Event: Family Design Day: Skyscraper Challenge

09:00 - 5 February, 2016
"Hover Taxi" by Jin Zan. Image © Jin Zan, Creative Commons license, modified
"Hover Taxi" by Jin Zan. Image © Jin Zan, Creative Commons license, modified

This month, Family Design Day is all about skyscrapers! Boston, home to the Hancock and Prudential towers, is taking steps to elevate the city’s skyline. But how tall can architects and engineers actually build? Learn more about the architecture, science, and art behind what keeps the world’s tallest buildings standing and then, using a kit of parts, design and build your own skyscraper.

Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower

12:00 - 1 February, 2016
Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW
Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW

Protestors have prompted developer Sellar Property Group to pull plans on the Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper sited in London's Paddington area. The 72-story "skinny Shard" has been harshly criticized by locals and Historic England for "blighting views" of the capital and being out-of-place, hence its popular nickname - the "Paddington Pole."

“London’s skyline is unique, iconic and loved. It has to be managed sensitively and with proper planning,” Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson told The Guardian. “Tall buildings can be exciting and useful, but if they are poorly designed, or in the wrong place, they can really harm our cities. We trust that the revised plans for Paddington Place will take the area’s unique character into account.”

Perkins Eastman Breaks Ground on New Jersey’s Tallest Tower

14:00 - 29 January, 2016
© Perkins Eastman
© Perkins Eastman

99 Hudson Street, soon to be New Jersey's tallest tower, has officially broken ground. Designed by Perkins Eastman, the 900-foot-tall mixed-use condominium tower is said to be one of the tallest residential buildings in the US and will "dramatically remake the Jersey City skyline," according to Mayor Steven Fulop.

“99 Hudson will mark a new milestone for Jersey City’s resurgence as a truly great city in which to live and work. For decades now, people on the west side of the Hudson have marveled at Manhattan’s skyline, but today Jersey City is developing its own dynamic city, along with a world-class skyline. To play a part in this transformation is quite an honor,” said Perkins Eastman principal Ming Wu.

A First Look at Álvaro Siza's First US Building

16:00 - 26 January, 2016
Courtesy of Noe & Associates and The Boundary; Via The Architects' Newspaper
Courtesy of Noe & Associates and The Boundary; Via The Architects' Newspaper

An image of Álvaro Siza's first US building has been released. The luxury New York tower, planned for the corner of West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Midtown, will rise up to 120 meters (just over 400 feet) and offer 80 units, a private roof garden, sun deck, spa and fitness center, and more. 

Siza is working with real estate development firms Sumaida + Khurana and LENY on the project. Sumaida + Khurana is the same developer who is collaborating with Tadao Ando on a luxury condominium at 152 Elizabeth Street

Foster Breaks Ground on New Dubai Skyscraper

14:00 - 26 January, 2016
© Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

Construction is underway on a new office and retail tower in the Dubai International Financial Center district (DIFC). Designed by Foster + Partners, the 1.5-million-square-foot "ICD Brookfield Place" has officially broke ground and is expected to be completed by late 2018. 

"The beginning of construction at ICD Brookfield Place marks the next phase of one of Dubai's most prestigious developments at the DIFC. We were honored to be chosen by ICD Brookfield to design a project that we believe will become a new social focus for Dubai, combining world class office space with a major civic plaza," says Foster. 

SOM: "The Engineering of Architecture"

13:26 - 21 January, 2016
© Saskia Wehler
© Saskia Wehler

With its 80 years of experience in bringing together architecture and structural engineering Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) remains groundbreaking to this day, particularly in the construction of gigantic skyscrapers, the so-called “supertalls”. The exhibition and the accompanying DETAIL volume present the approaches, the roots and the theoretical background of the SOM Structural Group. One central question is how far architecture can go – in terms of height. Typical structural concepts and individual details from numerous projects across the world serve to illustrate processes of solution finding. The results illustrate the firm’s core values: simplicity, clarity, hierarchy, efficiency, economy and advancement. A number of iconic SOM buildings such as the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower help to position the example projects – ranging from James Turrell’s Skyspace to Burj Khalifa – within the context of SOM’s complete work. The innovative structural solutions presented here indicate how SOM enables the creation of “next generation” buildings.

BIG's 2 World Trade Center Stalls After Fox Withdraws

14:00 - 19 January, 2016
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

Two major tenants, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have pulled plans to relocate to the BIG-designed 2 World Trade Center - the final building planned for the 16 acre site. 2 WTC was unveiled last summer after news broke that BIG would be replacing Foster + Partners as the building's architect. According to a report on The Wall Street Journal, the two media companies based their decision on the high cost of relocating; they plan to stay in their current Midtown site until at least 2025.

The project will be placed on hold until a new tenant is found. 

The World Now Has 100 Supertall Buildings

08:00 - 18 January, 2016
432 Park Avenue, New York City. Image © DBOX for CIM Group & Macklowe Properties
432 Park Avenue, New York City. Image © DBOX for CIM Group & Macklowe Properties

Following the recent completion of 432 Park Avenue in New York City, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced that there are now 100 supertall (300-plus-meter) skyscrapers in the world. The majority of these skyscrapers are in Asia and the Middle East, mirroring construction trends that have emerged over the past decade. Dubai leads the rankings with 18 supertall buildings, while New York City now falls in second place with a total of seven, including 432 Park Avenue.

Dubai Skyscraper Engulfed in Flames Hours Before New Year's Celebration

13:35 - 31 December, 2015

Update: Investigations are still underway, however at least 14 people were injured in the skyscraper blaze that carried on throughout Dubai's annual fireworks display. Now, photographer Kirill Neiezhmakov has shared a time-lapse of the horrific incident (seen above). 

A 300-meter-tall hotel, The Address in Dubai has been engulfed in flames, just hours before a massive New Year's Eve fireworks show at the nearby Burj Khalifa. Reports are just coming in, so it is unclear whether anyone has been hurt or how it started. We will keep you posted. 

Vincent Callebaut Imagines "Oceanscrapers" 3D Printed from Recycled Trash

12:00 - 25 December, 2015
© Vincent Callebaut
© Vincent Callebaut

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has envisioned a radical underwater colony for "climate change refugees" 3D printed from recycled materials taken from the ocean's floating garbage patches. This particular proposal of "oceanscrapers" is sited off the shore of Rio de Janeiro. It's aim is to provide a sustainable habitat with 10,000 housing units, office and work space, sea farms, gardens, community orchards and much more, while fostering marine life. 

© Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut © Vincent Callebaut +30

Zaha Hadid's First Tower in Melbourne Described as a Series of "Stacked Vases"

12:11 - 23 December, 2015
582-606 Collins Street. Image © ZHA
582-606 Collins Street. Image © ZHA

Zaha Hadid Architects has teamed up with Plus Architecture to design their first tower in Melbourne. The 54-story mixed use skyscraper is designed as a series of "stacked vases" supported by an "elegant colonnade of sculptural, curved columns" that "embody and emulate the finest examples of historic architecture" in the area. If approved, the proposal will add a mix of retail, commercial and residential programs to its site at 582-606 Collins Street.

Mark Foster Gage's Manhattan Skyscraper Takes Gothic Architecture to New Heights

13:30 - 15 December, 2015
© Mark Foster Gage Architects
© Mark Foster Gage Architects

This isn't your typical New York skyscraper; Mark Foster Gage has been commissioned to design a 1492-foot-tall luxury tower in Manhattan - 41 West 57th Street. Described by Skyscraper City as the "missing link between Beaux Arts, Art Deco, Expressionism, Gaudi-Modernisme and Contemporary architecture," the outlandish design boasts a uniquely carved facade cloaked in balconies custom tailored for each of its 91 residential units. 

"I think that many of the supertall buildings being built in New York City are virtually free of architectural design - they are just tall boxes covered in a selected glass curtain wall products. That is not design," said Gage. 

Oliver Wainwright on London's "Tortured Heap of Towers"

12:15 - 14 December, 2015
© The Guardian
© The Guardian

The Guardian's latest, Oliver Wainwright and Monica Ulmanu discuss London's controversial skyline and the forces that shape it. "Perhaps the tortured heap of towers that seem to be the future of London’s skyline (some thrilling, some monstrous, all very large) is inevitable," says Wainwright. "It is a vertical expression of the Square Mile’s medieval street pattern, forced skywards by global finance and massaged by reactive planning – the chaotic cocktail of invisible forces shaping the city." Read the whole article, here

New LEGO® Collection Lets You Recreate Skylines

12:00 - 11 December, 2015
New York City. Image © LEGO®
New York City. Image © LEGO®

Venice, Berlin and New York City are the first to be featured in LEGO®'s new Architecture Skyline Collection. Unlike its single-building series, these new kits will allow you to recreate famous skylines by constructing up to 5 of each city's most iconic buildings. 

New York City's skyline will be represented by the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, and Flatiron Building. Venice will feature the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs. And Berlin's skyline will include the Reichstag, Victory Column, Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin TV Tower, and Brandenburg Gate.

AMBS Proposes World's Tallest Tower in Iraq

16:00 - 7 December, 2015
© AMBS via Slate
© AMBS via Slate

An 1152-meter super tall tower is being proposed for the Iraqi city of Basra as part of a government-backed masterplan that aims to expand the city's capacity by 2025. As reported by Slate, the "Bride of the Gulf" was designed by AMBS Architects as a cluster of four net-zero towers interconnected by sky gardens and independent of the city grid. Together, they would add nearly 17-million-square-feet of usable space to the city's growing business center. Parks, "sky-squares," schools, hotels, clinics, commercial centers, offices and much more would provide all the amenities needed for a self-sustaining vertical city.

The New New York Skyline (Sunlight Not Included)

14:00 - 30 November, 2015
The full diagram available on the National Geographic (link below). Image © National Geographic
The full diagram available on the National Geographic (link below). Image © National Geographic

With New York's skyline on the rise, Fast Company says that there will no longer be sunlight on the streets of Manhattan by 2020 (unless you can afford a rooftop penthouse). Thirty-four skyscrapers 700-feet and taller are currently in-progress or being proposed, adding to 41 that already exist. This may seem like a lot, but as Fast Company also points out London has 230 new towers over 20 stories planned. See National Geographic's "The New New York Skyline" illustration for a closer look. 

BIG High Line Project Unveiled

12:15 - 23 November, 2015
© BIG, via New York Yimby
© BIG, via New York Yimby

New York Yimby has unveiled BIG's latest New York skyscraper: 76 11th Avenue. Planned for one of the largest plots along the High Line, the nearly 800,000-square-foot proposed project is comprised of two towers perched on a podium of retail, gallery and hotel space in the city's Meatpacking district. Rising 302-feet to the east and 402-feet to the west, the towers are divided by a "diagonal cut" through the site that opens up more views for residents to the High Line.

Steven Holl's "Copenhagen Gateway" Will Finally Go Ahead

16:00 - 20 November, 2015
© Steven Holl Architects
© Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is preparing to break ground on a project that is nearly eight years in the making. The ambitious "Copenhagen Gate" development will break ground next year, as Fast Company reports, after being initially held back in 2008. It will feature two asymmetrical towers  - Gate L and Gate M - connected by a (terrifying) pedestrian skybridge suspended 213 feet above the harbor.