the change of lights, and is consists of sliding
panels with preforated sheets of metals with mirror
polish nish. the tower would become disappear
depending the lights shining on it and the angle from
which it is perceived.


The project succesfully demonstrates the design of a residential tower in
three different layers: the urban integration at the street level, the apartment
design which is a mothology of traditional housing typology and the overall
perception of the whole building as an intention to concentrate the history
and cultural value of the Lebanon through the design of envelop. All three
layers are related to the local situation and value, and has perspective to the


Diagram of images reected on TOUR envelope

Street view of TOUR
View from apartment
Diagram of typical unit layout
Sectional diagram of unit types distribution

SOURCES hosn-by-lan-architecture/





London, United Kingdom, 2002


Architect: Richard Rogers and Partners

Client: British Land
Plot Area: 5.295 m2
Building Footprint: 1.115 m2
Gross Floor Area: 84.424 m2
Height: 225 m
Cost US$: 454 million
Lifts: 24 + 2 Service
Status: Constructed

Building envelope projected upon existing situa- tion.

Context diagram.
Sketch design comparison diagram.
Facade Study diagrams.

Antonino Terranova, New Urban Giants, White Star Publishers, 2008.

The context of this building is quite remarkable as the
famous Lloyds building is across the street and some
churches of old are mere yards away. this building will
replace the old P&O office building from the 60s and is
situated on a square which is mainly used as passage area.
these issues are addressed with a sense of public and
private space with which the public square is preserved
and even extended into the building with a grand atrium
and totally open facade. the atrium will contain shops,
cafes and also have room for exhibition areas. there is
a mezzanine level (1st floor back of the building) which
provides access to office elevators etc.
The shape and form of the building are radical design
decisions based on daylight and Building structure.
the Leadenhall Tower will be Climatically sound and
structurally spacious.
Richard Rogers organization of the building more or
less caries his trademark very obvious. next to the
understanding of structure and face mechanics there is
a distinct separation of served and servant space which
is noticeable from both drawing and building form. at
the back of the building Rogers situates all the vertical
transport and services for the building keeping the
floorspace clear from obstruction and additional building
structure which ends up in a net to gross ratio of 77%.


The Leadenhall building is a very rational approach to all
the direct aspects of its surroundings, the sunlight, the
views, The neighbouring buildings and the public space.
This public space is an aspect of this building which shows
a very uncommon solution. The public hall is a great space
and a necessary space for high rise building types. The
amount of threshold in a tower is dramatical low compared
to its capacity, This public space within the building acts as
a buffer to organize all traffic and facilitate the normal plinth




Shenzhen, China, 2016
Architect: Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG)
Client: Shenzhen Energy Company
Plot Area: ? m2
Building Footprint: ? m2
Gross Floor Area: 96.000 m2
Height: 200 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 22 + 2 Service
Status: Unbuilt

The Shenzhen Energy Company headquarters rises 200 meters
creating a new landmark visible from the highway in the cultural,
political and business center of Shenzhen. BIG envisions combining
a practical and efficient floor plan layout with a sustainable faade
that both, passively and actively reduce the energy consumption
of the building. The faade is conceived as a folded skin that
shades the office complex from direct sunlight and integrates solar
thermal panels, reducing the overall energy consumption of the
building. The folded structure of the facade also creates special
niches and unique spaces inside the office floors as well as on the
streets around the building.


New curtain wall principle.




The traditional curtain wall glass faade has a low

insulation level and leaves the offices overheated by
the direct sunlight. This results in excessive energy
consumption for air conditioning as well as the need
for heavy glass coating that makes the view seem
permanently dull and grey.
By folding the faade in an origami like structure a
structure was achieved with closed and open parts.
The closed parts are providing a high-insulation faade,
while blocking the direct sunlight. On the outside the
closed parts are fitted with solar thermal heat panels
that are powering the air conditioning and providing
dehumidification for the working spaces.


The folded wall provides a free view through clear

glass in one direction, and creates condition of
plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct
sun between the interior panels.


Even when the sun comes directly from east or

west, the main part of the solar rays are reflected
off the glass due to the flat angle on the window.
The reflected rays increase the efficiency of the solar
thermal energy panels. The combination of minimal
passive solar heating as well as active solar panels
will reduce the building energy consumption with
more than 60%.


We propose to make the Shenzhen Energy Mansion the first specimen
of a new species of office buildings that exploit the buildings interface
with the external elements sun, daylight, air humidity, wind as a
source to create a maximum comfort and quality inside.
The Shenzhen Energy Mansion will appear as a subtle mutation of
the classic skyscraper a natural evolution rather than a desperate
revolution. - Bjarke Ingels, BIG


The building follows the lines of the existing skyline

The facade up close
A new type of curtain wall is being created
Facade diagram: traditional curtain wall
Facade diagram: solar thermal heat panels
Facade diagram: view and diffuse daylight
Facade diagram: the angled glass reflects solar rays for higher effeciency
Indoor render of the offices
Difference characters of the facade. Open and closed
Model (birds eye view)
Outdoor render showing the direct surroundings
Specific modifications: Commercial entrances
Specific modifications: Lobby entrance
Specific modifications: Meeting rooms with views

SOURCES tional-energy-mansion-big/ sign_shenzhen_international_energy_




Tower Bridge, London, 2012


Architect: Renzo Piano

Client: The Sellar Property Group
Plot Area: 15.000 m2
Building Footprint: 4500 m2
Gross Floor Area: 130.000 m2
Height: 310m
Cost US$: 1.9 billion
Lifts: 36
Status: Constructed

Because the Shard is the rst really tall building and

has no reference with an existing skyline it has and
360 degree orientation. The form of the building is
tapered with the smaller residential oor plans in the
top of the building and the big ofce oor plans at its
base. The concept of Renzo Piano was to create a mixed
use vertical village where could be lived, worked and
for leisure. The shape of the building consists of eight
shards that are leaning towards each other. These shards
are made of double skin glass faades, with a cavity in
between them. The outer skin is made of single glazing
while the inner skin is made of double glazing. To reduce
heat gain the double skin faade is ventilated and has
roller blinds in the cavities to increase comfort levels and
allow the maximum level of natural daylight to entre. If
there is excess heat generated by the ofces that will be
used to heat the hotel and apartments. Any additional
heat excess will be led outside. In between the cracks
of the shards there are (outside) gardens, where people
have access to.


This is the st time a double skin faade is applied on
a building of this scale. A second-skin is literary a glass
layer around the entire building and contains a layer of
air that acts as a buffer in front of the interior faade.


The Shenzhen Energy Company headquarters rises 200 meters creating a new
landmark visible from the highway in the cultural, political and business center
of Shenzhen. BIG envisions combining a practical and efficient floor plan layout
with a sustainable faade that both, passively and actively reduce the energy
consumption of the building. The faade is conceived as a folded skin that
shades the office complex from direct sunlight and integrates solar thermal
panels, reducing the overall energy consumption of the building. The folded
structure of the facade also creates special niches and unique spaces inside the
office floors as well as on the streets around the building.


1. fragment of the faade
renzo piano website
2. principle of a second-skin faade
by author
3. second-skin faade applied at the Shard
by author

The Shard has multiple viewing galleries, the mid-level

public viewing galleries are approximately at the same
height as the London Eye (ferris wheel) and the top deck
at 310 meters will provide views from a height that will
be the highest in the UK, and Europe.For the rst time
in the UK there was used a new type of elevator during
the construction of the building. There was a Jump Lift
installed. This is a self-climbing elevator that uses the
buildings permanent/nal elevator shaft and moves
higher in the shaft as the building gets taller. With this
system it is possible to continue construction at the levels
above while the lift is operating in the same shaft at the

(renzo piano website)




Milan, Italy, 1958


Architect: Belgiojoso, Peressutti and Rogers (Studio BBPR)

Client: Plot Area: 1200m2
Building Footprint: 800m2
Gross Floor Area: 9000m2
Height: 106 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 7
Status: Constructed

The architecture trio BBPR (Banfi (who died before the

design process of the Torre Velasca started), Belgiojoso,
Peressutti and Rogers) formed a renowned Milanese
architecture partnership, founded in 1932.
The moment of design came at a time when the first
generation of Italian modernist architects were in
a proces of reviewing the international rationalist
movement. Although the Torre Velasca in Milan follows
the strict rules of the modern movement, it is at the
same time reacting to its context, unlike the Pirelli tower,
built around the same time but in a different style.
Especially the dialogue with the cathedral, the towers
within the city and most importantly Castello Sforzeso,
also in the city center (image #1). The dialogue refers
to the colour of the facade and shape of the tower.
The colour is similar to that of medieval, especially
Lomabrdian, fortresses and towers. The shape is also
similar to older towers, which generally consisted of
small lower floors, providing storage and workspace,
and larger upper floors for living quarters. Exactly the
same division is used in this design, with shops and
offices on the lowers floors and housing on the upper
However, the traditional tower shape is not merely an
esthetical issue. The shape is largely defined by the
location and surrounding built volumes. Only in second
case is it inspired by traditional castle and tower shapes.
At the time of construction the plot (image #2) was
already surrounded on all sides by existing low building
blocks. This did not allow a wide base with a slim tower,
which would provide a strong connection with its
immediate surroundings, and provide a lot of space for
retail. The architects opted for the opposite, designing
a slim base with a wide upper part of the tower,
thereby reacting to the dense existing building blocks
surrounding the plot.
Also revolutionary in the high rise built environment for
the time is the combination of modern techniques with
traditional form.


Google Earth screenshot of the view of the Torre Velasca from the Castello Sforzeso.
Torre Velasca in its dense surroundings
Torre Velasca towers above the surrounding buildings.
Supports of the upper levels.

SOURCES (sections and plan drawings)
(Italian article) IDNotizia/6173
(Italian article, published on 17 dec 2007)
(Italian article)




Vienna, Austria, 2001
Architect: Massimiliano Fuksas
Client: Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie AG and the Immofinanz

Immobilien Anlagen AG
Plot Area: Building Footprint: 2 x 1400m2
Gross Floor Area: 100000m2
Height: 138 m & 127 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 2 x 9
Status: Constructed

The complex, housing mainly offices but also leisure and shopping facilities
in the base and the deep basement levels, stands on the southern edge of
Vienna, Austria, on the site of the former Wienerberger quarries and brick
ovens. This company is still owner of most of the land.
The concept unifying the entire project, which first appears in base of the
building, is the architects intent of creating a continuous fluidity in the urban
context, in creation of a complex which is more than just functional: a true
pulsating heart of city society, maintaining an ongoing dialogue with its
urban setting, which it intersects and overlaps.
This concept is visible in the many open spaces on different levels, the
skylights letting light into the deep basement levels but simultaneously
allowing views through the skylights on the glass facades of the towers, and
of course the trans- parent towers themselves.
The towers have been positioned at a 59 degree angle between themselves,
but, together with the base, woven into the strict urban fabric using slim
objects with beautiful, attractive lines which link them to their urban setting
and make the complex an attractive place to work and enjoy.
1. View of the facade of the two towers, with the five, multi-storey
glazed bridges in between the towers.
2. Image of the connection between the commercial area
(underground) to one of the towers.
3. Image of the hall, in the base. Clearly visible are the large sky
lights allowing views on the towers, and also the depth of the
basement levels.
4. A second section, in this case of the lower tower.
5. Floorplan of the base level, with the outline of the towers
6. View of the complex, from the western area out- side the city.
Molinari, L., Massimiliano Fuksas, Works and Projects 1970-2005,
2005, Skira Edi- tore, Milano

These two towers with its base are not necessarily revolutionary in their
shape or buildup, but most definitely in both the way the complex has been
woven into the urban context and the extreme trasparency.
As explained above, the towers and the base are well adapted to the location,
allowing visual, mental and also physical connections by the many views,
transparency, ramps, stairs and al- leys.
Secondly, by implementing a column construction (as can be seen in the
plan) together with integrating the entire energy system into the thin floors,
the facade is entirely unobscured and the glazing is fully visible. This allows
even the higher floors to have a connection with the urban surroundings.






Seoul, Korea, 2008


Architect: Dominique Perrault Architecte

Client: Ewha Campus Center Project
Plot Area: 19.000 m2
Building Footprint: 19.000 m2
Gross Floor Area: 70.000 m2
Cost US$: 107 million
Lifts: 3 + 1 Service
Status: Constructed

T he EWHA Campus can definitely claim to be the first

horizontal skyscraper. Apart from horizontal it is also
80% underground and that makes the prject even
more unique. The complexity of the immediate site
through its relationship to the greater campus and the
city of Shinchon to the south demands a larger than
site response, an urban response, a global landscaped
solution which weaves together the tissue of the EWHA
campus with that of the city. This gesture, the campus
valley, in combination with the sports strip, creates
a new topography which impacts the surrounding
landscape in a number of ways. The Sports Strip, like the
Valley, is many things at once. It is a new gateway to the
Ewha campus, a place for daily sports activities, a grounds
for the special yearly festivals and celebrations, and an
area which truly brings together the university and the
city. It is most importantly a place for all, animated all
year long.

Like a horizontal billboard, the sports strip presents the

life of the university to the inhabitants of Shinchon, and
vice-versa. Once through the sports strip, pedestrian
movement and flow through the site is celebrated. A new
Champs Elyses invites the public into the site carrying
students and visitors alike through the campus center
northwards, bringing together the different levels of the
The pastoral nature of the campus is perhaps its most
remarkable quality. It should be permitted to grow
outwards, or inwards in this case, covering the campus
center with trees, flowers, and grass. An idyllic garden
is the result, creating a special place for gathering,
conducting informal classes, and simply relaxing
The EWHA Campus is revolutionary because it is one of the
first built projects to combine linear building, underground
architecture and landscape design. 70.000sq.m. of program
would be easier to build on stacked floors and form an
iconic high-rise building, yet the architect innovates and
creates an even more iconic building by placing it into the
ground. It is a notion of weaving together the campus is
again evident, blurring the distinction between old and
new, building and landscape, present and past..


Les Champs Elyses
A new seam slices through the topography revealing the interior of the EWHA
campus center. A void is formed, a hybrid place, in which a variety of activities can
unfold. It is an avenue, gently descending, controlling the flow of traffic, leading to
a monumental stair carrying visitors upwards, recalling les Champs Elysees or the
Campidiglio in Rome.
An entry court, from which access to the various departments exist,
A node, or point on a trajectory to another destination,
A forum for the exchange of ideas as students gather after class to discuss their
A piazza, with the cafeteria spilling out creating a real place to stop and relax,
An outdoor theatre, as the stair can be used in an amphitheatre like fashion,
A sculpture garden, where indoor gallery events can push outwards.
It is precisely this flexibility (conceptual and real) which permits the New EWHA
campus center to inevitably weave itself into the landscape sometimes a building,
sometimes a landscape, sometimes a sculpture.
The campus centre is designed to offer a new sense of direction for higher education
in the 21st century. It establishes organic relations between the centre and
surrounding areas of campus as well as between above ground and underground


The Campus filledwith students

First Render of the concept
Night views
View of the monumental staircase from the lowest part
The schism on the ground is revealed. Generous gesture to provide natural
6. View from the interior. Sunlight casts and pen- etrates the earth.
Per Fernandez A. & Mozas J. (2008), Hybrids II Low Rise Mixed-Use Buildings,
A+T EDICIONES, Spain ans-university-campuscenter-by-dominique-perrault/ ewha_womans_





Chicago, United States, 2006-2009

The 300 North LaSalle building is a typical example of a highdensity development within a highly urban context. With a height
just over 236 m it is one of the highest buildings in Chicago. Mainly
consisting of generic office space, the key features of this project
are the design of the public space in the plinth and the delicate
treatment of the facade.

Architect: Pickard Chilton

Developer: Hines
Plot Area: +/- 400 m2
Net Floor Area: 117.735 m2
Height: 236,2 m (775 ft)
Building Costs US$: 480 million
Selling Price US$: 655 million (2010)
Lifts: 24 (+2 freight, +2 garage)
Status: Constructed

The position of the tower alongside the Chicago River Bank,
currently undergoing a large-scale redevelopment, is the main
reason to integrate different levels of public functions in the lower
part of the tower. The combination of an upper level lobby and caf
and a lower river level restaurant is very characteristic for Chicago.
The tower itself has been shifted away from the riverside towards
the inner streets, broadening the river bank and thus providing
space for a comfortable terrace facing the south.By employing two
routes through the different levels, one external and one internal,
and several entrances on both levels, the tower is fitted perfectly
within its surroundings. By providing the generous inside public
space with a strong visual connection towards the outside, the
public character of both is emphasized.
Although contemporary in appearance, the tower is very much
anchored in the past. With its slenderness and high-tech verticality
the tower resembles the modern Chicago architecture, originating
from pioneers such as Mies van der Rohe. The employed curtain
wall system with its vertical reflective fins is a direct interpretation
of the classic steel frames of for instance the Seagram Building.

Not only do the stainless steel fins emphasize the verticality of

the building, they also express the structural system both behind
the building and its facade in an honest way. The light reflective
stainless steel is very visible and contrasts with the large amount
of highly transparent glazing and the dark surfaces in front of the
Also, these stainless steel frames are part of the different
stages in perception of the building. From a distance, one
notices the verticality through the shape of the building and its
setbacks, creating a feeling of slenderness. Once approaching,
the fins become visible and the verticality is dominant. Then,
when viewed in detail, the difference in size and shape between
these fins stands out, expressing the structure. Because of this,
the tower seems to change from every angle, also along with the
time of day and the amount of direct sunlight.

SOURCES pickard-chilton/ featured-columnists/deal-of-theweek-300- north-lasalle-charles-schreiber-jr-hines-interests-lp-mesirowfinancial-holdings-inc-donald-miller- piedmont-office-realty-trust-2749.php GDGB/2011/300_North_LaSalle.
one, two and four: Renders by PC.
three: drawings by Pickard Chilton Architects, analysis on services and vertical
five: construction photographs from:

However, there seems to be a difference between the intention

of the architects shown in the renders and the actual built reality.
In the renders the seven fins facing south along the river are very
predominant, which in fact is not at all the case. Personally, I find
this a quality. The building should not expose everything at first
sight, but should be discovered and perhaps even keep some
The facade is built up out of different elements, hoisted up on
site and mounted on the floors as seen in the photographs on the
next page. Each element consists of a steel framework containing
both glass and a closed panel. By minimizing the visibility of the
frame around the closed panel from the outside, the individual
elements cannot be easily distinguished providing the facade
with a smooth character.
While almost the entire tower is standardized, especially in the
lower parts underneath the cantilevers several different elements
have been used. The hinges, which usually are placed on top of
the concrete floors also differ here. As shown on the photograph
on the bottom of the next page the elements are connected to
hinges attached to the bottom of the floor. The lowest elements
just above street level cover both floors underneath and above.




Then, as a contrast to the perimeter block, which reacts on the orthogonal

grid of the direct surroundings to the south, the orientation of the volumes
in the tower relates to the organic geometry of the historical city towards
the north.

Hannover, Germany, 1996-2002

Architect: Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner
Client: Norddeutsche Landesbank
Plot Area: 14.100 m2
Gross Floor Area: 81.000 m2
Net Floor Area: 71.600 m2
Height: 83,52 m
Building Costs US$: 193 million
Lifts: 16
Status: Completed

So in fact, both parts of the complex relate to a different part of the city,
and still they strengthen one another. The lower part literally protects
the inner tower and by opening up towards its surroundings provides for
a public courtyard, where visitors can enter and are sheltered from the
noise outside. In this way the tower is integrated in the urban context.
The environmental solutions in this project came forth both out of the
wish to surpass the German regulations and to reduce costs during the
lifespan of the building. Transsolar Energitechnik focused on three main
subjects: ventilation, daylight and cooling.
1. Ventilation
The building uses an almost entirely passive ventilation system. Fresh air
is let in naturally from the courtyard, where due to the large pond and the
green roofs the air quality is very good. Via the offices the air flows into
the lowered ceiling above the corridor, and from there eventually passing
through the passive chimneys towarads outside. The chimney effect is
based on the difference in temperature and pressure between the inand outlet air. This current can be strenghtened by small mechanical fans
installed in the office spaces.

Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner is a collaboration between Stuttgart
based architects Gunther Behnisch (1922-2010), his son Stefan
Behnisch (1957) and his partners. Their style resembles a lot of features
from modern German Bauhaus architecture, such as the industrial use
of standardized materials, the employment of grid structures and the
large amount of transparency used to define space.

2. Daylight
The external sunshading louvres are divided into two parts. The lower
part reflects the sun outward and reduces solar gain and glare, but still
allows for the employees to look outside. The upper part reflects the sun
upward, so that light falls on the ceiling, providing lighting deep into the
office area. To allow natural light to also enter the corridor the partitions
are partly made from glass as well. Because the louvres are placed at a
distance from the facade the cavity behind the louvres is ventilated and
reduces heat gain. In the courtyard mirrors are used to reflect the light
towards every corner and lighten shaded areas.

However, their architecture transcends the modern by accepting these

principles and using them to form a specific anwser to each individual
brief. Their Situationsarchitektur can be seen as an organic approach
to certain functional demands, while trying to exploint the conditions
of the context. Most of their projects read as sculptural volumetric
expiriments, almost moving towards deconstructivism.

3. Cooling
In response to the daylight reflection system, the project employs a
cooled ceiling to minimize heat gain from the indirect solar radiation
and to provide cooling for the internal heat load. The low-temperature
radiant slab system uses polyethylene water tubes which run through the
lowest part of the exposed concrete ceiling. The water is cooled to about
17 degrees by running this through the foundation piles. In wintertime
the system is reversed and a heat exchanger is used to heat up the water
from 6 to 25 degrees.

The design for the Norddeutsche Landesbank is situated south

next to the historical centre of Hannover, a medium-sized city in
the heart of Germany. Directly adjacent to the rectangular plot lies
the Friedrichswall, one is of the busiest roads in the region and the
former medieval wall. Furthermore, the plot lies directly next to a large
theater, a park and several museums.
Part of the competition brief was to be respectful to these surroundings,
as well as to avoid the notion of monumentality. In reaction to these
demands the architects decided on a simple four-storey perimeter
block to house the necessary program. However, when they won the
competition the client desired more office space to be added to the
Since the architects could not increase the height of the perimeter
block due to the height of the surroundings they designed an internal
tower instead. To avoid a monumental image the tower was split
up into several volumes. Looking at the project one can challenge
whether or not they really succeeded in this.
The tower looks immensely complex, though the idea behind it
seems clear. Each volume emerging from the core represents a
different function. While the perimeter block houses all the generic
office functions, the tower is literally the heart of the building and
contains a cafeteria, several conference rooms and ends at the top with
the executive directors office.

1. Landesgirokasse, Behnisch, Hannover
Very similar project also on Friedrichswall from 1997.
2. Eye-level view from northwest:
Tower seems not te be that visible, but from a somewhat larger
distance it is very prominent.
3. Birds-eye view
4. Tower view
Visible is the stacking of volumes askew from one another, relating to
the historical city to the north.
5. Inner courtyard with pool
6. Climate system diagrams
7. Situation 1:2000, Ground Floor 1:1000.

All these systems prove to be higly functional for the generic office spaces.
Also, the amount of integration between the reflective louvres and the
cooling ceiling is admirable. This has been one of the first projects where
these aspects have been executed in an extensive system of monotoring,
and is therefore innovative.






London, United Kingdom, 1966-1972

Peter and Alison Smithson

Architects: Peter Smithson (1923-2003)

Alison Smithson (1928-1993)
Client: Borough of London
Plot Area: m2
Building Footprint: m2
Gross Floor Area: m2
Net Floor Area: m2
Height: +/- 30 m
Building Costs: Unknown
Lifts: 2
Status: Awaiting regeneration proposals

Within the scope of this analysis discussing the entire

architectural development within the work of Peter and
Alison Smithson goes too far. In this case it will suffice to
say that the Smithsons were amongst the leading postwar modern architects and prominent members of Team
X, a movement originating from CIAM.
Due to their particular interest in the city and its
sociological aspects, they searched within their
architecture for new concepts on how to adress this
social fabric. Their ideas about architecture and public
space already formed in the early start of their careers in
the 1950s.
Although the plan for the Robin Hood Gardens was
not designed until 1966, we see an enormous similarity
between this project and their Golden Lane Housing
proposal dating back from 1952. In fact, the designing
of Robin Hood Gardens brought the opportunity to
realize the ideals that had been behind the Golden Lane
Housing proposal. For at the time, they did not win this
competition, but were still appraised for their idea of a

Despite the development of this new typology, the project
was far from succesfull. Being executed in a low-income
neighbourhood in East-London on a site which was
enclosed by busy roads, the project became isolated from
its surroundings. Quickly, there rose a gap between the way
the project was intended and the reality. Downfall struck,
criminal rates were high and the buildings decayed.

Their concept was that of a spacious gallery, designed

as if it were a street, providing access to the dwellings
both above and underneath, but even more importantly:
a space for social interaction. Inspired by Le Corbusiers
rue intrieure in the Unit, the Smithsons decided to
move the corridor to the outside, extending the homes
and offering an outdoor space for people to sit and meet,
children to play.

As for typology itself, it did not prove to be the space for

social interaction the Smithson had intended. The dwellings
could not be extended towards the gallery, simple because
they were not there. No living spaces adjoined this gallery,
creating a public blind space which was therefore highly
prone to criminality.


Although several groups of achitects proposed to get the

building listed as a monument because of its historical
significance, the municipality did not approve of this.
Since then, the project is currently awaiting different
proposals for its redevelopment. It is still unclear weather
the buildings will be kept and refurbished, or there will be a
completely new development.

The proposed project consists of two parallel buildings,

partly enclosing a large green space in the center of
the plot. Both buildings, the one seven and the other
ten storeys high, together contain 213 maisonette
apartments. These can be accessed on every third level
by the galleries along the outside perimeter of the plot.
Towards the park in the center, all dwellings are provided
with small balconies over their entire width. As early
sketches from the design process show, this has not
always been the case. At first, the architects designed the
galleries on the opposite side, oriented towards the semipublic park.


If we look closer at the floor plans, we

see that all living rooms are oriented
towards the outside perimeter above
and below the gallery. The kitchens
are placed towards the inside green
space on gallery level, while the
bedrooms fill up the remaining
gaps. Along the galleries themselves
only entrance zones are placed,
due to the large amount of doors and
necessary vertical transport behind it.


Due to the complex distribution of

dwellings three different types are
formed. Because these types are
executed mirrored to one another
both above and beneath the gallery,
six unique dwellings exist One block
of these six apartments forms the
module for the entire complex. This
module is sometimes adapted to
unique situations, such as the rotation
within the volumes or the necessary
cores which house the vertical

1. Photomontage Golden Lane Housing.

2. Idem. Visible are the streets-in-the-sky and the building volumes from
ground level. Notice the generated rythm in the facade, due to the galleries.
3. Early sketch of the building in relation to the semi- public park. Eventually,
the galleries were placed towards the outer perimeter.
4. Typical section of the developed typology.
5. Photograph taken from the park, illustrating the generated rythm in the
6. Design proposal by (?)
7. Original situation in the 1970s.
8. Existing situation and degradation.
competition_the_results/ gardens-alison-andpeter-smithson/ aspx?compid=46486



CONSTRUCTION: The building was developed from three cores of

concrete which are the only structure for securing the entire building.
Of these emerging big blown up to 10 m with slabs of up to 22 m. that
were raised by the use of massive slabs postensadas and innovative
wall metal beams. These three cores contain all the facilities and vertical

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico 2005

Architect: Carme Pins
Client: Cube Internacional
Plot Area: 2.500 m2
Building Footprint: 725 m2
Gross Floor Area: 14.500,5 m2
Height: 70 m
Cost US$: 10 million
Lifts: 3
Status: Constructed

This allows us to develop a very free parking and offer modules for
office without any hindrance.
Torre Cube plays with gravity, with the balance of its parts, which is
entrusted to a rational sys- tem of pieces of concrete.
FACADE: White concrete and wood are among the materials that
accompany the conventional concrete, steel, glass and aluminum to.
The exterior facade is composed of a body of latticework of wood with
sliding doors that make umbrellas and the interior of operable windows
with steel frames. This double skin to provide enough natural
ventilation building that rarely re- quire the use of air conditioning
(remember, is in Guadalajara).

Opposition of the offices that require employees to work enclosed
within four walls, Pins raised an architecture designed not only in
terms of sculptural beauty, but primarily designed to offer a better
experience for users.
The project stems from the desire to create of- fice ventilated and
lighted all with natural light, and in that given the good climate of the
city of Guadalajara air conditioning was not necessary.


SUSTAINABILITY: The fragmented volumes, which creates high terraces
converted into win- dows of urban space and the large-central porti- co,
which opens the building to get a landscape- architecture that loses autism.
The center of the building, namely the space be- tween the three clusters
of vertical movement, is an open space that is illuminated by deleting
laterally alternately three floors of offices and modules that, while they
become windows of the space center, lets the air circulate by the possibility of removing the air conditioning.
These cores function as the main structure of the building, and each has
all the elements of services, there is an elevator in each of them, a ladder
and public toilets.



Model of the tower

Tipical floor
Facade materialization
Under construction (slabs)
Empty and open central space
Inside the offices
Under construction (plan)
Inside the cores

TORRES, Ana Maria. Carme Pinos. Monacelli 2003




Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007


Architect: Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG)

Client: Centerplan
Plot Area: 5.295 m2
Building Footprint: 5.295 m2
Gross Floor Area: 66.000 m2
Height: 117 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 3 + 1 Service
Status: Competition, Decision Pending

This building by BIG is conceived as a reinterpretation of the

historic Copenhagen tower, consisting of two elements: a
base relating to the scale of the surrounding buildings, and
a slim tower becoming a part of the skyline. The base houses
shopping, conference center and the new Main Library of
Copenhagen. The tower is a luxury hotel. The tower and the
base are morphed together in a spiral-shaped cascade of
stairs leading to a public roof top plaza overlooking the City
Hall square. Visible from the citys Central Station, Town Hall
Square and Tivoli Gardens, the project strives to extends
the areas vibrancy, with its mix of functions allowing for a
variety of uses and users throughout the day. Even with the
complexity of the twist from podium to tower, the design
illustrates the direction for housing multiple functions in
singular object. This is opposed to an approach that expresses
each function individually. BIGs design addresses both its
immediate context and the wider context of Copenhagen. The
architects conceptually melded two types of towers present in
the city: spiraling church spires and glass box office buildings.
While created a hybrid via a particular response to the citys
skyline, the twisting shaft of the tower opens up immediate
views to its surroundings on its raised public space. Steps
(scala) from the street level (paralleling the librarys circulatiton
underneath) provide access to the plaza, vertically aligned with
the neighboring buildings. The generous amount of outdoor
space afforded to the public must be partially attributed to the
citys desire to house their Main Library within Scala Tower, as
well as the architects response to the site and program that
led them to house everything in one volume. Conceptually
these two truly.

The Scala Tower is not interesting becouse of its derived form from
the traditional tower morphology, its not special becouse of this
twist between tower and platform either. it is interresting becouse
of what this twis in combination with stairs creates for posibilitys;
a vast expansion of public space and with this an intergration with
effodless/unobstructed or bridged transistion from excisting public
space onto the newley created.


1. Skyline of Copenhagen
2. Series of Concept Diagrams
3. Structural Sheme of the Twist in the Tower
Bjarke Ingless Facebook;




welcome moment of spatial relief in the repeated rhythm of the New

York grid and was an prime example within the new requested zoning
law to implement public space with each new development.

New York, USA, 1958

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Client: Seagram Liquor Company
Plot Area: 2240 m2
Building Footprint: 1120 m2
Gross Floor Area: 46.000 m2
Height: 157 m
Cost US$: 45 million
Lifts: 18
Status: Completed (1958)


That the architect put a lot of effort into detailing is clear from the
distinctive Miesian corner that goes up all 38 storeys. It is a method
that expresses the primary structure and consists of a steal column
encased in fireproofing concrete and covered with bronze cladding.
This type of corner-detailling is a trademark of the International Style,
with Mies van der Rohe as one of the leading figures. The facade consists
of alternating bands of bronze plating and whisky brown-tinted glass.
Between the windows, there are vertical decorative bronze I-profiled
beams attached to the mullions to emphasize the vertical rise of the
facade. Van der Rohe personally stated that this was his only building in
the United States which met exactly his European standards.
Other details ensure an uniform appearance throughout the elevations.
Each window contains a Venetian blind which may be adjusted to only
three levels (open, half-closed, and fully-closed) and the angle of its
slats is set at forty-five degrees so that during the day the exterior has a
harmonious composition.

The Seagram Building, build in 1956-58, is the only building
in New York City designed by architectural master Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe. Carefully related to the granite and
marble plaza on its Park Avenue site, the elegant curtain
wall of bronze and tinted glass enfolds the first fully modular
modern office tower.
Mies located the thirty-eight story office tower, which
occupies only fifty-two percent of the entire site, 30 meters
back from Park Avenue. Using the glass-enclosed lobby and
raised tower, and a slab marquee and continuous pavement
(see floorplan), Mies provided the Seagram Building with a
unity between indoor and outdoor spaces. This, in addition
to the monumental spaces for a bar and restaurant located in
the opposing wings behind the lobby, satisfied the program
s demand for a large public space on the ground story.
In its monumental simplicity, expressed structural frame
and rational use of repeated building elements, the building
embodies Ludwig Mies van der Rohes philosophy that
structure is spiritual and less is more. He believed that
the more a building was pared to its essential structural and
functional elements, and the less unnecessary imagery is
used, the more a building expresses its structure and form.


The New York zoning law, forbidding a building to rise from
the sidewalk without progressive setbacks above a certain
height due to sky exposure. The different approach of placing
the building further away from the streets stayed true to
this law and created an open public square, what made the
Seagram Building one of a kind. It was the first evidence that
architectural gain had taken priority over economic return. It
provided the citizens the possibility to get a clear look of the
building without having to cross the street. The plaza offers a



Aerial view of the site

Breaking the rhytm of the urban grid.
Comparison of pedestrian views on a typical New York building and the Seagram Building.
View from across the street.
Simplicity of the building can be well seen during nighttime
Miesian corner
Horizontal detail of the facade
Internal blinds.
Entrance lobby

Mies van der Rohe, A Critical Biography by Franz Schulze (1989) tory_project2.shtml





Chicago, USA, 1973


Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM)

Client: Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Plot Area: 11.978 m2
Building Footprint: 4.703 m2
Gross Floor Area: 416.000 m2
Height: 527m
Cost US$: 186 million
Lifts: 104
Status: Constructed

In 1969, Sears Roebuck and Company was the largest

retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees.
They decided they needed one large ofce space for
their employees. Architects Skidmore, Owings and
Merrill were commissioned to design what would
become one of the largest ofce buildings in the
world. Fazlur Khan, the structural engineer, designed
the bundled tube design that handled both wind
and gravity.

Sears commissioned architects Skidmore, Owings

and Merrill (SOM) to produce a structure to be one of
the largest ofce buildings in the world. Their team of
architect Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur
Khan designed the building as nine square tubes, each
essentially a separate building, clustered in a 33 matrix
forming a square base with 75 m sides.

The structure has a bundled tube design in which

many of its structural components are prefabricated.
The cross section at its base is essentially a 3 x 3 array
of squares, each 25 meter on a side. The vertical
tubes of the design stop at different heights, creating
setbacks at the higher oors. For example, the rst 50
oors use all nine bundles, but oors 66-90 consist
of ve bundles in a cross pattern. SOM intentionally
choose this design to offer building tenants a variety
of oor plans.

Black bands appear on the tower around the 29th

32nd, 64th65th, 88th89th, and 104th108th oors.
These are louvers which allow ventilation for service
equipment and obscure the structures belt trusses.
Even though regulations didnt require a re sprinkler
system, the building was equipped with one from the
beginning. There are about 40,000 sprinkler heads in
the building. The sprinkler system cost 4 million dollars.

An interesting feature of the tower, not immediately

obvious, is that all oors except the ones at the very
top have exactly the same window surface area.


The Sears Tower was the rst skyscraper by SOM to
employ the bundled tube structural system, which
consists of a group of narrow steel tubes that are
clustered together to form a thicker column. The
bundle tube design was not only the most efcient
in economic terms, but it was also innovative in its
potential for versatile formulation of architectural
space. This innovative system minimized the amount
of steel needed for high towers, eliminated internal
wind braces (since the perimeter columns bear
the weight of the wind force), and permitted freer
organization of the interior space.
Efcient towers no longer had to be box-like; the
tube-units could take on various shapes and could
be bundled together in different sorts of groupings.
(Fazlur R. Khan)

1. Isometric drawing
2. Breakdown of the bundled tube structure
3. window surface area





Rdovre, Denmark, 2009


Architect: MVRDV, ADEPT

Client: City of Rdovre
Plot Area: 8 x 8 pixels (3900m2)
Building Footprint: 6 x 6 pixels (2190 m2)
Gross Floor Area: 22.000 m2
Height: 116 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: Hotel: 2, Offices: 6, Housing: 3
Status: Constructed

The new skyscraper with a total surface of 21,688 m2 will

be located at Roskildevej, a major artery East of the centre
of Copenhagen. It is after the Frsilos MVRDVs second
project in Copenhagen. The skyscrapers shape reflects
Copenhagens historical spire and present day high-rise
blending in the skyline of the city, it further combines the
two distinctive typologies of Rdovre, the single family
home and the skyscraper in a vertical village. Consideration
of these local characteristics leads to Copenhagens first
contemporary high-rise.
Responding to unstable markets the design is based on
a flexible grid, allowing alteration of the program by redesignating units. These pixels are each 60m2 square and
arranged around the central core of the building, which for
flexibility consists of three bundled cores allowing separate
access to the different program segments.
On the lower floors the volume is slim to create space for
the surrounding public plaza with retail and restaurants;
the lower part of the high rise consists of offices, the
middle part leans north in order to create a variety of sky
gardens that are terraced along the south side. This creates
a stacked neighbourhood, a Sky Village. From this south
orientation the apartments are benefitting. The top of
the building will be occupied by a hotel enjoying the view
towards Copenhagen city centre. The constellation of the
pixels allows flexibility in function; the building can be
transformed by market forces.


In this tower, rooms and areas are brought back to units,
pixels. Combining these pixels around a core creates a
refreshing and renewing build- ing scheme. By removing
some of the pixels on the south side the architects have
created terraces wich can be used as gardens. The four
different core shafts with included lifts make the building
flexible and ready to engage the fluctuating market. A
flexible, orderly high rise building wich gives the city of
Copenhagen a landmark.


The largest part of this building consists of office space. Therefore the
architects choose to design two pixels for the vertical movement of the
offices. Dwelling takes one pixel and so does the hotel area.
On the ground floor all different functions can be accessed. The offices
from the north and east side, the hotel/restaurant and dwelling floors
are accessible from the west side.
The four center pixels don`t go all the way up. Pixel 1 (hotel, upper left)
goes to floor 27, pixel 2 (office, upper right) goes to floor 23, pixel 3
(dwelling, lower left), goes to floor 22 and the last pixel goes to floor 19.
A few questions arise. How is it possible to maintain a green garden
when reaching such heights. The wind will tear everything looking a
bit green totally apart. The schemes show trees and other plants, but I
seriously doubt their life expectancy. MVRDV claimes to have resolved
this issue by placing the gardens only in wall protected areas (corners
of the building), but it`s still not highly convincing.


Rendering overview
Rendering ground floor entrance & shops
Facade, Scale 1:1000
Ground Floor plan, Scale 1:1000
Concept drawings

Light, views and terraces
6. Rendering construction
7. Rendering terraces
8. Floorplan 15
Dysturb, urban research winning-skyscraper-competitionentry/
Architectenweb redactie_detail.




Chengdu, China, 2012
Architect: Steven Holl
Client: CapitaLand Development
Plot Area: approx. 20.000 m2
Tower Footprint: approx.19.000 m2
Gross Floor Area: approx. 300.000 m2
Height: approx. 150 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 37 + 9 Service
Status: Constructed

Sliced porosity block is about urban integration. Steven Holl
proposes the typology of a closed building block instead of a
tower on a plinth. To prevent the surrounding buildings being
blocked from all daylight, the mass is sliced according to sunpath.
This method shapes the building mass.
An elevated public plaza is enclosed by the towers. To connect
this public plaza with the street a porous plinth is designed,
which pro- vides routes from the city to the more intimate plaza
in different degrees of publicness.
Urban porosity is also theme for the allready constructed Linked
Hybrid of the same archi- tect. These two projects are very
interrelated although there are some important differences.
Where the special public space in Linked Hy- brid is located in
airbridges, in this project it is located in the plinth and on special
spots in the middle of the towers, connected to streetlevel with
escalators. the plinth makes a return in this projects and forfills
the function of an active gateway which makes it possible to
regulate the streams of people through program. Therefore the
core of both projects will have a different use and character.
Besides commercial accesses to the core 5 slow routes are
designed as stairways that provide a fully public 24hr accessible
entrance to the green plaza. as can be seen in the pic- ture from
the model.


The various ways to acces the building core and the typology of
building block are exceptional in high rise projects.



sketch from Steven Holl showing the conept of urban porosity

entrance to green plaza
render from south
circulation on street level
sun slicing method
shopping area in plinth

Evolo magazine issue 01 2009, C. Aiello, 2009, New York: Evolo LCC




Over The High Line, New York, USA


Architect: Ennead Architects

Client: Andre Balazs Properties
Plot Area: Unknown
Building Footprint: 1200 m2
Gross Floor Area: 19.000 m2
Height: 117 m
Cost US$: 8.4 million
Lifts: 3 + 1 Service
Status: Constructed

The Standard Hotel, is a porject by Ennead Architects that finished in

2009, though it can easily be built in 1960s. The retro building with its
unobstructed views and creative engineering straddling the High Line,
has become a landmark in the ever-changing Meatpacking District.

Concept Sketch
Position of hotel in relation with the HighLine
Relationship with the HighLine
View from the Street level
Free ground floor
Slender profile of the building
Detail of the lifted volume and the columns
Core structural element design (east pier)


This new 337-room hotel is located in Manhattans Meatpacking

District, a vibrant neighborhood just east of the Hudson River and west
of Greenwich Village on the Citys edge. The eighteen-story, concrete
and glass structure defines the identity of the Standard Hotel New York
and engages its context through contrast. The building is elevated 19m
above the street and straddles the High Line, an abandoned section
of a 75-year-old elevated railroad line, which passes over the buildings
of the district and is currently being developed as a new linear, public
park. The hotel is undeniably of its place; it blurs the distinction
between public and private in a city whose identity is as much about
neighborhoods and intimacy as it is about anonymity; and it immerses
itself in the activity of the street at the same time as its hovering form
disengages it. Heralded as the kind of straightforward, thoughtfully
conceived building that is all too rare in the City today, The Standard
New York has become a landmark in the ever-changing Meatpacking
District and newly activated city fabric of the West Village.
The Standard Hotel is innovative because of its respectand integration
with the context. The whole building is lifted upon monumental
columns, raised 19 meters above ground, letting the historical High
Line to pass underneath without becoming an obstacle. The building
with its openess, trnasparency and its slender volume reflects the
1960s with a contemporary interpretation of a landmark.


8. case/2012/01/18/the-standard-in-manhattannew- york-city-by-ennead-architects/ york-ennead-architects/


Engineering Achievements: The two slabs are hinged, angled to
further emphasize the buildings distinction from the citys grid and its
levitation above the neighborhood. The low-scale environment affords
the building unique visibility from all directions, and unobstructed
360 views of the city are ensured from the building.
To clear the easement 30 feet above the elevated railroad bed a
transfer structure was required to span nearly 90 feet between
exposed concrete super columns and the East Pier. As the owner of
the High Line would not allow shoring from the historic structure,
the erection of post-tensioned concrete transfer girders would be
onerous and prohibitively expensive. Instead, two 65-ksi steel trusses
support the eastern half of the hotel tower. A multi-step cantilevered
shoring procedure was employed to install the two-piece trusses.
The top chords of the trusses are embedded in a 37 deep concrete
transfer slab, creating a large double-tee profile. The composite
action greatly reduced steel tonnage and optimized the efforts and
efficiency of both materials.




Seoul, Korea, 2009


Architects: Mass Studies

Client: SK Networks
Site Area: 2.931 m
Project Area: 39.899 m
Design Year: 2006
Construction Year: 2006-2009
Height: 36 floors 154m
Cost US$: 454 million
Lifts: 3 + 1
Status: Constructed

Generally, the plan of this tower typology is determined by the

maximum site coverage (60% in this case), and the maximum
F.A.R. (Floor Area Ratio 800%), and is repeat- edly stacked vertically.
Proportionately, this typology is usually on the stable, short side
and thus referred to as a stocky tower. In this plan, a tower of 14
floors (800% 60% = 13.333) is possible.
Prototype 1 (Standard): This type is possible when there is enough
vertical allowance. The lower four or five levels, mostly filled with
high-profit commercial entities, forming a podium of maximum site
coverage. Smaller (and therefore less efficient) floors are stacked
repeatedly on top of the podium, using extra vertical allowance to
reach its maximum height. The podiums capacity maximizes value
and invigorates the neighborhood, while the slim- ness of the tower
improves lighting and views inside. In this project, the site is by a
100m-wide street that adds extra height allowance, for a possible
total of 36 floors. Prototype 2 (L-shaped): This is a variation of the
podium tower; The tower atop the podium faces the street and
horizontally forms an L-shape. The towers visibility increases from
the street, while increased distance from neighboring buildings to
the rear improves the overall environment.
The L-shaped podium tower is reorganized and transforms into
three vertical elements: three slimmer towers. The central core
tower, the adjoined street-side tower, the adjoined rear tower
and the podium form an L that con- tinues as one element. The
core tower is of reinforced concrete construction, the other two,
of steel construction. This will create as much distance as possible
between the three towers and add outdoor space between them.
Because of these spaces, there are many rooms inside the tower
with an unusual amount of access and exposure to the outside for
a more desirable residential/work environment.
Thirty-two bridges in the gaps connect all three towers functionally
and structurally. Each of these bridges has a balcony and greenery
on either side, creating pleas- ant gardens suspended in mid-air.
The interstitial spaces extend to the commercial lower four floors
with an atrium garden, escalator hall and other common areas
for rest and transit that enliven the space. The design may have
started from a podium tower prototype, but with the divi- sion
between the podium and tower vanished, the three slimmer
towers and two resultant interstitial gaps create vertical urbanity.
The site is a gateway into the district, and one can expect this
urbanity to act as a new, vital catalyst.


The building is comprised of 7 basement levels and 36
superstructure levels, totaling about 39.899 m and 154.14m
in height. Parking and mechanical rooms are located on
basement levels 2-7, and community conveniences are on
basement levels one to superstructure level four, with the
remaining levels 5 to 36 being officetels (live/work space).
Belt truss reinforcement is at levels 14-15 to strengthen the
highrise. Lev els 14-15, at the core of the building, contain
support facilities and central mechanical rooms and mark
the division of facilities.


In the interstitial spaces on either side of the core tower, there are
32 green spaces planned for sky parks. Over two stories high and
arranged to alternate on the right and left, long narrow gardens
effectively cross each other in an indeterminate outdoor space. The
penthouse level (36th floor) has two outdoor spaces for every three
units, with 31 total outdoor spaces that complement the buildings
exterior and help formulate the highrises identity.


context elevation consept diagram sections

consept diagram 1,2,3,4,5 facade
consept diagram sections / parti
outside facade (interstitial spaces)
outside facade (Stocky Tower)
Ground Floor space (entrance / garden)
community conveniences
view from interstitial spaces
view from penthouse

magazine: MARK - another architecture - nr. 25 apil may 2010



Taipei City, Taiwan, 2004
Architect: C.Y. Lee & partners
Client: Taipei Financial Center Corp
Plot Area: unknown
Building Footprint: 2500 m2
Gross Floor Area: 412.500 m2
Height: 508 m
Cost US$: 1.6 billion
Lifts: 61
Status: Constructed

The unusual tower shape is an idea of the architect C.Y. Lee from
Taipei. He was inspired by local culture, the building reflects the
culture in which it functions. Lee was looking for balance between
local culture and internationalism. The tall building symbolizes
a broader understanding and anticipation of things to come:
we climb in order to see further. The building rises from the
ground like a bamboo, a symbol of everlasting strength in Chinese
culture. In the section, the shape of a pagoda is recognizable.
Taipe 101 Tower rises in 8 modules, a design based on the Chinese
lucky number 8. In cultures that observe a seven-day week the
number eight symbolizes a renewal of time (7+1). In cultures
where seven is the lucky number, 8 represent 1 better than lucky
seven. Each modue has 8 floors and flares wider t the top. There
are 101 floors above the ground and 5 floors underground.
Its more challenging to design and build a super-tal building
in Taipei than any other location in the world because typhoon
winds, large potential earthquakes and weak soil conditions all
need to be overcome. A damping system was implemented to
reduce the excessive lateral accelerations from wind.
In the time it was build, the height of the Taipei 101 was
recordbreaking, previously held by the Petronas Towers with
452 meters. It was the highest building in the world, build in an
area with typhoons and earthquakes! The height of 101 floors
commemorates the renewal of time: the new century that arrived
as the tower was built (100+1) and all the new years that follow
(January 1 = 1-01). It symbolizes high ideals by going one better
on 100, a traditional number of perfection.


A mega mass demper reduces the effect of wind. The pendulum
has a weight of 660.000 kilogram and is situated on the 88th floor.
It sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong
gusts. Its sphere, the largest damper sphere in the world, consists
of 41 circular steel plates. The structure has to be flexible enough
to resist an earthquake, and stiff enough to resist a typhoon. Eight
mega columns giving the stiffness to the building.


The Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a
landmark skyscraper located in the Hsinyi Distric of the city, the rapidgrowing Manhattan of Taipei. This is the future center of financial
power in Taiwan. Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center
Corporation (TFCC).
Taipei 101 has one of the fastest ascending elevator speed with 1010
meters per minute, which is 16.83 m/s (60.6 km/h). These Toshiba
elevators are able to take visitors from the main floor to the observatory
on the 89th floor in under 39 seconds.
Taipei 101s own roof and facade recycled water system meets 20-30
percent of the buildings water needs. Upgrades are currently under
way to make Taipei 101 the worlds tallest green building by LEED

1. Construction drawings
2. Elevators overview
3. Taipei 101 as a landmark in the evening
Wells, M. (2003) Wolkenkrabbers. Alphen a/d Rijn, Atrium Uitgeverij





Bangkok, Thailand, 2009


Architect: WOHA
Client: Pebble Bay Thailand Co. Ltd
Site area: 11.361m
Project area: 112.834 m
Design Year: 2004 - 2005
Construction Year: 2005-2009
height: 69 floors 228m
Cost US$: 132 million
Lifts: 18 + 3
Status: Constructed

WOHAs design explores strategies of high-density living

in a high-rise tropical environment.
The concept for The Met is to develop an advanced form of highrise living for the tropics, developed less from western temperate
models than from research on possibilities of low-wind, tropical
climate in dense urban conditions. This project implemented
several ideas developed originally for a competition in Singapore
for public housing.


High-rise designs have traditionally followed temperate models,

which were developed in New York or Chicago with cold weather
and strong winds. This resulted in apartments that are compact,
insulated from the exterior and without sun shading or overhangs.
Buildings are protective shells designed to shield the inhabitants
from the harsh weather.

By contrast, design for the tropics should take advantage of yearround warm weather, capture breezes, and be laid out for crossventilation, incorporating outdoor spaces, verandas and gardens.
Buildings are framing devices of minimal environmental devices for
an indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
The orientation of the staggered blocks allows the sun to daily
penetrate between the blocks on its regular tropical sun-path.
The apartments interiors interact strongly with the exterior, with
full height glazing, balconies, sky gardens and sky terraces. Sun
shading and overhangs provide weather protection and screen
and filter the strong tropical light. Walls of greenery provide sunshading that convert heat into oxygen, improving local air quality.
Common areas are spread throughout the towers, offering
inhabitants a variety of experiences, from the intricately designed
carpet of water, stone and vegetation at ground level, to the
extensive indoor-outdoor facilities at the pool level, to libraries,
barbecues, and function areas at sky terraces.
The hotel block explores related ideas, providing guests with
huge outdoor balconies incorporating water features and trees,
staggering up the faade to provide a layer of interlocking external


WOHAs design explores strategies of high-density living in a
high-rise tropical environment. The Met was awarded in the
World Architecture Festival as best housing.
Its designed from first principles to create a better lifestyle for
central city living in the tropics.
Its is an excellent attempt to open a skyscraper to the city and
to allow its inhabitants to use the building as much as possible.
A system of pass ways, sky-parks and swimming pools on upper
levels forms a real vertical analogue of the city and creates a new
quality of living. The wide use of greenery almost as an additional
facede material is also an effective way to unite horizontal
dimensions of the city with the verticality. The use of passive ways
to save energy is also an important aspect.



Parti (Main structure: mass and void)
Maquette total vieuw and sky gardens
outside facade with sky gardens
outside facade (outdoor balconies)
enhance the gentle breezes by funneling them
between towers
12. extensive indoor-outdoor facilities at the pool
13. staggered arrangement of blocks that allow
cross ventilation



This section is designed from first principles to create a better lifestyle for central
city living in the tropics. Going high in the tropics means cooler breezes, less dust,
more privacy, more security, less noise, better views. To take advantage of these
conditions, the design incorporates a staggered arrangement of blocks that allow
cross ventilation, views to both the city and the river, and enhance the gentle
breezes by funneling them between towers. The gaps between the towers are
bridged with sky gardens that provide exterior entertaining areas directly off living
areas pools and gardens.




Barcelona, Spain, 2010


Architect: Roldan+Berengue Arqts

Plot Area: ~2880 m2
Building Footprint: 576 m2
Gross Floor Area: 10,312 m2
Height: 80 m
Cost US$: 10 million
Lifts: 2 + 1 Service
Status: Constructed

The building is located at new development area out

side Barcelona. Torre Placa Europa is a 20 story building
completed in 2010 in teh new central zone of the district
called Placa Europa. The square will have 26 new towers
in the future. Designed by Roldan + Berengue Arqts and
the client was INCASOL, the building was a social housing
qith 75 housing units which required to include a number
of environmental design, such as natural ventiation, solar
design, use of recycle materials and prefabrication.
According to the architects, they have ve innovative
design intention in this project.

Each apartments have multiple

orientations and cross ventilation.



The building have to include 100% recyclable

materials, and 85% recycled materials.
Materials are choosen base on life cycle and
environmental impact.


They want to include prefabricated elements

during construction. The buildings facade is
made with prefbricated window systems and
recycled aluminum sun shading.


The facade system is able to natural

ventialtion with no thermal brdges.


Use austere materials

unconventional ways.




On plan the building is set in two sides. For each
side there are units of 69sqm at the coner, and
54sqm unit at the middle. The com- position of
unit types is set in group for each 3 oors. Every
3 oors the unit composition would shufe
together with building facade. This cre- ats
the randomized image of building facade by
different building facade panel composition on
each group.


The innovative environmental ideas are not revolutionary,
but how they realize the building is interesting. The architect
wants the building to be perceive as a block of 5 oors in
height in a distance. Each 3 oors are grouped as a set of
frame. And the scale of windows and panel modulars are
also a transformation of diamension of a door. The light
color aluminium panels and deep color set back windows
emphasized the image.


Over view of Placa Europa

Street View Torra Placa Europa.
Building Facade panels
Building entrance
Design drawing of architect for the intention of facade
6. Building panels integration diagram from architect
7. Building unit composition

The selection of building facade elements is according to

a deep study of construction solution of recycled material
and its capability of being recycle at the end of buildings
lifecycle. Facade material is 8mm thick HPL pannels hanging
by hidden aluminium perles.

36 ing-inbarcelona-made-with-100-recyclable-materials/ tower-in-


Paris, France, planned 2013
Architect: Jean Nouvel
Client: EPAD
Plot Area: unknown
Building Footprint: approx. 4000 m2
Gross Floor Area: 140.000 m2
Height: 301 m
Cost US$: 864 million (estimated)
Lifts: unknown
Status: Design Stage

The design of tour Signal by Jean Nouvel is also called the
loggia tower by the designer himself. Four enormous loggias
stacked upon each other expose the different functions
located in this tower to the city. The loggias function as
public space where the common utility of each function
(office, hotel and living) are located. These loggias connect
tower and city
Service and transfer levels are placed repeatedly in the same
way for each block. First a service level, then a transfer level,
then the loggia, with functional floor area surrounding it, a
second transfer level and again the service level and so on.
There are two main entrances for pedestrian. The most
public entrance on the east side of the building leads the
visitor from a plaza on a long escalator to the first loggia
located on the 12th level where a cafeteria welcomes them in
the building. The second entrance in the south facade leads
the visitor directly to the office transfer level. Vehicles enter
the building on a lower level as can be seen in the section on
the first page.

1. north-south section
2. floorplan of office block, cutted through loggia
3. schematic representation of east-west section with public spaces and
transfer levels indicated
4. render: view from hotel loggia
5. render: streetview on plaza entering the tower from the east
6. floorplans with indicated area for vertical transport
7. view on la Defence district after contruction tour Signal
8. picture from model representing east facade
Bosser, J, La tour signal: un nouveau dfi pour LaDfense, Paris : ditions
de la Martinire, 2009
Salmi, L., 2008. Nouvel takes pole position in Paris. World architecture
news, [internet] 2 June. Available at: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.
com/index. php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_ id=2370
[Accessed 20 Decembre 2009]


The floor space in the loggias is enlarged through balconies.

through the whole tower an area for vertical transport is
reserved on both sides of the loggia. This area is larger at
the bottom, where office function requires less horizontal
transport area and more space is needed for elevatorshafts,
then in the top.
This design was the price winning design of a competition
and remains still in the design fase


The space reserved reserved for the loggias is extroardinary for
hig rise projects. The ratio between functional floor area and
constructed area is very low. The loggias contribute to a very
high feeling of recognision with the surrounding city.




Moscow, Russia, 1924


Architect: Eliezer Marcovic Lissitzky

Client: None
Plot Area: Unknown
Building Footprint: 337,5 m2
Gross Floor Area: 5.775 m2
Height: 57 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: None
Status: Never Realize

Lizitsky derived the style and look of his building

out of the artistic pieces he made called prounen.
These pieces of art where for Lizitsky the transition
from art to architecture, it was his way of exploring
suprematism. the transition was made not only by
using elements of architecture like volume, mass,
colour, space and rhythm, his works also grew from
2d paintings to full 3 dimensional installations.
The initial concept of the Wolkenbugel could be
seen in the abstract representation of proun 88. the
building was going to be a steel structured office
building which housed government functions. in
the plans of the Wolkenbugel there where 8 sites
chosen by Lisitsky as to where and how these
structures should have been placed within the city
of moscow. these 8 sites where on an infrastructure
ring around the city which formed portals towards
the inner city and with it the Kremlin. it is still
speculated if these 8 gateways next to labour end
Russian revolution are a symbolic reference to the
8 gateways of Jerusalem, as the Russian Lisitsky was
also Jewish.
Although the plan of the Wolkenbuggel doesnt
emphasise on the matter it is not unrecognisable
that it was designed not onley on the ring
infrastructure but also a new way of transportation
of that time namely: the metro stations. the old
metro plan of 1922 resembles a lot of actual realized
stations in Moscow where Lisitsky decided to place
one of his Wolkenbugels.


The Wolkenbugel is one of the firs buildings which
created a landscape above the city, it also showed
that you could have a large floorspace with minimal
footprint. these are two design issues that greatly
effect the urban surrounding in terms of spacial
relationship with context like mass and form but also
on levels of circulation pedestrian, car and metro.
This urban plateau as we can call it creates new
possibility for cities to grow which was not accounted
for before.

1. Proun 88
2. Map of Moscow City Centre with Wolkenbugels superimposed on todays Metrostations.
3. Map of the First Metro-line Plan of 1922
4. Impression of the Wolkenbugel standing over a main road into the city
Boomgaard, Jeroen. Theorie en praktijk van de russiese avantgarde, Amsterdam;
Kunsthistoriese Schriften, 1981
Brkle, J. Christoph. Der Traum vom Wolkenbgel, Zrich: GTA, 1991
Lissitzky-Kppers, Sophie. El Lissitsky, Dresden: VEB, 1967




Doha, Qatar, 2003
Architect: Arata Isozaki
Client: Sheikh Suad bin Mohammed Ali A-Thani
Plot Area: 50.000 m2
Building Footprint: 30.000 m2
Gross Floor Area: 22.000 m2
Height: 120 m
Cost US$: Unknown
Lifts: 12 + 1 Service
Status: Under Construction, on Hold (2009)

A constant regularity in the concepts of Iso saki is the
Pillar to Heaven (ten-shu, Heavenly Column). Japanese
mythology states that neo Platonic cubic and semi
cylindrical forms are derived from this heavenly pillar
which means all primary geometry followed from the
Heaven ly Column. Ma (sense of Place) in japan can be
achieved by a single column, it creates a sense of space
in the japanese mind state, something the western
world does not have an equivalent for.
the Qatar national library is a realized project that clearly
has a history of Isozakis city in the air ideas. these sky
citys are a network of in one way or another bridged
columns. these projects are trees of structure housing
dwellings or offices and have a resemblance to ruins of
doric temples.
later on this concept evolved into more treelike
structures which bridged with each other on dif ferent
levels like intertwining tree branches.
Qatar national library will house at the base a museum of
contemporary art, a museum of sci ence and a national
history museum. on top of the base there will be a public
podium on top of which the 3 joint core cylinders begin.
the cores will support the 5 story library and with on top
a cafe and banquette hall with spectacular views.


Qatar national library like the Wolkenbugel of E.L. Lizitsky
creates a new urban fabric above the existing one. the way
of extending up and over (counter-leaver) creates a much
more dynamic and usable building surface in con trast
with normal high rise. in case of the Qatar library there is
only one program type but, naturally it is understood that
as a hybrid pro gram this building typology would have
more potential than a traditional tower building type. once
again like the Wolkenbugel this typology has a relatively
small footprint compared to its capacity in other words
it gives back public space. in this particular project the
public space is redesigned to be on top of the museum, so
one might conclude the public space is part of the building
namely between the two public functions, the museum
below and the library above.


City in the Air, Shibuya

Column of the Joint Core System
Joint Core System, City in the Air II, Shinjuku
Tetra Project, Marunouchi

Yukio Futagawa, GA Architect 6, Arata Isozaki 1959-1978, Global Architecture, Year?.



Related Interests