Apparently, Star Trek had it right. Those familiar with the seminal sci-fi series will find the thyssenkrupp MULTI system eerily familiar. Like the ubiquitous turbolifts of the interstellar television show, MULTI is a rope-less, sideways-moving elevator system. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for the 22nd century to see them in action, because thyssenkrupp has a working prototype in the German countryside.
The nearly completed thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil, Germany, stands 800 feet above a rolling green landscape. Essentially a complex elevator core, the test tower will have a full working version of MULTI. At the same time thyssenkrupp puts the final touches on its testing facility, MULTI already has its first client. OVG Real Estate’s East Side Tower in Berlin will be the first to deploy the system.
Unlike nearly all elevators, MULTI functions on a system of rails rather than ropes or cables. This has a distinct number of advantages, especially when building supertalls. The simple weight and length of the cables is prohibitive, and they limit the directionality of the elevator car. In general, only one car is able to be in each shaft at a time—a problem for buildings with tens of thousands of people moving up and down every day. MULTI, on the other hand, circumvents many of these obstacles. With no cables, multiple cars can move in a single shaft. The track system can be used to move cars up and down, as well as side to side. Working in loops, MULTI has the potential to be faster, and more efficient, both spatially and environmentally.
Notably, while addressing many of the common issues facing current elevator technology, MULTI has one more advantage: There is no limit to the height or length of the system. While elevators are often cited as the invention that permitted the rise of skyscrapers, today supertall buildings are reaching the limits of that technology.
The real question now, though, is: How are the buttons going to work on an elevator that can go in so many directions?
Downtown's tallest residential building has a new face. Renderings from the initial reveal two years ago depicted a normie glass stalagmite, but now the 1,115-foot-tall skyscraper in Manhattan's Financial District has a filigreed bronze exterior that references the city's art deco cloudbusters.
With its expressive exterior detailing and floating floor plates, the CetraRuddy-designed supertall at 45 Broad Street shares a litter with Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park, as well as SHoP's 9 DeKalb Avenue in downtown Brooklyn and Morris Adjmi's Nomad tower, both of which were inspired by classic New York skyscrapers (there's a little Mark Foster Gage–y flair for good measure, too). Although the enhanced exterior renderings were released in October, this week YIMBYrevealed new images of the mechanical floors that will double as observation decks.
There will be a wind break on the 43rd floor, with another 16 stories below, and both of these spaces will have 32-foot floor-to-ceiling heights. A mass damper crowns the tower on its 64th floor, stabilizing more than 407,000 square feet of residential space over 206 units. On the lower floors, 62,000 square feet of commercial space and an almost 94,000-square-foot school round out the program.
Construction is expected to wrap in spring 2021.
Faced with enormous budget costs, the world’s skinniest skyscraper on Billionaire’s Row in New York City could be headed towards foreclosure, the New York Postfirst reported.
The SHoP-designed building on 111 W. 57th Street has only been built up to 20 stories and is already $50 million over budget. Real estate investment corporation AmBase filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court against the project’s developers and the lender over construction cost overruns.
AmBase, which had invested over $70 million into the building, blamed sponsors Kevin Maloney and Michael Stern, as well as Spruce Capital Partners.
“Apparently they omitted some very significant items in their budget including cranes, which are very expensive in New York and can run into the millions of dollars,” AmBase’s attorney Stephen Meister said to the Post.
Maloney, Stern, and AmBase had defaulted on a $25 million mezzanine loan from Spruce Capital Partners in June, according to the Post. The proposed mezzanine loan would allow the lender (Spruce) to take control of the asset in a default situation.
But on Wednesday, a judge enforced a strict foreclosure procedure, blocking Spruce from taking ownership of the project. If Spruce puts the building up for foreclosure, however, AmBase could potentially get back some of its $70 million investment.
An earlier report by The Real Deal revealed that the developers were facing a $100 million cash deficit and that AmBase already sued the developers last year, alleging that they were trying to “dilute its stake” in the project.
The building was meant to rise 1,400 feet, or 82 stories. It made headlines as the world’s most slender building, with a height-to-width ratio of 24:1 and a floor plate measuring 60 feet by 80 feet.
111 W. 57th Street is not the only building on the oversaturated Billionaire’s Row in trouble. A penthouse apartment at One57 on 157 W. 57th Street, the supertall that started it all, is awaiting its foreclosure auction.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the completion of the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, according to CTBUH tall building criteria. At 599 meters (1,965 feet), it is now officially the second tallest building in China and the fourth tallest in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Makkah Royal Clock Tower.
Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the Ping An Finance Center is located in the heart of Shenzhen’s Fuitan District. The building contains over 100 floors of office space located above a large public podium, with a multi-story atrium providing retail, restaurants, and transit options to the city and greater Pearl River delta region.
The CTBUH describes the form of the tower as a “taught steel cable, outstretched by the sky and the ground at once. At the top of the tower, the façade tapers to form a pyramid, giving the tower a prismatic aesthetic.” The form is further emphasized by eight composite “megacolumns” along the building envelope that streamline the building for improved structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by 35 percent.
The facade of the building is one the project most innovative features; its use of 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel makes the envelope the largest stainless steel facade system in the world. The specific material was chosen for its corrosion-resistance, which will allow the building to maintain its appearance for decades even in the city’s salty coastal atmosphere.
This week in Dubai, UAE officials and architects from Santiago Calatrava's firm broke ground on what will be the world's tallest skyscraper.
The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour will rise 3,045 feet skyward when it is completed in 2020, at a cost of around $1 billion.
“The design and architectural features of The Tower demand unique engineering approaches that are currently being implemented on site," saidSantiago Calatrava, in a statement. "Extensive studies were undertaken in preparation for the groundbreaking, and the learning that we have gained from the experience will add to the knowledge base of mankind.”
Departing zero percent from the bells-and-whistles approach so common to UAE mega-projects, the tower combines traditional Islamic architecture motifs with Calatrava's signature white fish bones. Although renderings can deceive, the tower looks like Erte's Venere In Pellicciatraded her dress for one from David's Bridal, taffeta train and all.
The fly-over animation below takes viewers up, through, and around the tower:
Flashy amenities are key to this tower's appeal: Its pointy tip is devoted to something called the Pinnacle Room, a panorama viewing area that features VIP "garden decks," or observation platforms. These and other decks rotate outward, providing additional viewing points.
In some ways, Calatrava's design recognizes the challenges of building densely in the desert: Water collected from the cloudbuster's cooling system will be recycled to clean the facade, while strategically placed flora will shield the building from the harsh rays of the sun.
As a downtown anchor, the tower's main plaza will offer high-end retail (is there even another kind of retail in a project this size?), education facilities, a museum, and an auditorium.
If you zone it, they will build, and they will build tall. New York–based SHoP, in partnership with JDS Development Group, revealed plans earlier this year to build 9 Dekalb Avenue, a 73-story, 1,066-foot-tall residential tower fused to the landmarked Dime Savings Bank in Downtown Brooklyn. Last month, the design cleared a crucial hurdle when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the tower’s design and consequent modifications to the bank.
“There’s a sort of brooding Gotham to it,” noted Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal of SHoP. “There’s a little bit of badass to it, but it’s quite elegant at the same time. Isn’t that what we all want to be as New Yorkers?” The 417-unit building is clad in bronze, stainless steel, and stone, with view-maximizing interlocking hexagonal exposures. Pasquarelli explained that the facade detailing is such so that when two sides of the hexagon are viewed from an oblique angle, it will resemble one face, a sleeker reference to the grand old New York skyscrapers like Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building.
Michael Stern, founder of JDS Development Group, proclaimed: “The tower will be Brooklyn’s next icon. Brooklyn was really missing that one iconic statement that was worthy of the borough. This building will really put Brooklyn on the map.” Drawing from the landmark on-site, the spacing of the tower’s vertical facade elements mirrors the spacing of the bank’s neoclassical columns. The color and materials palette picks up on the bank’s colorful stone interiors, which will be converted to retail, while parts of the bank’s roof will be used for the building’s private outdoor spaces.
“The downtown rezoning of Brooklyn in 2004 has been very successful. This is a place where the city could handle density. It’s an incredible kudos to the city they upzoned that area, that they thought about tall towers,” said Pasquarelli. At the prow of Flatbush and Dekalb, the building will be visible from all over Brooklyn, and its distinctive facade will reinforce its prominent position on the skyline.
He and Stern enjoy experimenting with exteriors. Referencing the terra-cotta facade on 111 West 57th Street and the cladding on the East River–facing American Copper Buildings, Pasquarelli intimated that developers and architects are obligated to build for the public realm. “Some people get to live in these buildings, but we all have to live with the exterior.”
While preservationists sometimes bristle at the modification of an individual landmark, Gina Pollara, executive director of the preservation advocacy organization Municipal
Arts Society (MAS), thinks there’s a larger issue that’s expressed in the development of tall towers like 9 Dekalb. “For us, it’s not really about the towers itself. Most of these supertalls are going up as-of-right. Because they’re not asking for any variance or any change, there’s no opportunity for public comment.” This tower was unusual, she elaborated, because it involved a landmarked structure. “These buildings are so out of context or out of scale with the neighborhood, and there’s no space for public comment until developers release their renderings. There’s no discussion of the cumulative effects these towers are having on public space.”
In an interview with AN, Stern said that he could not react to critiques like MAS’s (which he had not heard about), “but I can tell you that the commissioners had comments ranging from, ‘the best of urbanism’ and ‘flawless,’ and the LPC approved the project unanimously, as did the community board. It’s something we’re quite proud of.”
Pollara would like to see a better conversation around the 100-year-old zoning code, and reform beyond Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, the recently codified zoning text amendments. “It’s time to make zoning much more transparent—not just to the layperson, but to elected official,” Pollara said. “We need to get in front of the issue rather than being at the mercy of what is being built around us. Preservation in the 21st century is not necessarily rallying around a specific building, but looking at open space, light, air—all of the elements we want to preserve. We don’t want to live in a city that’s created by default.”
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.
Late last year, AN picked up a trail that SHoP Architects were planning a "super skinny supertall" skyscraper set for 9 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn. Now, the project has finally gathered some momentum: it's been granted approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
According to 6sqft, the LPC showered the project, which is being back by Michael Stern’s JDS Development and the Chetrit Group, with compliments. They reportedly described the project as “flawless” and “enlightened urbanism at its best.”
Developers had to tread carefully, considering the proximity of the skyscraper to one of Brooklyn's historic architectural treasures. Occupied most recently by JP Morgan, the development is giving the landmarked Classical Revivalist Dime Savings Bank a new breath of life.
In doing so, developers will turn the hall into a public and retail space and restore the lavish interior decor and ornate exterior marble facade. The LPC were inclined to comment that the restoration “improved the vision of this historic landmark” with one commissioning member remarking that it was "similar to the Parthenon sitting on the Acropolis.” You can find SHoP's LPC presentation here.
To accommodate the skyscraper, which will sit adjacent the Beaux-Arts banking hall, developers are also asking for two local low-rise buildings to be demolished to make way.
If (or rather when) realized, the skyscraper will be the boroughs first 1,000+ in height, rising to 73 stories high topping out at 1,066 feet. Hexagonal forms can be found throughout tower as an homage to the footprint of its neighbor.
Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects reportedly said how they wanted to put forward a different tower design compared to the slab-like high-rises also going up around the area. Subsequently, the skyscraper's facade at street level aims to evoke the fluted ionic columns of the Bank through reflective glass fenestration with bronze mullions alongside white marble columns.
As the tower stretches upward, the bronze ribbons join grey spandrel and vision glass panelling. Here black metal is employed in a similar, linear fashion running up the building's facade.
Set to be complete by 2019, SHoP's Brooklyn high-rise will house around 500 apartments, all available to rent. In this selection, a range of luxury condos will be thrown in while 20 percent will be kept below the market rate.
Dubai doesn't do half measures. The city's latest endeavor, a Calatrava-designed super-tower, continues that trend. Emaar Properties would usually be outraged that their Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on the planet, was to be cast in shadow by a new building. However, they're also backing Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava's new tower along the city’s creek.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Dubai-based Emaar Properties, has estimated costs at around $1 billion, $500 million cheaper than the Burj Khalifa when it opened in 2010. However, the final height of the building is yet to be confirmed—all we now know is that Calatrava's tower will rise above 2,700 feet, the height of the Burj Khalifa.
The tower itself will feature fully-glazed rotating balconies and observation decks (of course) as well as interior landscaping that takes influence from the hanging gardens of Babylon (now at dizzying heights). The showpiece observation area will be called "The Pinnacle Room" and will offer views over Dubai. Alongside this, up to 20 stories will house mixed-use facilities such as restaurants and a boutique hotel.
Calatrava's design is said to be inspired by the profile of a lily flower while also mimicking a minaret (Arabic for lighthouse/beacon), a distinctive building commonly found in Islamic architecture and symbolism. The contours of his design will be formed using a cable system that will also anchor the tower to the ground.
The core of the building, as depicted, will rise up supported by the cable structure, housing all the building facilities and services. At the top, where the diameter is widest, will be the Pinnacle Room that will house an array of greenery.
"The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves," said Calatrava's firm. "The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building."
Speaking of the project, Calatrava said: “From the beginning, my team and I have tried to put the best of ourselves into this project, since it is very special and [it's] a great honour to participate."
"The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress."
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 Timesreports. 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.
In a new Manhattan skyscraper, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) reinterprets the tower-in-the-park by bringing the park up into the tower.
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.
Love it or not, Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park makes a statement on the New York City skyline. The 88-story, 1,396-foot-tall skyscraper will be home to some of the world's richest people (and/or their faceless LLCs). One soon-to-be-resident is bringing the public's prying eyes inward by bucking the less-is-more aesthetic of contemporary interior design for a maximalist, marble-on-marble pad designed by Brooklyn–based Atelier & Co.
Atelier & Co. went for baroque with the design of a 4,000-square-foot residence on the tower's 40th floor. The building's structural tube design allows for open, no-column layouts, allowing residents to configure the space freely from a standard skyscraper layout.
Atelier & Co.'s plan removes the sitting room to create a combined dining and living area, divided only by a bookcase lifted from the set of Downton Abbey.
Meanwhile, the size of the master bathroom is doubled, presumably to accommodate the owner's collection of marble busts, vases, or anachronistic glass globes.
The colonnaded entryways, ornate wood floors, and coffered ceilings do right by Joan Rivers and Louis XIV. Atelier & Co. notes that the design was influenced by 19th century Prussian architect and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel as well as Leo von Klenze, the German painter, writer, and architect.
The designers do recognize that their creation is inside a supertall, not Versaillies. They claim that the aesthetic draws on Viñoly's geometry, perhaps in the patterning of the living room's coffered ceiling.
As this monumental throwback interior takes shape, it's a good time to note that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the organization in charge of keeping tabs on the world's supertalls, recently recognized 432 Park as the world's 100th supertall. The tower clocks in as the second tallest building completed in 2015, per the organization's numbers.
While living in this apartment may cause irreparable damage to your taste, that's not the only danger it poses. A recent study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that living on a building's upper floors increases the risk of dying from cardiac arrest.