ArchiWEB Explorer: Tall Buildings

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Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower

© Viktor Sukharukov © Viktor Sukharukov

Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.

While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work: 

Huamo Lot 10 / Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF)

V on Shenton / UNStudio

© Darren Soh © Darren Soh
  • Architects: UNStudio
  • Location: No. 5 Shenton Way, UIC Building, Singapore
  • Architect In Charge: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber
  • Design Team: Nuno Almeida and Ariane Stracke, Cristina Bolis; Derrick Diporedjo, Enrique Lopez, Gustav Fagerström, Hal Wuertz, Jaap Baselmans, Jaap-Willem Kleijwegt, Jae Young Lee, Jay Williams, Jeong Eun Choi, Juliane Maier, Martin Zangerl, Patrick Kohl, René Rijkers, Rob Henderson, Stefano Rocchetti, Sander Versluis, Tiia Vahula, Wing Tang
  • Area: 85507.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Darren Soh

Chicago Approves bKL Architecture’s Three-Tower Master Plan for Lakeshore East

Courtesy of bKL architecture Courtesy of bKL architecture

Where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan, a pivotal node in Chicago’s cityscape, bKL Architecture has designed three towers along the waterfront, which connect the natural elements of the landscape with the urban center and neighboring communities.

The urban development is located at a prominent junction utilized by both pedestrians and automobiles; the site’s new master plan separates the two, providing seamless integration between the active green space surrounding bLK’s three towers and the lakefront.

World’s Tallest Residential Building Planned for New York’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

A new skyscraper looms over Central Park in Manhattan, towering above all the others, though at its current height of 1,100 feet, it’s not even finished. Not only is ‘Central Park Tower’ by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture an unmissable landmark for New York City, it’ll officially nab the title of world’s tallest residential building once it reaches its full 1,550 feet (472 meters.) Located on West 57th Street, also known as ‘Billionaire’s Row,’ it’s basically an unapologetic bonanza of luxury amenities for uber-wealthy occupants.

Roundup: 5 Skyscrapers Redefining Supertall

Green Spine by UNStudio Green Spine by UNStudio

Two years ago over 100 supertall buildings had been constructed worldwide. Last year, 15 more supertall skyscrapers were built, each towering over 300 meters tall. These narrow towers are prevalent in high-density areas with limited land availability and demand for luxury residences. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is the authority on official heights of tall buildings and determines which building receives the title of the Tallest Building in the World. To celebrate International Skyscraper Day, we're exploring a round up of skyscrapers that aim to redefine supertall construction.

Green Spine by UNStudio Green Spine by UNStudio

Green Spine by UNStudio and Cox Architecture

AMBAR / Diez + Muller Arquitectos

© Sebastián Crespo © Sebastián Crespo
  • Architectonic Design: Gonzalo Diez, Felipe Muller, Sergio Barrella
  • Construction: GERENPRO - Roberto Donoso, Pablo Hidalgo
© Sebastián Crespo © Sebastián Crespo

Text description provided by the architects. The design of Amber Building emerges from a special condition of an urban lot with a single front which proportions and especially its extremely narrow front creates a challenge both for the architecture and the structural solutions.

The Standard New Orleans / Morris Adjmi Architects

© Neil Alexander © Neil Alexander
  • Architects: Morris Adjmi Architects
  • Location: The South Market District New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Lead Architects: Morris Adjmi
  • Area: 244231.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Neil Alexander

STLArchitects Reveal Competition Design Entry on Former Chicago Spire Site

Courtesy of STLarchitects Courtesy of STLarchitects

Chicago-based STLarchitects revealed their design for the former Chicago Spire site. The competition brief called for two towers: one supporting a mixture of apartments and condominiums and the other strictly for condominium use. Their design focused on "Chicago’s architectural character and essential virtues... thus iconic, innovative, and flexible.

Courtesy of STLarchitects Courtesy of STLarchitects

The site, located between the Chicago River and the Ogden Slip at the mouth of Lake Michigan, would feature two slim towers that taper towards the top. The separated towers would frame views of the city while also being identified as one, unified project contributing to the skyline.

Studio Fuksas Releases Images of Competition-Winning Double-Ellipse Tower in Slovenia

Courtesy of Archivio Fuksas Courtesy of Archivio Fuksas

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have released images of their competition-winning “Capo Grande Tower,” a tower and bridge situated on the Slovenian coastline linking Giusterna Beach to Monte San Marco. Designed in collaboration with Slovenian architect Sandi Pirš, the scheme consists of a 365-foot-high (111-meter-high) double-ellipse structure inclined slightly towards the sea, seeking to “immediately become a new symbolic element of the city.”

Prefab Plyscraper: World’s Tallest Timber Building Tops Out at 173 Feet

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

On the University of British Columbia’s campus in Vancouver, a new record-setting wood structures highlights the many advantages of a growing trend: vertical timber construction. Brock Commons Tallwood house is the highest of its kind to date, providing housing for over 400 students.

The Canadian firm behind its construction, Acton Ostry Architects Inc, says that using wood allowed for a much faster building process. Offsite testing of wood-to-wood connections and structural stability meant less time onsite spent figuring things out. Combined with prefabrication techniques, these approaches helped the builders finish the tower in just 70 days.