Sustainable Vertical Neighborhood / Solus4

© Tangram 3DS LLC

This project comes from architectural and urban planning firm, solus4 who has devised a set of principles that guided the design of the Sustainable Vertical Neighborhood.  This “neighborhood” takes its form in an iconic 950 foot tall residential tower in City.  Applying these principles to a vertical neighborhood requires the full engagement of the design team, the building team, the financing team and the owners.

Read on for more on this project after the break.

© Tangram 3DS LLC

The distinctive shape of this tower comes from its innovative structure and energy generating systems. The entire structural system, designed by LeMessurier Consultants, is in-situ concrete with flat slabs supported by columns and shear walls embedded in the extruded core shaft leaving large portions of the perimeter free for the 14 foot floor to ceiling glass. The exterior glazing makes up one of the tallest proposed hybrid double glazed skins. While the initial intent of the double skin is to enhance the thermal barrier thereby controlling heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, an interesting added benefit will be the chimney effect at the external surface.

© Tangram 3DS LLC

Strategically placed mini-turbines take advantage of the vertical air movement to generate supplementary power. Balconies at each floor provide exterior space for the resident while adding a variable shading screen to further control glare and heat gain. Temperature controlled window shading with personal preference overrides will provide for individual comfort requirements in any season.

© Tangram 3DS LLC

The 950 foot tall blade mast is cantilevered off the concrete frame. Its entire outside surface as well as certain portions of the exterior glazing is covered with transparent thin film photo voltaic panels projected to provide – in combination with other passive and active sustainable systems, the majority of the power requirement for the building. Initial calculations show the building generating excess power at certain times of the year thereby a possible source of income to the residence owners. Keeping to the SNCI principles for energy savings strategies, the building will have no parking except for a quantity of all-electric cars in a variety of model configurations (sedans, SUVs, mini-cars, etc.) that will be garaged on-site and owned and operated by the common ownership of the residences using a card access system.

© Tangram 3DS LLC

The balconies, in addition to providing living space and shading, also act as rainwater collectors. The rainwater, rather than being shed to the street, will be harvested and added to the grey water recycling system. Along with fully integrated energy management systems, each apartment will have its own mini-plant for comfort control, domestic water and recycling thereby ensuring a stand-alone capability and reduced reliance on central systems.  The street level base of the tower will include – in addition to the entrance/exit to the all electric car garage – a multi level common social space including neighborhood retail and food outlets, mini-produce market, terraced cafes, recreation, gym, swimming, museum/gallery space and office/studio space for residents.

© Tangram 3DS LLC

The tower has 50 full-floor four bedroom plus apartments planned at approximately 3,000 square feet each served by high speed destination selective elevators.  Not only will this building provide residences with outstanding views in an outstanding location convenient to all parts of the City, but will also place the owners of the residence in the forefront of low impact and actively sustainable communities.

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Sustainable Vertical Neighborhood / Solus4" 27 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • Daniela

    I really like the idea of a vertical neighborhood, the fact that this takes an angle of neighborhood sustainability into the air is affirmation that neighborhood development on the ground is doing a good job. I’m curious what makes it sustainable from a community point of view, within the building and with actual site neighbors.

  • vad

    a bit delirious

  • John

    Some nice ideas on the techno side there but “sustainable” does not only mean “energy efficient”. Concrete isn’t sustainable at all and how can a tower that tall can foster positive community impact on its surroundings? It’s too big. This project is beautiful on images, but I doubt it is “sustainable” at all. What about the rent?

  • Kyle Bendle

    The fact that in todays contemporary world slapping the word “sustainable” on a project justifies its impact on the natural landscape. Heart breaking.

  • Adam

    You’re going to have a hard time getting a positive seal on the pair of pivot doors leading to the terrace.

  • Brad

    I dont see how this is any different from a regular condo. I dont know why someone would waste their time putting this project on archdaily. I feel like I just wasted my time looking at it and responding to it?

  • kgnash

    so lonely