Studio Gang Behind Supertall Tower Planned for Chicago

© City of

The City of Chicago has officially linked Studio Gang Architects to the massive mixed-use “Wanda Vista” development planned to rise alongside the Chicago River. A trio of interlocking supertall towers, the $900 million riverfront project is expected to become the city’s third tallest building.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the tallest part of the skyscraper will reach 1,148 feet and 88 stories, one story less than rumors originally indicated, stirring speculation that the final count has something to due with its Chinese developer and “eight” being considering a lucky number in .

Valode & Pistre Set to Break Ground on Africa’s Tallest Tower

© Valode & Pistre / iceberg.fr

Valode & Pistre is set to break ground on ’s tallest tower next June. More than doubling the height of Johannesburg’s 223-meter Carlton Center, which has been the continent’s tallest building since 1973, the Al Noor Tower (Tower of Light) will most likely rise 540-meters on a 25-hectare site in the Moroccan city of

It’s program will center around business, providing accommodations with a 200-suite luxury hotel, a trading platform, conference hall and large art gallery, as well as an astonishing 100-meter-tall atrium that hollows the tower’s base.  

SHoP Architects Reveal Restoration Plan for New York’s Seaport District

© SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects have revealed a proposal to pedestrianize ’s historic Seaport District. Extending the Manhattan grid out into the waterfront, the scheme seeks to harmonize pedestrian infrastructure and increase access to the shoreline, while proposing a 500-foot luxury residential tower by developer Howard Hughes Corporation that would jut out into the harbor. More about the proposal, after the break.

Video: Guinness World Records Pays Tribute to Burj Khalifa

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As a tribute to their 60th anniversary, has published a video about the Burj Khalifa. Towering 828-meters (27,160-feet) above the downtown Dubai, the Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)-designed structure has been the world’s tallest building since its opening in 2010.

Why New York Shouldn’t be a City for the One Percent

View above Central Park looking south towards “Billionaire’s Row” towers, with Midtown towers in background and various Financial District and Downtown Brooklyn Towers in far background. Image Courtesy of CityRealty

In recent years, it’s been difficult to miss the spate of supertall, super-thin towers on the rise in . Everyone knows the individual projects: 432 Park Avenue, One57, the Nordstrom Tower, the MoMA Tower. But, when a real estate company released renders of the New York skyline in 2018, it forced New Yorkers to consider for the first time the combined effect of all this new real estate. In this opinion article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “On New York’s Skyscraper Boom and the Failure of Trickle-Down Urbanism,” Joshua K Leon argues that the case for a city of the one percent doesn’t stand up under scrutiny.

What would a city owned by the one-percent look like?

New renderings for CityRealty get us part way there, illustrating how Manhattan may appear in 2018. The defining feature will be a bumper crop of especially tall, slender piercing the skyline like postmodern boxes, odd stalagmites, and upside-down syringes. What they share in common is sheer unadulterated scale and a core clientele of uncompromising plutocrats.

Infographic: The World’s Most Expensive Skyscrapers

Courtesy of Emporis

It may or may not be the tallest building in North America, but one thing’s for sure: when it comes to costs, no other skyscraper comes close to New York‘s One World Trade Center. This is the conclusion of Emporis, whose list of the world’s top ten most expensive buildings puts 1WTC way out in front at $3.9 billion. Originally estimated at just half that cost, this sets a trend in the top ten list, with many of the featured buildings suffering staggering overruns. The second-place Shard, for example, overshot it’s original £350 million ($550 million) budget nearly four times over (although this is to be expected in London).

ThyssenKrupp Promises to Revolutionize Skyscraper Design with Elevator Innovation

© ThyssenKruppe

Elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp has unveiled its latest technological advance, a cable free, multi-car, multi-directional elevator that has the potential to revolutionize the size and shape of future skyscrapers. Run using magnetic similar to that used by Maglev trains, with each cabin running its own individual motor, the “MULTI” elevator system opens up the potential for elevator cabins to move horizontally as well as vertically. This in turn offers the potential for multiple cabins to operate in a single system, with cabins going up one shaft and down an adjacent shaft.

Kimmelman Reviews the One WTC: An Emblem of New York’s “Upside-Down Priorities”

One WTC. Image © James Ewing OTTO

Nearly a month since the official (and somewhat mundane) opening of ’s One World Trade Center, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has published a scathing review of the SOM-designed tower, claiming it to be a “flawed” emblem of the city’s “upside-down priorities.”

“Replacing the twin towers with another giant office building was somehow supposed to show New York’s indomitable spirit: the defiant city transfigured from the ashes. To the contrary, 1 World Trade implies (wrongly) a metropolis bereft of fresh ideas. It looks as if it could be anywhere, which New York isn’t.” You can read Kimmelman’s complete review, here.

Video: Ole Scheeren on Height and Density

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In this interview, conducted by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ole Scheeren discusses the ideal height for sustainable buildings. Drawing reference from two of his projects, MahaNakhon and The Interlace, he speaks to the difference between height and density, and how those two interplay when creating livable spaces in urban areas. He goes on to talk about how large buildings such as skyscrapers can be made more open to the surrounding city, both visually through programming. Watch the full clip above!

Paris’ City Council Rejects Herzog & de Meuron’s 180-Meter “Triangle Tower”

© Herzog & de Meuron

Widening the debate on whether or not should preserve its 19-century skyline or “embrace innovation,” Parisian city council members have rejected the controversial, 180-meter “Triangle Tower” designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Despite the 83-78 vote, the fight carries on; Mayor Anne Hidalgo has declared the veto to be invalid and hopes a new round of balloting will rule in favor of the tower. Though, in a city that fears of loosing its “existing urban fabric to skyscrapers,” it seems unlikely that the tower will be built. 

Mario Palanti: Architect of Rome’s Skyscraper That Never Was

Adam Nathaniel Furman, architect and winner of this year’s Blueprint Award for Design Innovation, is currently undertaking his tenure as the recipient of the 2014/15 Rome Prize for Architecture at the British School at Rome. His ongoing project, entitled The Roman Singularity, seeks to explore and celebrate Rome as “the contemporary city par-excellence” – “an urban version of the internet, a place where the analogical-whole history of society, architecture, , literature and art coalesce into a space so intense and delimited that they collapse under the enormity of their own mass into a singularity of human endeavour.”

In this short essay inspired by the work of Dietrich C Neumann, an architectural historian at Brown University (Providence, RI USA), Furman examines what would have been “the tallest building in the world [...] housing Italy’s new Parliament, halls, meeting rooms, a hotel, library, enormous sports facilities, lighthouse, clock, astronomical observatory, telegraph and telephone stations, [reflecting] sunlight off its acres and acres of white Carrara marble.” In the shadow of Italian Fascism, Mario Palanti saw an opportunity to transform the skyline of the Italian capital by pandering to the egotistical ambitions of a dictator. Ultimately the extent of his vision was matched only by his failure.

The World’s 10 Tallest New Buildings of 2015

The following list, originally published on BuzzBuzzHome, is based on data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the recognized authority on skyscraper height. 

With the number of officially “tall” buildings — at least 656 feet (200 meters) — doubling over the next ten years, and the number of “megatall” buildings — at least 1,969 feet (600 meters) — expected to jump from two to 10 by 2020, building construction around the world is literally reaching new heights.

Indeed, next year alone 10 new  of at least 1,110 feet (338 meters) will be completed. They are 2015′s tallest buildings…

Images of SOM’s Completed One World Trade Center in New York

© James Ewing OTTO

The first tenant has moved into the One World Trade Center, making Monday, November 3, the official opening of the (arguably) tallest building in the Western hemisphere 13 years after the tragedy of 9/11. The “extraordinary moment was passed in the most ordinary of ways,” described the New York Times, as employees of Conde Nast entered into the white marble lobby (taken from the same quarry that produced marble for the original twin towers) and headed straight to the elevators to start their work day.

To celebrate its completion, renowned architectural photographers Iwan Baan and James Ewing took it to the sky to capture the One in all its glory. The images, after the break.

From the Ground Up: China and the New Vertical City

Cloud Citizen. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s tallest buildings will be in China. With its government planned , the Chinese policy often favors high-density development, and some of the most radical and experimental urban design ideas can be applied in China – take for example the recent joint winner of the Shenzhen Bay Super City competition, Cloud Citizen, which takes on a more integrated and interconnected approach to vertical cities. In this article on The Guardian, Nicola Davison investigates how at this critical time in the country’s development, architects and urban planners may choose to move away from previous urban models of isolated skyscrapers, towards a more humane environment that seeks to emulate nature and create diverse public spaces. Read the article in full here

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 condominium project for downtown , . 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 timber 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.