World’s Tallest Twin Towers Planned for Dubai

© Emaar Properties and Holding; Courtesy of Gizmodo

Developers Emaar Properties and Dubai Holdings have unveiled a new mega development planned for Dubai, dubbed Dubai Creek Harbour. Though no official architects have been named, the 6 million-square-meter is designed to be three times larger than downtown Dubai and will include the world’s tallest twin towers.

Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s headquarters. With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022.

“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.”

Daniel Libeskind-Designed Condominium Towers Proposed for Boca Raton

© Vingtsix

Daniel Libeskind has teamed up with locally-based GS4 Studios to propose a four-tower luxury project for downtown Boca Raton, Florida. North of Miami, the “Mizner on the Green” development will add 500 residential units and a two-acre public park directly adjacent to the Boca Raton Resort and Club golf course.

US Department of Agriculture Launches $2 Million Tall Wood Building Prize Competition

Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image Courtesy of Midroc Property Development

Among the changes in material that are constantly altering the architectural landscape, one of the most popular – and most dramatic – is the idea of the skyscraper. And with vocal advocates like Benton Johnson of SOM and Michael Green leading the discussion with projects like the Timber Tower Research Project, the wooden highrise is on the verge of becoming a mainstream approach.

To further the conversation in the USA, the US Department of Agriculture, working in partnership with Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), has recently launched the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, an ideas competition with a $2 million prize. To find out more about tall wood buildings, we caught up with Oscar Faoro, Project Manager of the competition. Read on after the Break for our interview and more details on how to enter.

Spotlight: César Pelli

Courtesy of Construye

“[Architecture can be defined as] giving an appropriate response and an adequate artistic interpretation of the problems that are faced in each project.”

Argentine architect César Pelli (born October 12, 1926) is known for designing some of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Torre Cristal in Madrid and Costanera Center in Santiago, Chile.

View from the Top: Instagrammer Climbs NYC’s Tallest Building

Photo taken from 432 Park Ave, looking West. Image © Demid Lebedev

“The higher you get the lonelier the world seems.”

Seventeen-year-old Demid Lebedev, better known by his Instagram username Demidism, recently climbed to the top of 432 Park Avenue, capturing unprecedented views from what will be New York City’s tallest residential building. “I went to heaven and back,” writes Lebedev in one of the photo’s captions. Surrounded in fog, Lebedev captures views from distinct levels of the building, which is currently in its final stage of construction. 432 Park Avenue will top out at 1,398 feet, surpassing One57 and earning the crown as the city’s tallest residential building when it opens in 2015.

Yet following his climb, Lebedev was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and reckless endangerment, local press reported.

We caught up with Lebedev to learn what it’s like to climb to the top of the city’s tallest buildings and how the city changes as it extends upward. Read what Lebedev had to say and enjoy his stunning photos after the break.

London Mayor Rejects Skyline Campaign Proposals Amid Planning Controversy

Despite rejecting many of the proposals, Johnson has highlighted London’s Docklands as an area for concern, including Foster + Partners’ proposal for the tallest residential building in the . Image © Foster + Partners

London‘s Mayor Boris Johnson has largely rejected the proposals by the Skyline campaign, organized by the Architects’ Journal and the Observer, which aimed to introduce measures to allow more considered development in London, following the news that the UK‘s capital is currently going through its biggest building boom in recent memory.

The Architects’ Journal reported on Friday that the mayor rejected proposals for a presumption against tall buildings submitted for planning permission, a review of over 200 tall buildings currently either proposed or being constructed, a more rigourous system of masterplanning, and an independent skyline commission to examine new proposals. However, he did support the idea of a city-wide 3D model containing both existing and proposed buildings, which would allow planning officers to make more informed decisions.

More on the issue, and a detailed look at the mayor’s response to the proposals, after the break

Los Angeles Rids Itself of Helipad Requirement, Opens City to “Bolder” Skyline

Los Angeles, California. Image © Wikimedia Commons / Pintaric

Helicopter landing pads will no longer be required atop new buildings in Los Angeles, California. The rule’s elimination, which was announced yesterday by the city’s mayor and fire chief, allows architects the freedom to break away from LA’s “boxy” skyline. “I want to see innovative design,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “I want to see good design, but we’re going to take the handcuffs off of you when we ask you to do that. I want neighborhoods to look good, and I want our buildings to look iconic.” You can read more about the change, here.

In Defense of Rewarding Vanity Height

One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States… arguably. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

Recently, ArchDaily editors received an interesting request from an anonymous Communications Director of an unnamed New York firm, asking us “In your reporting, please do not repeat as fact, or as “official,” the opinion that One World Trade Center in will be the tallest building in the United States.” He or she goes on to explain that the decision maker who ‘announced’ the building as the tallest in the US, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), is not officially endorsed by the AIA or the US Government, and that while their work is beneficial for architecture and as a whole, their criteria for height evaluation are flawed and have been criticized by many in the industry.

The desire to have the tallest building in a city, country or even the world goes back to at least the medieval period, when competing noble families of Italian hill towns such as San Gimignano would try to out-do each other’s best construction efforts (jokes about the Freudian nature of such contests are, I imagine, not much younger). Perhaps the greatest symbol of this desire is the decorative crown of the Chrysler Building, which was developed in secret and enabled the building to briefly take the prize as the world’s tallest, much to the surprise and ire of its competitors at the time.

With this competitive spirit apparently still very much alive, I thought it might be worthwhile to address the issue raised by our anonymous friend.

Five Buildings Compete to be Named “World’s Best Highrise”

Bosco Verticale, Milan / Boeri Studio. Image © Kirsten Bucher

Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Highrise Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize.

Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building , to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness.

“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.

View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break… 

Construction Begins on Miami’s Tallest Tower

Courtesy of Skyrise

Construction has begun on Miami’s tallest tower: SkyRise Miami. Standing 305 meters above the Biscayne Bay, the waterfront tower will offer three viewing decks, a restaurant, nightclub, ballroom, exhibition space, and even the chance to bungee jump off its upper floors.

It’s designers, locally based arquitectonica, hope SkyRise will achieve LEED Gold upon completion in mid-2017.

Studio CTC Imagines Terraced Twin Skyscrapers in Hong Kong

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have developed a typical form language over the past century—many of them are large, rectangular, and sheathed in glass, but Studio CACHOUA TORRES CAMILLETTI is changing that. Working with the notion that even superstructures should be as varied as the cities they’re built in, the Mexican design firm has created a spectacular vision for a skyscraper in Hong Kong. With two curvilinear towers that support rice paddies on their terraces, the proposal includes cultural context in the very structure of the building.

Shanghai Tower Enters Final Stage of Construction

Climbing skyward, Tower (center) is seen in (July 2014), in the final stage of construction. Situated in ’s fast-growing Pudong District, Tower is located adjacent to the Jin Mao Tower (left) and the World Financial Center (right). Image © Nick Almasy Photography

After nearly eight years of design and construction, what will soon be China’s tallest and the world’s second tallest building has entered into its final phase of construction. Designed by Gensler, the 632-meter (2,073 feet) spiraling Shanghai Tower is now set to be completed in 2015, becoming the centerpiece of the city’s Lujiazui commercial district.

In light of the tower reaching its final phase of construction, Marshall Strabala, the Chief Architect of the building, has unveiled new photos of the construction process. Enjoy these photos as well as a video interview with Strabala on the construction process after the break…

How New Elevator Technology Will Allow Our Cities to Grow Even Taller

KONE UltraRope Elevator Shaft. Image Courtesy of Kone/Splash/Corbis

The sky is not always the limit when it comes to building vertically – rather, elevator technology is often the restricting factor when it comes to skyscraper height. With current , a single elevator can travel approximately 500m before the weight of the rope becomes unsupportable. This means that ascending a mile-high (1.6km) tower would require changing elevators up to 10 times. However, UltraRope, a recently unveiled technology by Finnish elevator manufacturer KONE, may change the heights of our cities. A new hoisting technology that will enable elevators to travel up to one kilometer, UltraRope doubles the distance that is currently possible.

In an article for The Guardian, “The new lift technology that will let cities soar far higher,” Rory Hyde looks at the current limitations of elevator technology, how its development over the years has shaped our and the impact that UltraRope could have skyscraper design. Read the whole piece, here.

The New York Times Asks: Are “Starchitects” Ruining City Skylines?

Hudson Yards, by Related Properties. Image Courtesy of Visualhouse

The idea of “star architects” or “starchitects” is, if nothing else, polemic. Frank Gehry has expressed his hatred for being labeled with the term, and in 2013 we received a letter from a reader urging us to ban the phrase as it “undermines serious discourse regarding architecture and urbanism.” Now, the “” debate has reached the opinion section of the New York Times.

Following recent comments by Witold Rybczynski that “starchitects” — often unfamiliar with the cities they are designing for — are designing buildings that don’t fit into their surroundings, the NYT has posed the question: Are superstar architects ruining city skylines? Weighing in on the topic are Allison Arieff, an architecture and design writer for the NYT, Vishaan Chakrabarti, an associate professor at Columbia and a partner at SHoP Architects, Angel Borrego Cubero, a Madrid-based architect, and the director and producer of “The Competition,” a documentary about architectural competitions, and Beverly Willis of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

SURE Wins Competition with “Endless City” Skyscraper

© SURE

Recently winning first place in a Skyscapers and SuperSkyscapers Competition, SURE Architecture has put forth a daring new proposition for a London skyscraper design. Their proposal, titled “The Endless City in Height,” does away with the traditional notion of stacking floors on top of each other. Rather, this innovative design incorporates two street-sized ramps that wind their way up the exterior of the tower, creating extensions of the city streetscape that rise and coil vertically into the skyline.

Designs Revealed of the Nordstrom Tower, the World’s Tallest Residential Building

Unofficial Rendering of Nordstrom Tower via New York YIMBY. Image © Otie O’Daniel

The designs of the Nordstrom Tower in New York, the world’s tallest residential building at 1,775 feet tall, have been revealed to New York YIMBY by an anonymous tipster close to the project. The project at 225 West 57th Street by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture will be one foot short of 1 World Trade Center, and with its 1,451 high roof will finally reclaim the title of United States’ tallest roof from Chicago‘s Willis Tower.

More on the Nordstrom Tower after the break

VIDEO: Chicago’s Three Tallest Buildings Simultaneously Struck by Lightning

Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place – or so goes the saying. But if you’ve ever watched a skyscraper in a , you probably know that this saying isn’t exactly true. What might be a little more rare is lightning striking three places at once, but thanks to this amazing timelapse video by Craig Shimala we now know that this too is possible, as the lightning rods on Chicago‘s Willis Tower, Trump Tower and John Hancock Center are all hit simultaneously (keep an eye out at the 36-second mark, and see the still image after the break). Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that this is the second time Shimala has recorded this exact occurrence – you can also see his video from 2010 after the break.