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Video: Steven Holl Discusses Beijing's Linked Hybrid, 7 Years After Completion

A community of 750 units interconnected on, below and above ground, Steven Holl Architects "Linked Hybrid" was an intentional shift away from the monolithic, monofuctional skyscraper. The entire complex was designed to be a "three-dimensional urban space" that encouraged chance encounters beyond the ground floor. 

In this video architect Steven Holl talks about the building's design and how it has performed, seven years after the building's completion. 

Daniel Libeskind to Build "Pyramid Tower" in Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Municipality has approved plans for mixed-use "Pyramid Tower" designed by Studio Libeskind. A collaboration with local architect Yigal Levi, the tapered tower will rise 105-meters in the heart of the city, adjacent to Mahane Yehuda market - commonly known as "The Shuk". Its form, said to reference "Jerusalem’s existing architectural language," is designed to allow maximum light to the public plaza below. A geometric pattern of Jerusalem stone and glass will adorn the facade, while its arched colonnade connects the tower's ground floor shopping arcade to the surrounding open space. 

22 Bishopsgate Set to be London's Tallest Skyscraper

PLP Architecture has released their new design for a skyscraper at 22 Bishopsgate. Set to be 278m tall, it will be the tallest building in the City of London, second only to the Shard in the UK. The site was originally home to the Pinnacle, a slightly taller proposal that stopped work in 2012 due to economic restraints. Located in the midst of the city’s cluster of tall buildings, the new design will pick up where the Pinnacle left off, reusing the already built foundations and basements. Read more about this new development in London after the break.

CTBUH Announces Winners of its 2015 Urban Habitat Competition

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the winner and finalists of its 2015 Urban Habitat Award. Launched in 2014, the Urban Habitat Award recognizes the contributions of tall buildings to the urban realm. The winners this year were chosen for influencing their environment and cultural context intelligently, adding social sustainability to their immediate site and wider context. See all of the finalists and the winner after the break.

Alain de Botton: "London is Becoming a Bad Version of Dubai"

"London is on the verge of being ruined for all future generations," says Alain de Botton – a Swiss philosopher, notable author and founder of The School of Life and Living Architecture. "With a whopping 260 towers in the pipeline no area is safe, as planners, property developers and the mayor's office commit crimes against beauty to create fun buildings." In a film for The Guardian De Botton explains why he believes we're right to be nervous – and how we can stop this "clear desecration" of the UK's capital city.

Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken Design New Shibuya Skyscraper

Tokyu Corporation has unveiled a new skyscraper planned will rise adjacent to Tokyo's Shibuya Station. A collaborative design by Japanese firms Kengo KumaSANAA and Nikken, the 230-meter mixed use tower will feature an unprecedented, 3,000-square-meter public sky deck that promises "views of Mt. Fuji" (on a clear day).  

The Shibuya tower is planned to open in 2019, a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

The Top 10 Most Impactful Skylines

Emporis, a German company that collects and distributes information on construction and the built environment, has released a ranking of the world’s 100 most visually impactful skylines, using statistical analysis to address a topic often made frustratingly subjective by civic pride. 

To create the rankings, Emporis used data from its archives to determine the number of high-rise buildings in the cities it studied, and applied a points system that gave each building a numerical value determined by the number of floors it has. To standardize their ranking process, the points system ignores spires and other ornament, and does not include television or antenna towers, masts, bridges, or similar architecture. 

Of the top 10 most impactful skylines, seven are in Asia, while North and South America combined have the other three. Notably, cities filled with rich architectural history fail to make the list, or fall surprisingly low in the rankings; London is number 44, Paris is ranked 66, and Rome does not make the cut. 

To see the top ten skylines, read on after the break, and click here to see Emporis' complete list.

MAD Tops Out on Beijing's Chaoyang Park Plaza

MAD Architects has topped out on Chaoyang Park Plaza, a 120-meter-high mixed use development rising in the central business district (CBD) of Beijing on the southern edge of Chaoyang Park, one of the city's largest parks. A product of Ma Yansong’s “Shanshui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the building is designed to "push the boundary of the urbanization process in modern cosmopolitan life by creating a dialogue between artificial scenery and natural landscapes."

UNStudio's Ben van Berkel on Designing High-Rise for Central London

In the latest episode of Monocle's Section D, Josh Fehnert talks to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal of Amsterdam-based UNStudio, about London's new Caneletto residential tower. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museumin Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK. The tower, located at the confluence of two London districts — Islington and Shoreditch — marks a significant moment for the Dutch practice's œuvre.

Paris Approves Plans to Build Herzog & de Meuron's "Triangle Tower"

Paris has approved its first tower in over 40 years; the city council has agreed to move forward with Herzog & de Meuron's 180-meter-tall "Triangle Tower" - or "Tour Triangle" - after initially rejecting the proposal last year. The controversial plans have been the center of an intense debate since its unveiling in 2008 on whether or not Paris should preserve its 19-century skyline. 

As Gizmodo reports, the Swiss architects sold the tower to the city by claiming its glass facade will "disappear" into the skyline.

“Almost everything the architects say has one message: This building is invisible,” as Foreign Policy pointed out last year. “As if to reinforce this strange duality, the renderings omit Paris’s one true existing skyscraper: the wildly unpopular Tour Montparnasse, built in 1973.”

Goettsch Partners Design 605-Foot "Park Tower" for San Francisco

Goettsch Partners (GP) has been commissioned to design a 605-foot-tall "Park Tower" for San Francisco. Planned to rise in the SOMA district, on the corner of Howard and Beale streets, across from the new Transbay Transit Center, the new building will feature a variety of office space, flanked by a series of outdoor terraces - "mini-parks in the sky," hence the tower's name. 

CTBUH Names World's 4 Best Skyscrapers of 2015

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has shortlisted four buildings for the annual "Best Tall Building Awards." Considered to be the four best skyscrapers of the year, the buildings have been named from each of the four competing regions in the world - Americas; Asia and Australia; Europe; the Middle East and Africa - from nominees representing 33 countries. One of the buildings will be crowned the world's best at a ceremony this November. 

The four top skyscrapers for 2015 are...

AS+GG, Burj Khalifa Architect to Design World's Tallest Commercial Tower

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has been commissioned by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to design the world's tallest commercial tower, "Burj 2020." As Emirates 24/7 reports, AS+GG will work with WATG, a "top destination creation consultancy" who's been appointed to envision the Burj 2020 District's masterplan, to realize a "world-class destination" that will "set new levels of efficiency and urban sustainability."

BBC Profiles Zhang Yue: The Man Who Plans to Build the World’s Tallest Building in 7 Months

BBC News has published a profile on the new projects and ambitions of Broad Sustainable Building’s Zhang Yue. A few months ago, Yue became known as the man behind Mini Sky City, a 57-story building that went up in 19 days. Now, Yue wants to further his idea of modular construction to build Sky City, which will be the world’s tallest skyscraper, stretching ten meters taller than the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and take only seven months to complete. In addition to being constructed from prefabricated parts, Sky City will be sustainable and built from steel to help prevent earthquake damage. Construction is expected to begin on the skyscraper in early 2016. Read more about Yue, his company, and their projects in the BBC News article.

Could the Empire State Building Have Been Built with Wood?

Michael Green has teamed up with Finnish forestry company Metsä Wood and Equilibrium Consulting to redesign the Empire State Building with wood as the main material. The project is part of Metsä Wood’s “Plan B” program, which explores what it would be like for iconic buildings to be made of timber. Their work shows that not only can wood be used to produce enormous structures in a dense urban context, but also that timber towers can fit into an urban setting and even mimic recognizable buildings despite differences in material.

Büro Ole Scheeren Unveils the "Future of Vertical Housing" in Vancouver

Büro Ole Scheeren has envisioned a "future vision for vertical living." Designed to serve as an "urban pivot" on one of Vancouver's main avenues, 1500 West Georgia Street, the multifaceted tower features a system of vertically shifted apartment modules and outdoor terraces that branch out horizontally to "engage the space of the city and activate Vancouver's waterfront skyline."

“Vancouver possesses a unique balance of urban conditions surrounded by spectacular nature that provides fertile ground for envisioning new possibilities for future living in a cosmopolitan and environmentally-friendly city” says Ole Scheeren. “The design for this building exemplifies our ambition to reconnect architecture with the natural and civic environment and go beyond the hermetic confines of towers that increasingly inscribe our lives.”

BIG Replaces Foster, Unveils Plans for 2 World Trade Center

BIG has revealed plans for the fourth and final skyscraper planned for the World Trade Center site - the 2 World Trade Center (2 WTC) - confirming rumors that the Danish architect has replaced Norman Foster as the project's architect. 

As announced by WIRED, the controversial take over is the result of James Murdoch's distaste for Foster's decade-old scheme and preference for a more integrated workplace. Though the foundation of Foster's building has already been built, the BIG scheme will now be realized and become the new headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s media companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

Designed as seven unique building stacked on top of each other, the stepped 2 WTC tower will rise 1,340 feet - a height that would make it Manhattan's third-tallest building if built today. 

Watch Bjarke Ingels explain the concept in a video, after the break. 

© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

The Psychology of Skyscrapers: Is Bigger Always Better?

Nothing is more iconic of progress than the skyscraper - but as developers continue to build up, it begs the question: what effect does higher living have on our mental health? Taking opinions from authors, architects, engineers and residences of high-rise apartments, Fast Company reports on the pros and cons of the vertical obsession of the 21st century. Comparing the liberation offered by the Hancock building and the failure of the Pruitt-Igoe project, the article looks at how living at high altitudes may change the way that we socialize and perceive space. Read the full article, “The Psychology of Skyscrapers,” and decide for yourself whether this trend of growing buildings is a good or bad thing.