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CTBUH Crowns Ping An Finance Center as World's 4th Tallest Building

16:20 - 27 March, 2017
CTBUH Crowns Ping An Finance Center as World's 4th Tallest Building, © Ping An Finance Center
© Ping An Finance Center

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 (1965 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 Big Bend" Imagines the World's Longest Skyscraper for Billionaires' Row in NYC

16:20 - 20 March, 2017
"The Big Bend" Imagines the World's Longest Skyscraper for Billionaires' Row in NYC, © ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio
© ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio

In 2014, midtown Manhattan received its first supertall (taller than 1,000 feet) residential building, Christian de Portzamparc’s One57. The following year, Rafael Viñoly Architects’ 432 Park Avenue surpassed the mark, confirming the trend of sky-shattering, pencil-thin skyscrapers rising along Central Park’s southern edge. In all, at least 10 supertall projects have been planned for the neighborhood, earning it the nickname of Billionaire’s Row.

Responding to this phenomenon, architect Ioannis Oikonomou of oiio architecture studio has proposed an alternate solution, called “The Big Bend,” that asks the question: “What if our buildings were long instead of tall?”

© ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio © ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio © ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio © ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio +21

Dubai Frame Approaches Completion Amid Allegations of Stolen Intellectual Property

16:20 - 9 March, 2017
Dubai Frame Approaches Completion Amid Allegations of Stolen Intellectual Property, The Dubai Frame is scheduled to open later this year. Image via Instagram user bachir_photo_phactory
The Dubai Frame is scheduled to open later this year. Image via Instagram user bachir_photo_phactory

Dubai’s newest mega-attraction, a 150-meter-high, 93-meter-wide picture frame structure dubbed the “Dubai Frame” is approaching completion after a nearly two-year delay, and is set for opening in the second half of this year. At a cost of $43.60 million, the new building will stand as a symbol of the city’s rapid rise from modest settlement to gleaming metropolis, giving visitors a panoramic view of the boundary-pushing skyscrapers from the coast of the Persian Gulf.

It also may stand as a symbol of something far less idyllic: intellectual property theft.

Dubai Reaches Dizzying Heights With Possible Rotating Building

16:00 - 5 March, 2017

In the upcoming years, Dubai may become home to one of the world’s newest radical architectures—the first ever, rotating skyscraper. Designed by Dynamic Architecture’s Davis Fisher, the 80-story, 1,273-foot tower proposal features independent floors that can rotate 360 degrees in both directions, in order to provide more comprehensive views.

A static central core will connect the rotating floors together, each of which will be prefabricated off-site and attached to the tower afterward.

Tonkin Liu Reveals the Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou

16:00 - 19 February, 2017
Tonkin Liu Reveals the Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou, The Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou will contain apartments, offices, retail, leisure, and a hotel. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu
The Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou will contain apartments, offices, retail, leisure, and a hotel. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

London-based firm Tonkin Liu has released images of its competition-winning Trade Centre in Zhengzhou, China. The Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou will comprise of five mixed-use towers swooping out of a ring-shaped podium. Inspired by the nearby Songshan mountainscape, the scheme aims to celebrate the city’s origins as it rockets into a high-tech future.

A family of five towers creates an urban mountainscape. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu A responsive facade creates a heavy base, and lantern-like tips. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu A ring-shaped podium contains a soft landscaped garden. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu A family of mixed-use towers with responsive facades and vertical gardens. Image Courtesy of Tonkin Liu +8

The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built

04:00 - 24 January, 2017
The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built, Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco
Torre Velasca. Image © José Tomás Franco

As long as there have been buildings mankind has sought to construct its way to the heavens. From stone pyramids to steel skyscrapers, successive generations of designers have devised ever more innovative ways to push the vertical boundaries of architecture. Whether stone or steel, however, each attempt to reach unprecedented heights has represented a vast undertaking in terms of both materials and labor – and the more complex the project, the greater the chance for things to go awry.

Ryugyong Hotel. Image © José Tomás Franco Robot Building. Image © José Tomás Franco CCTV Headquarters. Image © José Tomás Franco Cayan Tower. Image © José Tomás Franco +21

Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers

06:00 - 12 January, 2017
Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers, HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur
HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur

The key to engineering wood strong enough to support skyscrapers may lie in the interaction between molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

A new study by researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge has solved a long-held mystery of how key polymers in plant cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials such as wood and straw. By recreating this ‘glue’ in a lab, engineers may be able to produce new wood-based materials that surpass current strength capabilities.

Michael Wolf Explains the Vision Behind his Hong Kong Photo Series, “Architecture of Density”

16:10 - 3 January, 2017

I see it a bit as my mission to document things in Hong Kong which are vanishing, which are disappearing, primarily through urban renewal

In this short film from Yitiao Video, photographer Michael Wolf explains the vision behind his momentous photo series, “Architecture of Density,” in which he captures the immense scale and incredible intricacies of the city of Hong Kong.

After living in city for 9 years and travelling abroad to work, Wolf describes the somewhat unpleasant circumstances which led him to turn his attention to his own environment.

AD Classics: Empire State Building / Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

04:00 - 5 December, 2016
AD Classics: Empire State Building / Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, (2005). Image © Wikimedia user robertpaulyoung (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
(2005). Image © Wikimedia user robertpaulyoung (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Even in Manhattan—a sea of skyscrapers—the Empire State Building towers over its neighbours. Since its completion in 1931 it has been one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in the United States, standing as the tallest structure in the world until the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were constructed in Downtown Manhattan four decades later. Its construction in the early years of the Great Depression, employing thousands of workers and requiring vast material resources, was driven by more than commercial interest: the Empire State Building was to be a monument to the audacity of the United States of America, “a land which reached for the sky with its feet on the ground.”[1]

Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageLaying of the tower's foundations The pinnacle of the tower. Image © Wikimedia user David Corby (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageUnder construction Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain). ImageUnder construction +6

Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit 2017

00:30 - 1 December, 2016
Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit 2017, Courtesy of Unknown
Courtesy of Unknown

Attracting a wide array of speakers from a multitude of structural and architectural fields from across the globe, this cutting edge industry event provides a unique opportunity for delegates to shape the future of the Australian skyline in years to come.

Eric Parry Architects' 72-Story Skyscraper Receives Approval from City of London

17:20 - 29 November, 2016
Eric Parry Architects' 72-Story Skyscraper Receives Approval from City of London, © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
© DBOX for Eric Parry Architects

Eric Parry Architects’ 1 Undershaft has been granted planning permission from the City of London Corporation’s Planning Committee, which will allow the 73-story tower to become the tallest building in the London Financial District and the second tallest building in the UK, behind only The Shard.

© DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects +5

BIG’s VIA 57 West Wins the 2016 International Highrise Award

11:40 - 2 November, 2016
BIG’s VIA 57 West Wins the 2016 International Highrise Award , © Kirsten Bucher
© Kirsten Bucher

BIG’s VIA 57 West has been unanimously chosen as the winner of the 2016 International Highrise Award (IHA) for the world’s most innovative highrise.

One of the world’s most important architectural prizes for tall buildings, the award is presented by Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) every two years to the project that best exemplifies the criteria of future-oriented design, functionality, innovative building technology, integration into urban development schemes, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.

© Kirsten Bucher © Kirsten Bucher © Kirsten Bucher © Kirsten Bucher +12

The Tallest Timber Tower Yet: Perkins + Will's Concept Proposal for River Beech Tower

09:30 - 6 October, 2016
Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.

Five Projects Named Finalists for the 2016 International Highrise Award

14:20 - 16 September, 2016

Five notable projects have been selected as finalists for the 2016 International Highrise Award (IHA). One of the world’s most important architectural prizes for highrises, the award is given to projects that exemplify the criteria of future-oriented design, functionality, innovative building technology, integration into urban development schemes, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.

Led by 2014 IHA winner Stefano Boeri, the competition’s world-class jury noted the significant trend in high-rise development away from office buildings and towards residential towers, as well as the geographic dichotomy of the finalists.

“Asia versus America is an interesting conclusion at this point – they are the defining forces on the map,” commented jury member Ole Scheeren. “In Asia you can see the impact of the tropical, climatic and environmental consequences are very well translated into new types of residential high-rises. In New York the finalists all show some way of power-statement.”

See the 5 finalists with comments from the jury, after the break.

The Stories Behind 17 Skyscrapers & High-Rise Buildings That Changed Architecture

11:00 - 3 September, 2016

The skyscraper: representative of spatial economy and a symbol of power. This building typology has a storied, turbulent and even contested past. Here, we bring you a selection some of the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings featured in our AD Classics section. 

Thailand’s Tallest Building, Designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, Opens with Light Show

14:10 - 29 August, 2016
Thailand’s Tallest Building, Designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, Opens with Light Show

Thailand’s new tallest building, MahaNakhon, has opened to the public with a spectacular light show highlighting the pixelated-design of the 314 meter tall building. Designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, the 77-story mixed-use skyscraper contains space for a hotel, retail, bars, restaurants and an observation deck, as well as 200 condominium units managed by Ritz-Carlton Residences with unparalleled views out onto the Bangkok skyline and beyond. The building’s distinct appearance is created through carving a pixelated spiral up the building, creating “an architecture that encloses and protects its inhabitants while revealing the inner life of their city.”

Continue for more images of the completed building.

Zaha Hadid Architects Releases New Images, Animation of "Stacked Vase" Tower for Melbourne

11:05 - 13 July, 2016

Zaha Hadid Architects has released new images and an animation of the firm’s “Stacked Vase” tower in Melbourne’s Central Business District to coincide with the building receiving approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the City of Melbourne and the Office of Victorian Government Architect. The 54-story (178m) mixed-use skyscraper will be Zaha Hadid’s only tower in Melbourne, and upon completion will become an new emblem of “the most livable city in the world.”

© Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects © Zaha Hadid Architects +9

Los Angeles' Glass-Bottomed "Skyslide" Opens to the Public

16:00 - 28 June, 2016

Found in places as diverse as the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Willis Tower, and Tokyo Skytree, glass bottom observation decks have become the favorite engineering marvel of thrill seekers looking for a new perspective on the world. Now, the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles has upped the ante for adrenaline-spiking structures – affixing a glass side to the building’s facade. Spanning from a window on the 70th story to a terrace on the 69th, the 45-foot-long chute opened to the public on Saturday, providing those brave enough to ride it with unprecedented views of the city.