Posts tagged with "skyscraper":

Placeholder Alt Text

Architect falls to his death from Midtown tower

Architect Bruno Travalja, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, died on Thursday afternoon after falling from the 48th floor of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper at 6th Avenue and 52nd St. According to the New York Daily News, he bent down to take a measurement and got dizzy when he stood up. He was wearing a safety harness but it wasn't attached to anything, so the co-owner of Crowne Architectural Systems tumbled over the 18-inch security barrier. The Department of Buildings has launched an ongoing investigation. The residential tower was located at 135 52nd Street, between 7th and 6th Avenues.

Placeholder Alt Text

Queens’s first supertall skyscraper set to break ground in 2017

Queens looks to be in line for it's first supertall skyscraper, situated on 23-15 44th Drive in Long Island City. Rising to 984 feet, the building will house 774 luxury apartment units inside 78 stories, as well as just under 20,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and 225 parking spots, located between the basement and second floor. New York practice Goldstein, Hill & West Architects are behind the project, which totals 969,000 square feet. With Midtown Manhattan less than five minutes away (by car/subway), the tower, known by its official name as "City View Tower," is in a prime location. Neighboring upmarket restaurants, the building is also joined by nearby Gantry State Park (which features a riverside esplanade, a fishing pier, and a playgrounds), and a host of art galleries, notably the MoMA PS1 and Sculpture Center. Other transportation links include walkable access to the East River Ferry and the Long Island Rail Road. Originally, development firm United Construction and Development had planned for a 963-foot tower, however, a 21 foot increase allows the skyscraper to be classified as a "supertall" due it being 300 meters (984 feet) or over. Due to a site elevation of 16 feet, the building will reach a height of 1,000 feet above sea level, and the project has to submit a request to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval to build. According to New York Yimby, plans are also progressing through the Department of Buildings with few alterations being made over the past couple of months. That said, they report a supposed increase of 114 from the planned 660 housing units listed on the developer's page. Ground is set to break on the project at some point next year with completion penned for 2019. Goldstein, Hill & West Architects also have another luxury tower in the making for the area. Located on 42-12 on 28th Street in Long Island City, the tower will be smaller than their "City View Tower" accommodating only 477 units, reaching 634 foot. Amenities are set to include a resident lounge, pool house, full spa and observation deck.
Placeholder Alt Text

Garden City, Mega City at the Skyscraper Museum

On view until Sept. 4 at the Skyscraper Museum, GARDEN CITY | MEGA CITY showcases the built and unbuilt works of Singapore-based WOHA, an architecture firm that specializes in designing for the world's tropical urban areas. The exhibition begins by contextualizing WOHA's projects with what might be architects' and urbanists' greatest 21st century challenge: the rapidly (and sometimes haphazardly) growing cities of the developing world. 7 of the world's 20 megacities are in tropical areas. So what valuable lessons do WOHA's skyscrapers—designed for density, verticality, heat, and humidity—bring to the table? The exhibition—which consists of ~10 large-scale models shown alongside renderings—argues that it's time to leave the hermetically-sealed modernist tower behind in favor of a more nuanced approach to the building envelope. One built project in particular, a Singaporean public housing project called SkyVille@Dawson (2007-2015), stands out as an exemplar. Its 500-foot-tall towers are diamond-shaped in plan but only one apartment thick at their edges. This leaves a large hollow interior the runs the entire height of each tower; these capacious vertical voids channel cooling breezes and shelter communal green spaces located every 12 floors. Shared spaces, greenery, and passive ventilation are work harmoniously. The Met, a 755-foot-tall tower in Bangkok, makes similarly smart use of natural cooling with a hollow interior open to breezes. Other WOHA projects are verdant, though in a far more luxurious sense. The PARKROYAL on Pickering, for instance, is a hotel and office building in Singapore's Central Business district. Its sculptural concrete forms are brimming with lush vegetation. The other projects fill a similar pattern: large, open, green spaces punctuate the skyscrapers' height. Sometimes massive volumes are removed from the tower to create multiple courtyards in the sky; it's almost as if several medium-height towers with a street-level plaza were stacked atop each other (see the Oasia Downtown, at far bottom). While it's doubtful these latter-day Babylonian gardens are open to the public in most instances, and the proliferation of greenery recalls a broader fad of trees-on-towers, there's no pretension that this architecture is shovel-ready to replace the informal settlements or slums of the world's growing cities. In the words of the exhibition text, "WOHA thinks of their prototypes as components for a fully sustainable future city....Cities must now be made of, by and for people..." and not just "vast agglomerations of inanimate stand-along financial equation." The firm even rated each of its projects in terms of a "Civic Generosity Index," with some projects earning lower marks than others. With luck, projects like Skyville@Dawson will stand as inspiration for when we start designing and planning tropical megalopolises in earnest. It makes perfect sense that Singapore would be the locus for this urban innovation—the tiny island already supplies its own water even as the rest of the world prepares for a coming freshwater crises. With over 80% of Singaporeans living in public housing, the Singaporean government has long been committed to smartly designing for density: necessity is the mother of invention when 5.5 million people need to comfortably live on 277 square miles of land. If anything, after seeing these projects, the Buckminster Fuller in me wanted more (as Bucky would say) "synergy": skyscrapers that not only channel cooling breezes, but also capture rainwater for their residents or even use vegetation and gravity to filter gray water. With greater luck, firms like WOHA will continue to capitalize on the unique circumstances of Singapore to experiment, then transport that knowledge to other cities in the tropics (and perhaps beyond). While this exhibition doesn't show how these towers work in relation to their cities—this is a show for architects, less for urbanists, though design at this scale is practically urban—perhaps WOHA will elaborate on that issue during their next exhibition: Fragments of an Urban Future, which will be at the Palazza Bembo of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibit will, according to a press release, respond to "the most pressing issues facing megacities today— unprecedented urbanization, accelerating climate change, and the need for preservation of tropical biodiversity." For those interested, you can explore the GARDEN CITY | MEGA CITY  exhibition here on the Skyscraper Museum's website.
Placeholder Alt Text

Timber skyscraper imagined at the heart of London’s brutalist Barbican

Designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon after the Blitz destroyed most of the site, the Barbican estate is now Grade II listed (part of a statutory list of buildings of special Architectural or historic interest). As a result, the area has become synonymous with concrete, being a famed brutalist site. PLP Architecture and the University of Cambridge, however, have different ideas. They're proposing a 984-foot wooden skyscraper, the city's first, at the center of the estate. The skyscraper, according to PLP, is merely for "research." Despite this, the firm said that they had presented the idea to current London Mayor Boris Johnson and said that his response was "positive." The Mayor also commented that natural materials like wood are currently “vastly underused.” Already, the timber tower has been dubbed the "Toothpick" by The Architect's Journal, such is the way of nicknaming skyscrapers in London, already home to the "Walkie-talkie," the "Gherkin," and the "Cheesegrater." Despite its radical change in materiality, the Toothpick aligns with the Barbican's original plan of providing housing at the center of the city, overseeing the creation of 1,000 new living units. Despite being slimmer than the iconic 42 story (404 feet) Cromwell, Shakespeare, and Lauderdale Towers, the wooden skyscraper would almost be double their height at 80 stories high. This would make it the city's second tallest building, second only to Renzo Piano's Shard. As for the towers environmental impact, the Toothpick would "lock-in 50,000 tonnes of CO2 in the building timber frame, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 5,000 Londoners." The project is in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Smith and Wallwork Engineers. Dr Michael Ramage, Director of Cambridges Centre for Natural Material Innovation, said: "The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London—and it was successful. We've put our proposals on the Barbican as a way to imagine what the future of construction could look like in the 21st century." "We now live predominantly in cities and so the proposals have been designed to improve our wellbeing in an urban context," added Kevin Flanagan, Partner at PLP Architecture. "Timber buildings have the potential architecturally to create a more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience. Our firm is currently designing many of Londons tall buildings, and the use of timber could transform the way we build in this city." When asked if PLP would be presenting the "research" to the next Mayor of London, their response was: "it depends who the mayor is!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLPlJsoVq8k
Placeholder Alt Text

Helmut Jahn’s latest Chicago skyscraper loses 200 feet in height

Dubbed “1000M” for its 1000 South Michigan Avenue address, New York developers Time Equities (who also partnered with Jahn on a New York City tower bearing close resemblance) and JK Equities lopped nearly 200 feet off the plan, bringing the height to 832 feet with 73 stories. It conforms to new height guidelines that govern the south portion of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, which runs from Randolph Street to 11th Street, and assuages residents’ concerns over the appropriateness of dropping a supertall on an iconic streetwall. The amendment from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks allows for new towers up to 900 feet on Michigan and Wabash Avenues between 8th and 11th Streets.

In the process, a staggered stacked cube concept was scrapped, replaced by sinuous curves and triangular planes. Project text attributes the “hard sloping north edge, the soft and natural southeast corner, and curved east and west faces” to the textures of city, lake, and park, respectively. A decidedly rectangular base transitions to parallelogram from the 24 through 72 floors, allowing the tower’s top-heavy dimensions to develop slowly and gracefully. An enclosed omni-directional top houses mechanicals and a 5,300-square-foot roof terrace. Among Chicago’s tallest towers, Jahn said at the community presentation, this “is the only building to get bigger toward the top." The shift from rectilinear base to more curvaceous top also delineates the change from apartments to condos in the tower. One hundred and forty rental units would fill the base, providing an aesthetic screen for ten floors of parking. An amenity level divides these lower rental units from the 366 condos planned for the upper floors, while external load bearing “super columns” also signal this break on the tower’s facade. Architecture critic Blair Kamin noted in the Chicago Tribune that the historic district’s tallest structure is the 430-foot-tall Metropolitan Tower several blocks north. Immediate Michigan Avenue neighbors are 100- and 272-feet-tall, the shorter of which was acquired by the developers. Clearly, the pose struck by Jahn’s tower will be instrumental to its contextual success or failure. To that end, the tower’s shape is derived largely from its relationship to adjoining buildings. The taller north neighbor’s setback is matched and a 20-foot gap exceeds the 12 feet required by code, preserving greater sunlight and airflow for that building’s south-facing tenants. A sloping 17-foot outcrop hovers over the southern neighbor, in a way cradling it (the outcropping and expansion of floor plates also helps with the economics of a shortened proposal). In material terms, a metal facade system transitions to a greater ratio of glass once the tower clears its neighbors. Community reaction to the new concept has been overwhelmingly positive, but a lingering concern is whether equal care will be given to the less prominent west facade. Relative stature may be diminished, but Jahn’s redesign still sets out to create a visual counterpoint to the wall of skyscrapers rounding Michigan onto Randolph. Together with Rafael Viñoly’s twin 76-story tower designs at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road and Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture’s rendering of a 585-foot-tall apartment building two blocks north of 1000M, a bolder definition of Grant Park’s south rim is on the way. Developers hope to break ground in 12 to 15 months.
Placeholder Alt Text

The Skyscrapers of the Future: Sunken Central Park, Drones, and Data Centers

Last week, architecture and design journal eVolo Magazine released the winning projects and renderings for its annual Skyscraper Competition. The proposals are all purely conceptual and idea-based; the competition is designed to “challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments,” writes eVolo. First place goes to Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu (United States) whose New York Horizon envisiones a skyscraper in Manhattan running along a sunken Central Park. “Is there a way to make Central Park available to more people? Our proposal is a hybrid multi-functional mega structure,” the team wrote in their brief. “Not by building up, but by digging down, it reveals the bedrock (mountain) that was hidden under Central Park, and creates space along the new cliff.” In second place: Hadeel Ayed Mohammed, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu (United States) for The Hive, a Manhattan skyscraper with drone docking stations. “The modules on the façade are designed to fit nine different types of drones, categorized by the shape and scale of their landing fixtures (point, bar or ring),” the team explained in their entry. And third place was awarded to Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti (Italy). Their design, Data Tower, is a skyscraper for data centers in Iceland. “A data center is often a large industrial building without a significant architectural connotation, a big anonymous container," they discussed in their submission. "The main issue of our project is to investigate a new morphological solution that could represent both the complexity and the importance of the building into which we keep our data.” There were also 21 honorable mentions. In many of the submissions, designs addressed technology and environmental concerns. The magazine is also compiling the best entries from the past three years into a limited edition book.
Placeholder Alt Text

PLP reveals Nexus Tower, a high rise without a central core, in China’s Pearl River Delta

Only six years old, London-based architecture firm PLP formed as a break away from KPF. Despite its age, the firm already has some noteworthy projects under its belt including the award winning The Edge in Amsterdam. Principals David Leventhal and Andrei Martin have recently designed one more, the Nexus Tower in the Pearl River Delta in China. The skyscraper comprises three stacked volumes, all of which are oriented differently upon a central axis acting as an elevator shaft. Martin is quick to say that this is not the core of the building, explaining that each volume has it's own core, situated on its outer edge. Such a feature "challenges the central core [office] typology," explained Martin. The Nexus Tower boasts quadruple-height informal spaces, all clad in glass, so that incumbent offices can advertise (for free) to passers by how much "fun" their employees are having. Exterior elevator shafts on each volume's "core" also aid legibility. This allows the public to witness inter-floor circulation as elevators travel up and down the facade, giving the impression of activity within the building. Set to rise 1,968 feet, the Nexus Tower will be the tallest of the structures within PLP's larger master plan. Other structures include The Platform for Contemporary Arts, a performing arts complex; The LZ Park Tower, a 984-foot office tower; and The Concoursea large scale retail and leisure facility. Height and the lateral loads the tower must sustain were heavily influential in the design of the Nexus Tower. By fanning out the volumes, lateral loads could be divided up, reducing the overall impact. This also gave the building some visual diversity too, with each volume having a different view out over the city, mountains, and suburbs. The subsequent roof areas were adapted as terracing and green spaces. There is currently no construction timetable for the tower.
Placeholder Alt Text

Renderings finally revealed for the base of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest tower

With all the attention focused on the impossible height of New York's new crop of supertalls, it's easy to forget that even skyscrapers have a tether to earth. Renderings were recently revealed for the base of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill's 1,550-foot-tower, which, when complete, will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Most mere mortals will never ascend to Central Park Tower's 95th floor, let alone live in one of its 182 condominium units, but it will be possible to go shopping at its base. The anchor tenant, Seattle–based Nordstrom, will occupy 363,000 square feet over eight floors: Three below and five aboveground. James Carpenter Design Associates created the undulating glass facade that runs up seven stories from the sidewalk. The sprawling department store will be Nordstrom's first Manhattan flagship, but it won't be contained to 217 West 57th Street, The Seattle Times reports. As seen in the two renderings below, the retail footprint will blend new and old by extending into three adjacent prewar buildings. Nordstrom's, along with the rest of the building, is expected to open in 2019.
Placeholder Alt Text

This 80-story kinetic skyscraper proposal for Dubai is back with a twist

Dubai, a city famed for its taste in extravagant grandeur has become a playground for architects of late. Already home to many world firsts and record breakers, a new phenomenon in the form of an old idea may be on the horizon in the form of “Dynamic Tower,” an 80-story rotating skyscraper. Originally proposed by architect David Fisher eight years ago in 2008, the structure could be completed by 2020 if everything goes according to a new plan, says Dynamic Group, the firm behind the concept. Usually, when a firm claims to have conceived something as audacious as a “rotating tower,” they often refer to a little rooftop windmill, or the fact that the structure moves 0.01 inches in the wind. However, with Dynamic Group, this is not the case. https://youtu.be/iY0Uuyf8Xhw Dynamic Group's proposal comes complete with a video (with requisite dramatic music and a Ferrari) showing off its masterpiece. Concepts for Moscow and Paris also feature in what the firm describes as a “new era of architecture.” The tower aims to rise to a lofty 1,378 feet, which would make it the world's second tallest residential tower behind New York’s 432 Park. Designers claim as many as 80 floors will be able to fully rotate on a central column. It doesn’t stop there, either. According to What’s On, Dynamic Group said that floor rotation can be controlled via voice commands, providing, probably, the perfect way to wake that sleepy housemate up if all else fails. Unsurprisingly, the skyscraper will host some wealthy occupants, offering many luxury apartments. Some 79 wind turbines will be used generate energy for the tower along with solar panels that will be laid on the roof of each floor as well as the top roof itself. Fisher boldly claims that the tower would generate a surplus of power—enough "to power five other similarly sized buildings,” wrote What’s On. The designer also hopes to build 90 percent of the structure from prefabricated units. Dynamic Group claim the project will cost (a rather precise) $3,299,770,550 though whether the tower is realised, or simply spins out of control remains to be seen.
Placeholder Alt Text

Goldstein, Hill & West Architects designs Long Island City’s tallest tower yet

Goldstein, Hill & West Architects (GHWA), in partnership with developer Chris Xu, just unleashed a 79-story residential tower on Long Island City, Queens. At 963 feet tall, the tower will be 305 feet taller than its neighbor, CitiGroup's 50-story One Court Square, already one of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood. The ground floor will sport 19,721 square feet of retail, while 774 apartments will be spread over 759,412 square feet of residential space. Xu bought the 79,000-square-foot site for $143 million from Citigroup in July 2015, YIMBY reports. This is not the New York–based firm's first high rise: GHWA is behind Long Island City's 42–12 28th Street, a 57-story residential tower, as well as 605 West 42nd Street, a glassy 60-story residential tower "detailed in a clean modernist idiom." Walking down Jackson Avenue, it's hard not to notice all the new high rises going up in the neighborhood. Walking down Jackson Avenue in the late afternoon, though, and it's hard not to be blinded by the sunlight that reflects from all those new buildings. The so-called Court Square City View Tower is a mere four blocks from MoMA PS1, and, although there's no word yet on when construction will begin, visitors to PS1 this summer will be thankful for the central feature of Escobedo Solíz Studio's Young Architects Program installation. The colorful rope canopy promises to shade visitors from skyscraper sunburns, giving a whole new meaning to Warm Up.
Placeholder Alt Text

Bjarke Ingels brings the park up to the tower in a new skyscraper at Hudson Yards

In a new Manhattan skyscraper, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) reinterprets the tower-in-the-park by bringing the park up into the tower. https://vimeo.com/154626810 Today, the New York–based firm unveiled The Spiral, a 65-story skyscraper at Hudson Yards. The tower, programmed for offices and 27,000 square feet of retail, is located along the High Line, with a front entrance facing under-construction Hudson Park and Hudson Boulevard East. For those tracking the recent explosion of supertalls, The Spiral, at 1,005 feet, is eye-level with 1,004-foot One57. The prevailing visual element is a stepped group of terraces and hanging gardens, connected to double height atria, that wrap around the side of the building. For tenants renting out multiple floors, the atria can be programmed to connect to other floors, a tweak that could reduce reliance on elevators. Storytelling plays a strong role BIG's practice. The firm has a knack for delivering chronicles that distill the complexity of urban space and the ambiguities of history into a straightforward narrative that situates a project in time and place just so. “The Spiral will punctuate the northern end of the High Line, and the linear park will appear to carry through into the tower, forming an ascending ribbon of lively green spaces, extending the High Line to the skyline," asserted BIG founding principal Bjarke Ingels, in a statement. "The Spiral combines the classic Ziggurat silhouette of the premodern skyscraper with the slender proportions and efficient layouts of the modern high-rise. Designed for the people that occupy it, The Spiral ensures that every floor of the tower opens up to the outdoors creating hanging gardens and cascading atria that connect the open floor plates from the ground floor to the summit into a single uninterrupted work space. The string of terraces wrapping around the building expand the daily life of the tenants to the outside air and light.” In a video accompanying today's announcement, Ingels nails down the appeal of the swirl with pretty motifs from science and nature: "The spiral's immaculate geometry, and its suggestion of the infinite, that has mesmerized us in all cultures, and across time and place." The Spiral, he posits, will be "a new tower that stands out among its neighbors, yet feels completely at home." As buildings should? With BIG's unveil, Phase 1 development is continuing apace at Hudson Yards. When complete, the new neighborhood will allow for 26 million square feet of office space, 20,000 units of new housing, three million square feet for hotels, and two million square feet of retail. Hudson Yards first skyscraper, KPF's 10 Hudson Yards, topped out last October, with construction on 15, 30, 35, 50, and 55 Hudson Yards well underway.
Placeholder Alt Text

Renzo Piano’s embattled “Paddington Pole” tower heads back to the drawing board

Those who campaigned against Renzo Piano's cylindrical skyscraper in Paddington, London,  are celebrating a victory now that plans for the tower have been withdrawn from planning. The tower, dubbed the "Paddington Pole," was set to top out 834 feet (72 floors) and rub shoulders with the Cheesegrater (The Leadenhall Building by Richard Rogers). Developer Sellar Property Group, which also worked with Piano on the Shard skyscraper, claimed the cylindrical tower would change the way Paddington is viewed, with the public no longer seeing the area as a place to catch a train to the west country or visit someone at St. Mary’s Hospital. However, Sellar Property Group was accused by residents of attempting to push the scheme through planning too quickly. Now, according to BDonline, founder Irvine Sellar has said that he considered concerns regarding “the height and impact of the tower element of the scheme on the local area.” This came after some “high level discussions” (no pun intended) with the leader and deputy leader of Westminster city council addressing the height issues. Sellar is supposedly keen to work with Piano on a revised design. https://twitter.com/CampaignSkyline/status/693391588165316608/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Sellar went on to note that the revisions “will bring forward an amended scheme that will still deliver all the substantial benefits including the significant investment in infrastructure and social housing.” The 830-foot-tall scheme by Piano—who had previously said the only way to regenerate the area was to build a tall tower—had attracted fierce opposition with architects Terry Farrell and Ed Jones among hundreds who posted comments on the application. An online petition has attracted more than 1,800 signatures. Aside from opposition from architect Terry Farrell and local MP Karen Buck, one of the more prominent movements against the "Paddington Pole" was Historic England. “Tall buildings can be exciting and useful. But if they are poorly-designed, or in the wrong place, they can really harm our cities," Historic England CEO Duncan Wilson told the Guardian. "We trust that the revised plans for Paddington Place will take the area’s unique character into account.” “London’s skyline is unique, iconic and loved. It has to be managed sensitively and with proper planning,” he added. “Tall buildings can be exciting and useful, but if they are poorly designed, or in the wrong place, they can really harm our cities. We trust that the revised plans for Paddington Place will take the area’s unique character into account.” The proposal had promised a new Bakerloo line ticket hall for at Paddington station, offices, restaurants, some 330 homes and a sky garden. It had the backing of Network Rail, Transport for London, St Mary’s Hospital, the NHS, and the Greater London Assembly. Still, Philippa Roe, leader of Westminster council, was pleased at the decision to withdraw plans. “This is a very positive step and will allow time for us all to bring forward a development that enjoys broader community support and that we jointly believe will deliver enormous benefits to Westminster and London," she told the Guardian. "We remain committed to ensuring that all the benefits of the original scheme are retained in the revised plans.”