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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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’ 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.”
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.
A new video by JDS Development Group, Building Knowhow: Skybridge, begins with an anecdote of a day when the firemen showed up at the site. “We got a call – the buildings are falling down!” the chief fireman told Michael Jones, director of JDS. Jones responded with a chuckle, "they're supposed to be like that!"
Located on the East Side of Manhattan, the American Copper Buildings, designed by New York-based SHoP Architects, test the boundaries of engineering. In an informative video, JDS Development Group documents the building of a skybridge between the towers, outlining their detail-oriented, step-by-step approach. Located 300 feet in the air, it is New York's first major skybridge in 80 years.
Are tree covered buildings really in tune with ecological and sustainable principles, or are they just a form of greenwashing? This is the question posed by Kurt Kohlstedt in his essay, Renderings vs. Reality: The Improbable Rise of Tree-Covered Skyscrapers, for 99% Invisible. The author notes that vegetated designs come about for myriad reasons – the appearance of sustainability, better air and views, investment intrigue – but that most of these concepts will never leave the realm of paper or virtual architecture. For as many reasons that these buildings have become popular, there are detractors for why they simply cannot be built, including daunting construction hurdles (extra concrete and steel), vast irrigation systems, added wind load complexities, and the trees themselves having difficulty adapting to their vertiginous conditions.
Many technological advancements have changed the way we design in the past 150 years, but perhaps none has had a greater impact than the invention of the passenger elevator. Prior to Elisha Otis’ design for the elevator safety brake in 1853, buildings rarely reached 7 stories. Since then, buildings have only been growing taller and taller. In 2009, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, maxed out at 163 floors (serviced by Otis elevators). Though a century and half separates those milestones, in that time elevator technology has actually changed relatively little - until recently.
Fourteen years from now, New York's skyline will be one vastly different than the recognizable profile visible today. With dozens of new projects set to make their mark on the city, the creative design company Visualhouse - specializing in 3D visualizations - has released a rendering of New York in 2030. “This image shows the who’s who of modern architecture - with buildings designed by Jean Nouvel, Rafael Vinoly, Bjarke Ingels Group, SOM, Foster + Partners, and Kohn Pedersen Fox, just to name a few," said Visualhouse CEO and Founder, Rob Herrick. "How these modern day masterpieces all fit together in the sky space, that will be the legacy for New Yorkers in 2030 and beyond."