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Kengo Kuma Breaks Ground on Luxury Rolex Tower in Dallas

Kengo Kuma & Associates and developer Harwood International have broken ground on a twisted, seven-story tower for Rolex in Dallas' Uptown district. The luxury watchmaker intends on using the 136,857-square-foot building as a new office space. It will rise adjacent to Rolex's original building on Harwood Street that was built in 1984.

According to Kuma, the building "fuses nature and architecture," and will feature a tiered Japanese-inspired garden. 

Foster + Partners Break Ground on 425 Park Avenue

Norman Foster attended the recent groundbreaking ceremony for 425 Park Avenue, which will be the first full-block high-rise office building to be built on New York City's Park Avenue in the past 50 years. Foster+Partners, in collaboration with Adamson Associates, designed 425 Park to be a new icon in the Manhattan skyline, featuring a tri-blade, sheer wall top. In addition to its LEED Gold certification, the 560,000m² tower will be the first in New York to be WELL certified

Premium Office Space. Image © DBOX for Foster + Partners 425 Park Avenue. Image © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners 425 Park Avenue in Local Context. Image © Visualhouse for Foster + Partners

An Interactive Look at Japan's Tall Building History

A new research study conducted by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), entitled Tall Buildings in Numbers – Japan: A History of Tall Innovations, examines the evolution of tall buildings in Japan since the 1960s. The study highlights key innovations in Japan’s skyline through a compilation of graphic representations, including a timeline of notable highrises, a scatterplot of towers over 150 meters and annual construction rates, and a comparison of skyscraper density with regional populations.

View the interactive charts after the break.

Urban Systems Office's Bundle Tower Reimagines the Bank of China

London-based design group Urban Systems Office has developed a work-flow system employed in their  180-meter "Bundle Tower" to redefine the office typology of the Bank of China. Informed by its specific site features, the mixed-use Bundle Tower creates an open floor plan that responds precisely to its surrounding conditions and unique site requirements.

Architects Dressed As Buildings At The 1931 Beaux Arts Ball

With the celebration of Carnival upon us, venues around the world are bound to be filled with the merriment of masked and costumed figures at extravagant parties, partaking in the century’s old tradition of masquerading. While most participants aspire to facilitate the movement of dance in their costumes, a smaller group of revelers consider structure and shape instead. These architects of iconic structures from decades past celebrated the 1931 Beaux Arts Ball by masquerading in these sky-high replicas of their buildings. If you’re looking to make a statement during the final night of Carnival, perhaps a Guggenheim Museum headdress or Eiffel Tower hat is the perfect party accessory.

Read on after the break to learn more about the Beaux Arts Ball.

AD Interviews: Benton Johnson / SOM

Inside the Wood Pavilion at this year's AIA Convention, we had the chance to chat with Benton Johnson of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) about SOM’s research on using wood for highrise buildings. Although wood is a sustainable and efficient material, it hasn’t entered the world of skyscraper construction yet. However, through their Timber Tower Research Project, SOM has come up with a structural system for skyscrapers that uses mass timber as the main structural material and consequently minimizes the building’s carbon footprint.

“Architects should focus on using wood for these types of structures because we do think of it as the way of the future. Energy and resources are just going to become more and more important going forward, and mass timber technology has no way to go but up,” Johnson explains.

Five Buildings Compete to be Named "World's Best Highrise"

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five skyscrapers competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Highrise Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize. 

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness. 

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

eVolo Skyscraper Competition 2014: A Skyscraper That Grows

YuHao Li and Rui Wu were recently awarded third place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition for their proposal of a skyscraper that grows. Using 'carbon capture', an emerging practice aimed at capturing and containing greenhouse gases, Propagate Skyscraper uses a simple, vertical grid scaffold to act as a framework for building, or growing, the volumes. "Ingredients for material propagation" are supplied through the scaffold, while its actual pattern of growth is defined by environmental factors (such as prevailing wind and the saturation of carbon dioxide within the immediate atmosphere). Although each resulting structure is distinct in formal expression, the structure maintains a regular spatial organisation, allowing it to be easily occupied and adapted.

© YuHao Liu & Rui Wu © YuHao Liu & Rui Wu © YuHao Liu & Rui Wu © YuHao Liu & Rui Wu

A Vertical City for Suburban Detroit Places in eVolo Skyscraper Competition

CAR and SHELL or Marinetti’s Monster, recently awarded second place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, asks pertinent questions about an "insatiable" desire for growth in urban centres. Based on the premise that we "can no longer stand idly by and watch our cities consume themselves with an anxious need for expansion", Daniel Markiewicz and Mark Talbot's proposal seeks to demonstrate what a "city in the sky" could look like in suburban DetroitThe project is conceived as a vertical neighbourhood, or "a rich vertical urban fabric." Three main grids (streets, pedestrian pathways, and structure) are intertwined to create a box-shaped wireframe to which traditional/contemporary houses and other diverse programs (such as recreational and commercial areas) can be plugged in.

eVolo Skyscraper Winner 2014 Transforms Korean 'Hanok' Into Impressive High-Rise

Vernacular Versatility, recently awarded first place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, seeks to adapt traditional Korean architecture into a contemporary mixed-use high-rise. The vernacular design of the Hanok, the "antonym of a western house" and epitome of the Korean style, has disappeared from every town. Extensive urban development in the 1970s led to a boom in modern apartment dwellings and, consequently, a loss of established Korean vernacular architecture. Yong Ju Lee's proposal aims to reimagine the Hanok in one of the country's busiest districts, drawing people's attention to and stimulating their interest in traditional architecture with the intention that "it will eventually be absorbed into people’s everyday lives"

© Yong Ju Lee Model. Image © Yong Ju Lee Model. Image © Yong Ju Lee Visualisation. Image © Yong Ju Lee

“A Short History of the Highrise”

The New York Times has published “A Short History of the Highrise” - an interactive documentary that explores the 2,500-year global history of vertical living and issues of social equality in an increasingly urbanized world. Organized in four short films - “Mud,” “Concrete,” “Glass,” and “Home” - viewers are given the option to "dig deeper" into each subject and explore additional archival material while viewing the film. Check out the film here

2011 Skyscraper Trends

© TFP Farrells
© TFP Farrells

Every January the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conducts a review of skyscraper construction and compiles all the data from the previous year. The trend since 2007 has seen record breaking years for buildings taller than 200 meters completed, with 88 skyscrapers completed in 2011. Even as the global economy is slowly recuperating from the 2008 financial crisis, it would appear as though this trend will remain relatively stable. China, leading the pack at 23 completed towers is predicted to remain at the forefront of skyscraper market, followed by Middle Eastern countries in the next decade.  UAE, South Korea, and Panama City – an up and coming cosmopolitan city – rounded out the top four. Of the towers completed in 2011, 17 have made their way into the top 100 tallest buildings – Shenzhen’s Kingkey 100, at 442 meters crowning this year’s list. More after the break.