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Behind the Scenes: Building the American Copper Buildings' Skybridge

12:00 - 12 June, 2016

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 Skyscrapers Really All They Set Out to Be?

14:00 - 31 May, 2016
Are Tree-Covered Skyscrapers Really All They Set Out to Be?, Peruri 88, a 400-meter proposal by MVRDV for Jakarta. Image Courtesy of RSI-Studio
Peruri 88, a 400-meter proposal by MVRDV for Jakarta. Image Courtesy of RSI-Studio

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.

With Recent Innovations, Where Will Elevators Take Us Next?

09:30 - 27 May, 2016
With Recent Innovations, Where Will Elevators Take Us Next?

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.

New York 2030: This Annotated Visualization Shows Us the Manhattan of the Future

16:30 - 10 May, 2016
Courtesy of VISUALHOUSE
Courtesy of VISUALHOUSE

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."

SHoP Unveils Design for New Skyscraper in Manhattan's Lower East Side

16:00 - 28 April, 2016
SHoP Unveils Design for New Skyscraper in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Courtesy of SHoP
Courtesy of SHoP

SHoP has unveiled the design for a new 900 foot tall skyscraper in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The 77 story, 500,000 square foot, mixed-income tower will have 600 units, 150 of which will be permanently affordable and distributed evenly throughout the building. The project has been developed as a collaboration between SHoP and JDS who are co-owners of the development, with the partnership of two not-for-profit groups: Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (TBNC) and Settlement Housing Fund (SHF).

Kengo Kuma Unveils Mixed-Use Skyscraper in Vancouver

16:00 - 27 April, 2016
Kengo Kuma Unveils Mixed-Use Skyscraper in Vancouver, Courtesy of v2com
Courtesy of v2com

Kengo Kuma and Associates has revealed plans for the office’s first North American skyscraper, a mixed-use luxury tower on a site adjacent to Stanley Park in Vancouver. Known as ‘Alberni by Kuma,’ the 43-story tower combines 181 residences with retail space and a restaurant in a rectilinear volume accented by "scoops" on two sides. These curvatures are the building’s most important formal attribute, while a moss garden at the tower's base is its most important spatial feature. The project is being organized by Westbank and Peterson, and is part of a group of architecturally significant projects being developed by the pair in the west coast city.

Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com Courtesy of v2com +10

Call for Submissions: CTBUH 2016 International Student Tall Building Design Competition

21:00 - 12 April, 2016
Call for Submissions: CTBUH 2016 International Student Tall Building Design Competition

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce its 5th International Student Tall Building Design Competition. The goal of the competition is to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society.

As worldwide populations continue to urbanize and grow, creating megacities, the role of the tall building in the twenty-first century has moved beyond simply addressing spatial and economic efficiencies. The permanence of these structures necessitates careful forethought into how they will interface with the surrounding urban context, the natural environment, their inhabitants, and the world as a whole. Although they are statically embedded in our cities, skyscrapers must employ a dynamic spatial and functional dialogue, allowing them to remain active and relevant for not just decades, but centuries.

New Web App Lets You Navigate Downtown Miami’s Growing Skyline

14:00 - 9 April, 2016
New Web App Lets You Navigate Downtown Miami’s Growing Skyline, Renzo Piano's Proposed Tower at 87 Park in Downtown Miami. Image Courtesy of Terra
Renzo Piano's Proposed Tower at 87 Park in Downtown Miami. Image Courtesy of Terra

While certain cities in the world have instantly recognizable skylines, other burgeoning cities like Miami are still finding their architectural identity. A new online, 3D-map by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) outlines the over 100 new towers being erected in the city by architects including Renzo Piano and OMA, set against Miami’s existing cityscape. The projects are color-coded according to their status as either proposed, under construction or built. You can access the interactive map here.

eVolo Announces 2016 Skyscraper Competition Winners

08:00 - 29 March, 2016
eVolo Announces 2016 Skyscraper Competition Winners, "New York Horizon" /  Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu. Image Courtesy of eVolo
"New York Horizon" / Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A competition now in its 11th year, eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of its 2016 Skyscraper Competition: a group of three top prizes and 21 honorable mentions culled from 489 entries. The award annually recognizes the vanguard of high-rise construction "through [the] novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations." Among this year's winners are a project that proposes digging down and creating a megastructure along the perimeter of Central Park, a skyscraper that acts as a hub for drones in future commercial applications, and a tower that takes advantage of the climate of Iceland as an ideal location for data servers.

UNStudio Chosen to Transform Former Deutsche Bank Site in Frankfurt

14:00 - 28 March, 2016
UNStudio Chosen to Transform Former Deutsche Bank Site in Frankfurt, © UNStudio
© UNStudio

UNStudio has won a competition to transform the former Deutsche Bank site in Frankfurt's financial district into a lively mixed-use site comprised of offices, apartments, hotels, retail, gastro and open public spaces. With four high-rise towers reaching up to 228-meters-tall, the proposal plans to feature the city's highest residential and office buildings. 

“Bringing a mixed-use project into this financial district will not only enliven the area during daytime, but it will also introduce evening programs and create an essential form of social sustainability to this part of the city," says Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. "The introduction of the residential and the leisure components are key to this strategy. This sculptural family of towers will also create the suggestion of a cohesive neighborhood within the skyline and emphasize the importance of this part of the city within the whole."

Vasily Klyukin Proposes Asian Cobra Tower

14:00 - 4 March, 2016
Vasily Klyukin Proposes Asian Cobra Tower, © Vasily Klyukin
© Vasily Klyukin

Russian designer Vasily Klyukin has envisioned the "Asian Cobra Tower." Just as its name suggests, the gold-plated tower takes the shape of a snake, offering offices and apartments in its body and a restaurant, night club and terrace in its jaws. 

"In Japan telling someone that he is a snake means a compliment. In China snakes and dragons often mean the same," says Klyukin. "The symbol of wisdom and eternal life, this tower would embellish any Eastern city."

Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide"

13:40 - 3 March, 2016
Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide", via LA Curbed
via LA Curbed

The West Coast's tallest building, Los Angeles' US Bank Tower is going to be outfitted with a terrifying glass slide designed by engineering firm M.Ludvik & Co. Set to hang 1000-feet above the street, the project will be part of the building's Gensler-designed OUE Skyspace LA attraction - soon to be California's tallest open-air observation deck. 

HOK’s Hertsmere House Will Be the Tallest Residential Tower in Western Europe

08:00 - 1 March, 2016
HOK’s Hertsmere House Will Be the Tallest Residential Tower in Western Europe, via AJ © HOK
via AJ © HOK

HOK’s latest project, “Hertsmere House” on West India Quay in London’s Canary Wharf has been approved for development by members of Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee. At 67-stories and 789 feet tall, Hertsmere House will be Western Europe’s tallest residential tower. The design, inspired by flower petals, aims to create a unique addition to the London skyline. Read more about the project after the break.

Winners of the Inaugural China Tall Building Awards

14:00 - 26 February, 2016
Winners of the Inaugural China Tall Building Awards, Best Tall Building China: Wangjing SOHO, Beijing / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © CCDI
Best Tall Building China: Wangjing SOHO, Beijing / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © CCDI

The China International Exchange Committee for Tall Buildings (CITAB) and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) have announced the winners of their inaugural China Tall Building Awards. Four buildings, including two designed by Zaha Hadid and Kengo Kuma, were chosen as China's best tall buildings. Other winners were recognized for their innovation, success within the urban environment, and construction excellence. 

"With the support of the Architectural Society of China and the Architectural Society of China Shanghai, the first year of this regionally focused awards program was very successful, with numerous high-quality projects entering into the running under six categories of recognition," said CITAB and CTBUH.

Carlo Ratti Proposes Mile-High Park, World's Tallest Structure

14:00 - 25 February, 2016
© Carlo Ratti Associati
© Carlo Ratti Associati

Carlo Ratti Associati has teamed up with German engineer Schlaich Bergermann Partner and British design studio Atmos to design the world's tallest man-made structure. Nearly twice the height of the Burj Khalifa, the 1609-meter-tall tower was envisioned as a vertical "Central Park" clothed in vegetation and supported by a lightweight matrix of pre-stressed cables. 

"Imagine you take New York's Central Park, turn it vertical, roll it and twirl it," said Carlo Ratti.

PLP Unveils Pearl River Delta's Tallest Building as Part of New Masterplan

13:30 - 11 February, 2016
PLP Unveils Pearl River Delta's Tallest Building as Part of New Masterplan, Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon
Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon

British firm PLP has unveiled their design for a large complex at the heart of the Pearl River Delta in China. The master plan comprises four buildings: the Platform for Contemporary Arts, the Lizhi Park Tower, the Concourse, and the Nexus - a 600-meter tall office and hotel tower that will be the masterplan's centerpiece and the region's tallest skyscraper.

Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon Exterior Rendered Night View. Image © Luxigon Aerial Rendered View. Image Courtesy of PLP Architecture Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of PLP Architecture +20

Event: Family Design Day: Skyscraper Challenge

09:00 - 5 February, 2016
Event: Family Design Day: Skyscraper Challenge, "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
Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower, 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.”