Posts tagged with "Skyscrapers":

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New renderings revealed for crooked, pixelated tower in Los Angeles

In recently-revealed renderings, adam sokol architecture practice (asap/) and developer Downtown Management have revealed a new, slanted look for a long-delayed mixed-use residential tower project proposed for Los Angeles's historic core. The 45-story tower, located at 525 South Spring Street, has been under design for several years by several different firms, including a recent 2015 proposal from L.A.-based Steinberg. Though the new proposal is strikingly different in terms of its form, asap/’s involvement has not changed the building’s program since the Steinberg scheme. The new proposal calls for 360 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail space to be contained within a canted tower that starts on a square-shaped base and jogs to the south as it rises. Once the tower’s height surpasses those of the surrounding historic buildings, the mass of the structure shifts inwardly from the cornice line, ultimately rising to meet a square-shaped tower block. The mass rises straight up from there to the tower’s flat-topped apex. The renderings also depict a tower clad in variously-sized panels of multi-tone blue glass. The treatment starts off dark and vertically-oriented at the base, where storefronts and the entry to a garage podium are located. The podium level contains a terraced public space located above the garage entry that is shaded by the slanted structure above. Beyond the podium level, the panels take on a more pixelated motif while also becoming lighter in color as the tower rises in height. In a press release, asap/ described the cladding approach as an attempt to “exploit the materiality of glass in novel ways by deploying it to maximize its sense of mass and density.” The project comes as L.A.’s historic core sees an increase in both wholly new structures and renovations to existing buildings. asap/ is also working on a faceted hotel tower located one block south of the 525 South Spring Street site. A timeline for the 525 South Spring Street project has not been announced.
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Leafy tower sprouts in Singapore’s Central Business District

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The Oasia Downtown is a mixed-use office and hotel tower designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA, which set out to create “an alternative imagery for commercial high-rise developments.” Clad in a saturating orange and red metal screen living wall system, the building combines innovative ways to intensify land use with a tropical approach that showcases a perforated, permeable, furry, verdant tower of green in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District.
  • Architects WOHA
  • Facade Installer Jinyue Aluminum Engineering (S) Pte Ltd (curtain wall);  Century Construction & Engineering Pte Ltd (facade mesh)
  • Location Singapore
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Expanded aluminum mesh on galvanized steel frame; Galvanized steel mesh ledge with fiberglass planters (Roof); RC ledge with fiberglass planters (Building); RC structure and Curtain wall (Building)
  • Products Expanded aluminum mesh in powder coated finish
WOHA said the Oasia’s living wall serves as an aesthetic and functional buffer between the surrounding cityscape and the building, creating a layer of shade, absorbing heat, and providing cover. 21 varieties of creeping plants were ultimately used on the project to adapt to various environmental solar conditions responsive to light and shade. “Some produce colorful flowers that will attract birds and insects at different times of the year. The facade is also extended down to the ground, creating possibilities for small animals (such as squirrels) to climb up the building and use it as a vertical habitat.” Together with 33 different species of trees and shrubs on the sky terraces, there is a total of 54 species within this building that attract biodiversity and support ecosystems. This variety also provides natural resilience against disease and bugs, ensuring a more healthy long-term system. The building's structure is constructed of a reinforced concrete frame wrapped in a three-layer building envelope assembly: an internal curtain wall, prefabricated fiberglass planters set on an integrated reinforced concrete ledge, and an expanded aluminum mesh that serves as a climbing base for greenery. Planters tap into an automatic irrigation system and are positioned within easy reach of an inner ring of maintenance catwalks located on every floor of the tower. This architecture provides simple, low-tech maintenance avoiding the need for costly specialized care. The architects said the programming of the tower is analogous to a club sandwich, a stacked typology where distinct floors of offices and hotel rooms are sandwiched between elevated “sky gardens.” Rather than relying on external views of the surrounding city, the tower reorients views inward to a series of vertical urban-scaled verandahs. This openness also allows the wind to pass through the building for improved cross-ventilation. In this way, the public areas become functional, comfortable tropical spaces with greenery, natural light, and fresh air instead of enclosed, internalized air conditioned spaces. Living wall systems are not a new concept for WOHA, which has previously integrated a system onto a 36-story residential development called Newton Suites in 2007 and School of the Arts in 2010, with green plot ratios of 130 percent and 140 percent respectively. Green plot ratios measure the area of vegetation with respect to site area. In comparison to these projects, Oasia Downtown has achieved an 1100 percent green plot ratio, thanks for the extensive use of landscaping as an architectural surface treatment, both internally and externally throughout the building. The architects say the tower ultimately performs as a tropical, urbanistically sensitive and humanistic addition to the city. “We are interested in how green, vegetated facades and sky gardens can transform not just a building, but an entire neighborhood by creating visual relief while achieving psychological, as well as environmental benefits.”
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Are skyscrapers shaped by local history and culture? This new book argues “yes.”

One hundred and thirty-three years after the first skyscraper appeared, in an era when air rights are just another tradable commodity and globalization can make one city feel much like another, Scott Johnson argues compellingly in Essays on the Tall Building and the City that skyscrapers have become a reflection of their particular region. To prove his point, the architect and cofounder of Los Angeles–based firm Johnson Fain closely analyzes high-rises in New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and São Paulo through a series of essays and lush photographic spreads. In each essay, Johnson provides richly detailed context about the particular city’s history and its approach toward urban planning. His selection of cities is not accidental; from one of the newest metropolises to some of the oldest, Johnson demonstrates how each region’s tall buildings are shaped by a particular history and culture.

In his chapter on Paris, Johnson delves into the city’s ruthless zoning practices, from the 1850s push to transform medieval alleyways and pedestrian haunts into grand, easily patrolled boulevards, to the 20th-century creation of perimeter “new towns” that encouraged growth only on the outskirts of the central city. Famously, the city banned all high-rises in 1972 after the public outcry over the Tour Maine-Montparnasse. As a result, many of Paris’s built skyscrapers bear a kind of hushed, almost reticent form, utilizing step-backs and semi-transparent facade elements to visually reduce their volumes. The four towers of the National Library of France use a combination of glass and wood shutters to create a vivid interior life but the appearance of a “monolithic nature” on the outside, for example.

In contrast, Abu Dhabi’s towers are rooted in a much more eager, demonstrative soil. The city’s relative lack of historical precedent gives rise to some of the most imaginative and fluid skyscrapers in the book; from the Capital Gate to the Strata Tower, Abu Dhabi’s skyscrapers reflect a big-picture idea of what a “global city” should be, their often mixed-use programs perched on a context-free coastline. Similarly, the frequently playful skyscrapers in Tokyo spring from a weird mix of strict building-code safety regulations and a kind of spot-zoning mentality stemming from a weak master urban plan. From the decorous facade of the Yamaha Ginza building to Jun Mitsui’s Ice Cubes, Tokyo’s signature skyscrapers are identifiable by a vivid energy pushing against strictures, like otherwise well-behaved children attempting to burst free from parental oversight.

Although an argument could be made that skyscrapers are inherently a global typology instead of a regional one due to the myriad financial, design, and political entities that help put them together, Johnson’s case studies offer a compelling aesthetic sampling. There are, of course, numerous nondescript towers that fill out every city’s skyline. In this book, Johnson concentrates on those buildings that share the characteristics he believes defines each metropolis; the wide variety of architectural firms, clients, and timelines involved elevates his observations beyond mere coincidence. Once you entertain Johnson’s thesis, it becomes easier to conceive of those towers that lack regional characteristics as merely structural tourists jostling among the denizens.

In keeping with the other two volumes of his series on skyscrapers, Performative Skyscraper: Tall Building Design Now and Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper, Johnson has attempted to create a book that is not only accessible to young architects but eye-opening to veterans of the profession. By virtue of sharing his nuanced eye and macroscopic understanding of each of these urban centers, Johnson provides not only a refreshing take on tall buildings, but also the idiosyncratic ground from which these cities spring.

“Essays on the Tall Building and the City” Scott Johnson, Balcony Press $45.00

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New study will investigate skyscraper-induced depression and sickness

This article was originally published on ArchDaily as “New Study to Investigate Skyscraper-Induced Depression and Motion Sicknesses.” Have you been experiencing motion sickness, depression, sleepiness, and even fear, as you gaze out of your window from the 44th floor? If so, you may be prone to “Sick Building Syndrome”—the informal term for side effects caused by swaying skyscrapers, according to experts at the Universities of Bath and Exeter, who are launching a £7 million ($8.6 million) study into their causes and prevention through testing simulations. “More and more people are living and working in high-rises and office blocks, but the true impact of vibrations on them is currently very poorly understood,” explained Alex Pavic, professor of vibration engineering at the University of Exeter. “It will for the first time link structural motion, environmental conditions, and human body motion, psychology, and physiology in a fully controllable virtual environment.” Despite the solidity of their masses, skyscrapers are indeed subject to motion in response to the external forces they experience from their surrounding urban environment, such as construction work and underground trains. With thinner floor slabs and greater column spacing, skyscrapers built from the 1970s onwards aren’t able to dampen vibrations as well as their predecessors, thus amplifying the effects experienced by their occupants. The study, which is to be conducted by a varied team of engineers, medics, physiologists and psychologists from the two universities, will use built simulators to test motion from tall buildings, offices, stadiums, and concert venues, in addition to vibrations caused by large crowds crossing bridges and leaving stadiums. Studies have already indicated that slight movements in buildings can register as the aforementioned symptoms, as well as poor concentration and lack of motivation. However, no concrete origins have been discovered yet, though scientists do believe humans have evolved in their perception of subtle vibrations. Dr. Antony Darby, head of civil engineering at Bath, said:
Just like sea sickness, our propensity to motion-induced discomfort is situation and environment dependent. For example, people at a concert in a grandstand will accept a completely different level of vibration than those in a hospital operating theatre.
The new simulation facilities will be funded by the Universities of Bath and Exeter, as well as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The study hopes to shed some light on this curious phenomenon, and could possibly establish new standards for allowable levels of a building’s motion for the health and safety of its occupants. News via: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Written by Osman Bari. Want more from ArchDaily? Like their Facebook page here. Archdaily_Collab_1
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52-story SHoP-designed tower revealed for downtown Detroit

New York City-based SHoP Architects, working with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, has released new information and renderings of a two-acre site in downtown Detroit. It has been some time since we have seen any new developments for the former site of the J.L. Hudson’s Department Store and the fewer details about what was planned for the site has had Detroiters more than a bit curious. With this latest revelation, Detroit is looking at a much larger project than initially thought. “The driving force behind our design for the Hudson's site is to create a building that speaks to the rebirth of optimism in the city's future and an experiential destination that positively impacts Detroit in a meaningful way,” said William Sharples, principal at SHoP, in a press release. “The building is conceived around a huge and inspiring new public space, a year-round civic square that, both in its architecture and its culture, will foster and convey the feeling we all share when we work together to imagine what this great city can become.” The site of the new development was once home to one of Detroit’s largest retailers, Hudson's. The 25-story department store was at one time the tallest department story in the world. At over two million square feet, it was the anchor of the thriving Woodward avenue shopping corridor. With the declining economic state of Detroit in the 1970s, not even the retail giant could survive. The store was closed in 1983 and the building eventually imploded in 1998. Bedrock, the real estate firm co-founded by Detroit native Dan Gilbert, are developing the site. “Our goal is to create a development that exceeds the economic and experiential impact even Hudson’s had on the city. We believe this project is so unique that it can help put Detroit back on the national—and even global—map for world-class architecture, talent attraction, technology innovation and job creation,” explained Gilbert as part of the announcement. The Downtown Development Authority has approved a timeline which sets the ground breaking for the development on December 1st, 2017.
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Witness the beginning of high-rise Manhattan with this online interactive map

In 1874 The New York Tribune Building, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, topped out at 260 feet (including the clock tower) on 154 Printing House Square (Nassau Street and Spruce Street) in Manhattan. Though demolished in 1966, the building lives on in TEN & TALLER: 1874-1900, an exhibition at the Skyscraper Museum in New York City. But if you can't wait to delve into the TEN & TALLER, an online interactive map is available below. TEN & TALLER documents all 252 Manhattan buildings erected before and 1900 that, as its name suggests, were ten stories or taller. The museum's online interactive map plots the 252 structures on both historic and contemporary maps of Manhattan. A timeline feature starting at 1874 (the year Manhattan's first ten story building went up) allows users to toggle through the years, revealing ten-story-plus buildings all color coded by typology ("office, hotel, apartment, loft," and "other") in the process. In addition to zooming in and out, users can also appear and disappear the historic/contemporary Manhattan grid. The historic grid is comprised of 101 plates from 1909 Bromley’s Atlas (updated to 1915). The result of more than 1,500 hours of work—stitching individual files together and aligning them with the modern-day grid of Manhattan—the map (according to its creators) is the only one of its kind that covers such a wide geography of Manhattan and can be examined in such detail. Upon this mega-map, the footprints of the buildings appear as users alter the date. Buildings can be clicked on too, in order to find out more information on the building such as: when it was built; its status; height, width and slenderness (height divided by width); depth; architect; building use; framing; type of walling used (and their material composition) and cost. As to why the study only looks at 26 years of New York's high-rise development history, The Skyscraper Museum said in a press release that the early development of skyscrapers was a narrative which they felt deserved more attention. By 1900, the standard method of construction was skeleton construction and thus the technology to allow towers to rise skyward paved the way for an influx of high-rise development. At the museum's gallery, the exhibition features models, maps, historic photographs, and original architectural drawings to depict this narrative. The exhibition is now on show at 39 Battery Place runs through April this year. [Warning: This map will not scale on a mobile device or small screen. You can also access it on the Skyscraper Museum's website here.]
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Chicago’s Willis Tower to get $500 million renovation

Plans have been revealed for a $500 million renovation of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. The renovation will be the first since the 108-story tower was completed 43 years ago. Gensler’s Chicago office is leading the design for the project, which is being initiated by Blackstone and Equity Office. The plan for the Willis Tower includes the transformation of approximately 460,000 square feet of the building’s interior and a completely new public experience at its base. New amenities to the tower will include a fitness center, tenant lounges, and private event space. The tower’s observation floor, Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd story, will also be remodeled. The base will include more than 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining, and entertainment spaces, and 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and garden space. Included in the base's redevelopment is a three-story glass structure atop the building's plinth, as well as a three-story subterranean winter garden. “With this historic investment the Willis Tower will remain a vibrant and modern icon that inspires both young and old for generations to come,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during the announcement of the renovation. “But more than that—today Blackstone is doubling-down on its confidence in the future we are building in the city of Chicago.” Built in 1973, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. It is still the second tallest in the United States, behind New York’s One World Trade Center. To achieve its immense height, architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan envisioned the building as nine square structural tubes. As part of the renovation announcement, Equity Office committed to offering 5,000 Skydeck tickets to Chicago Public School students. Equity Office will also donate $100,000 to Project Pipeline, a program sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Minority Architects (I-NOMA). Project Pipeline’s goal is to educate and mentor minority students through the process of becoming licensed architects. The tower was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009. Many Chicagoans still refer to the building by its original name, the Sears Tower.
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Studio Gang reveals images of new St. Louis tower

Chicago firm Studio Gang has released images of their new tower, "One Hundred" at 100 North Kingshighway Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri. Backed by developer Mac Properties, the project is Jeanne Gang's first in the city and will look over Forest Park, rising above 350 feet. “In a climate with four distinct seasons, we wanted to make it possible for residents to enjoy the different views and natural changes in light over the course of the year,” said Gang, founding principal of Studio Gang in a press release. “By experimenting with the geometry of the facade and refining the apartment layouts, we were able to make every apartment into a corner unit perched above the park and city.” One Hundred's serrated and inwardly sloping facade (repeating every four floors) creates terracing, some of which will be shared among tenants. A green roof podium will be available on the sixth floor and further greenery will be used for the collecting and storing of rainwater. Meanwhile, other amenities include parking and an assortment of retail outlets at street level. “The Central West End is an extraordinary, architecturally rich neighborhood that has evolved over many decades,” said Eli Ungar, founder of Mac Properties. “In planning a development for this exceptional site, we selected Studio Gang for their commitment to thoughtful, sustainable development and to a design that both honors the history of a community and contributes to its continued evolution.” One Hundred is due to break ground next year, with completion pinned for 2019.
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Seattle’s Denny Triangle hosts a skyscraper building boom

Like other cities across the country, Seattle has been suffering from a severe lack of housing supply that, over the long term, has caused housing prices and rents to skyrocket. A slew of big-budget, mostly luxury skyscraper projects are in the works, however, and aim to bring many more units online over the coming years, hopefully easing the housing crunch. It might seem confusing to counter high housing prices with luxury developments. But given a multi-decade-long trend of under-building, millenials’ stunted entry into the housing market, and the fallout from the foreclosure crisis of 2008, the only way to make prices (which have increased 35 percent over the last five years in the rental market) go down is simply to build more of everything.

In Seattle, the city’s Denny Triangle—just beyond the city’s downtown—has been the recent site of a tectonic shift in real estate and development. Architecture firm NBBJ is currently working on a huge, 3.3 million-square-foot corporate skyscraper campus for online retailer Amazon here that will span three city blocks and include three 37-story tall towers, two mid-rise office buildings, and a series of “biospheres” containing exotic plant specimens. The development has jumpstarted other housing and mixed-use projects along Denny Way and the surrounding streets, laying the groundwork for a new mixed-use tower district. This summer, Dean Jones, principal at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty told the local NBC news affiliate, “In the next five years, Denny Way is going to feel a little bit more like Manhattan,” as he shared a video showing 26 high-rise projects currently in the pipeline.

Jones is part of the team tasked with promoting the new Nexus development, a 40-story Weber Thompson–designed condominium tower that broke ground earlier this year and will be completed in 2019. The project is the first high-rise condominium to begin construction downtown since 2012 and consists of a series of stacked boxes, each slightly off-axis from the one below. The tower’s shifting volumes conceal 383 apartments, designed in a variety of configurations, ranging from studio units to multi-bedroom dwellings. As of October, 80 percent of the units had been pre-sold.

Another development by Weber Thompson is located at 970 Denny, a 440-foot-tall mixed-use tower that aims to activate street-level areas along the Denny Way corridor with a pair of low-rise, seven-story tall office and commercial blocks flanking a mid-block tower. These smaller masses are articulated using brick cladding and large expanses of glass. They will contain 15,098 square feet of retail space, with storefronts and the apartment tower’s entrance marked by V-shaped column-supported steel canopies. The tower podium will be capped by a landscaped park, containing a freestanding pavilion structure, with a similar space located at the tower’s stepped apex. The structure will contain 461 apartment units and is being designed to LEED Silver standards. The tower itself is clad in expanses of curtain wall glass that feature operable windows. The complex is currently under construction and is set to open in 2018.

Nearby, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF Architects) are working on a two-building complex: the 11-story Tilt49 office tower and the 41-story AMLI Arc housing tower. The office building will feature 300,000 square feet of space, with the ground floor containing retail. Right next door, the $115-million AMLI Arc tower will contain 393 apartment units, a 509-stall underground parking garage, and amenity spaces on the 12th and 41st floors. The tower will offer different apartments types, including an industrially-inspired model and another unit type with more upscale, “condo-quality finishes.” The residential tower is aiming for LEED Gold certification. Construction is well underway for both buildings and is slated for completion sometime in 2017. The project is being built by Mortenson Construction’s Seattle office.

Lastly, the 41-story tall McKenzie Tower by developer Clise Properties and designed by Graphite Design Group will be located diagonally across from the new Amazon tower complex. It will feature 450 residential units and 8,000 square feet of retail. The elliptical building is designed to maximize views from within each unit, presenting a wide-set gaze over the city. The tower’s shape will also minimize the monolith’s impact on surrounding viewsheds. Like the other schemes mentioned here, the tower will rise out of a low-rise podium and will be clad in glass curtain walls.

These transformative projects portend the growing influence of the region’s technological powerhouses on the built environment. With Amazon and others adding thousands of new jobs at a steady clip, it seems like Seattle-based architects and developers will keep working like this for a long time.

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Never look at skyscrapers the same way after seeing Jai & Jai Gallery’s latest exhibition

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations, an exhibition by John Southern and his firm Urban Operations currently on view at Jai & Jai Gallery in Los Angeles, attempts to collect almost 10 years’ worth of research surrounding the spatial and functional aspects of the skyscraper into one quasi-retrospective. The exhibition aims to enliven the tower, a “spatial manifestation of the sociological and psychological experiences exacted upon the modern individual within the territory of the contemporary metropolis,” by viewing tall buildings—loosely defined and subject to the tendencies and extremes of late-stage global capitalism—as more than simple aesthetic statements. Instead, the collected works are showcased as multifaceted ruminations on not only what tall buildings have been and can be, but also as a collection of sensational projects produced as cultural artifacts in their own right, representative of the times in which they were created.

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations by Urban Operations Jai & Jai Gallery 648 North Spring Street, Los Angeles Through January 2, 2017

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Foster + Partners reveals plans for Miami towers set to be the city’s tallest

British firm Foster + Partners has submitted new plans to Miami city authorities for what—if approved—will be the tallest building south of Manhattan along the East Coast. Officially known as "The Towers" (really?) the project sees two rectilinear structures rising up from the Brickell waterfront, with the tallest of the pair reaching 1,049 feet. In compliance with density constrictions from the City of Miami’s Miami 21 zoning code, the two towers will hold 660 living units—a 16 percent decrease on the initially proposed 787. The structures' heights, however, have not been an issue with Federal Aviation Administration: The organization has already granted the project approval.

At the building's base, car parking areas have been divided in two and are encased by retail areas and more living units. This layout diverges from the standard singular "monolithic" car parking podium typical to Miami (car garages are a big deal in the city). According to the firm, this "frees up space at the ground level" and "creates an engaging public realm." Furthermore, The Towers' relationship to the site at street level sees restaurants, cafes, and art gallery spaces laid out inside a tropical garden. 56,800 square feet of the 2.5-acre scheme will be publicly accessible.

“The base of the building continues the axis of SE 12th Terrace, drawing life back to the bay. It is a civic response to the city’s enlightened vision, and will make an important contribution to Miami’s public spaces," said Norman Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners. As both towers rise up, the structure has been stepped back and thinned to allow sufficient daylight to enter the vicinity around the base while preserving views out to sea. With that height in such a location, though, comes the issue of high winds. To counter this, strategic planting and adjustable louvres that can be lowered over a central plaza will act as wind breakers. To cope with extreme weather conditions, belt beam bracings (also used to support bridge apartments that span the tower floor plates) will tie the towers together ensuring they can withstand hurricanes.
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Twin 50-Story Towers Will Join Jersey City Skyline

After a nearly five-year delay, a $350 million mixed-use development in Jersey City is slated to break ground in the next few months. The Real Deal reports that the Jersey City Municipal Council and Planning Board approved plans back in December. Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects will design the two 50-story towers at 70 and 90 Columbus Street. The 1.2 million-square-foot development, a joint venture by Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties, will consist of a 150-room hotel and approximately 1,000 rental apartments in addition to retail space.