The typical skyscraper is a nondescript tower constructed of a steel frame and glass curtain wall. Architects from the firm Fundamental are challenging this convention with “New York Tomorrow,” a proposal that earned them a runner-up place in Metropolis Magazine’s Living Cities Competition. This progressive design weds revolutionary structural technology with a unique programmatic layout to draw people from all walks of life to the city of New York.
Designed for a site that is only 18 by 70 feet, the New York Tomorrow tower cantilevers out over an adjacent building to achieve the necessary space for its most remarkable feature: a large mid-level lobby space. This multi-purpose space looks out over the city and, as the architects describe it, “merges concepts of living, playing and study. It serves as a hybrid machine for people of different preoccupations to meet and talk with each other, to have casual or arranged meetings. This space would convert the tower into a public venue for the community and the neighborhood.” This lobby would be accessed from the street via elevators, which would also service the upper residential floors of the building. These upper levels would hold apartments of various sizes and styles to accommodate a wide range of potential tenants.
Such an uncommonly proportioned building requires a cutting-edge structural plan. The building is supported at its base by a grouping of mega columns which in turn support the ribbed frame of the lobby space. The upper floors are built using story-high staggered trusses, which keep them clear of intrusive columns.
As with any large building, energy conservation and passive thermal control are necessary considerations. The south façade of New York Tomorrow is a double skin that protects against undue solar heating. The north façade is positioned so as to catch wind flow for passive ventilation, which is made effective by the thinness of the tower.
Competition: Living Cities
Award: Runner Up
Project Name: New York Tomorrow
Location: East 68th Street, New York, NY, USA
Architects In Charge: Ayrat Khusnutdinov, Zhang Liheng
Area: 12900.0 sqm
Photographs: Fundamental, Courtesy of New York Aerial Survey