With a very bold and pioneering move, the UK for the first time is prioritizing cyclists and pedestrians. The city is making pressures on skyscrapers by issuing new rules on the design of the high-rises in order to prevent the creation of wind tunnels.
Skyscrapers: The Latest Architecture and News
Villages and cities in Iran have always had a fixed low-rise horizontal skyline due to the lack of beam and column technology. Although some cities have already adopted contemporary styles and have constructed soaring skyscrapers, but the majority of towns remain committed to traditional building techniques.
Iranian architect Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar decided to give traditional Iranian architecture a structural upgrade but kept its main features intact. In his conceptual creations titled "Retrofuturism", the architect used traditionally-designed houses as a starting point, but introduced them to the modern world of skyscrapers and surreal forms, mixing both styles together.
The Adjaye Associates-designed 130 William has topped out in Lower Manhattan at 800 feet. The first residential skyscraper in the USA designed by the firm, the iconic exterior architecture features a custom hand-cast façade with rhythmic large-scale arched windows and bronze detailing. Made to recall New York City’s historic fabric from the 19th and early 20th centuries, the tower will include 242 new luxury condominiums in the Financial District over 66 stories.
New York City has gained a reputation for its soaring towers thanks to unprecedented engineering technologies and New York’s air-rights policy, which permits developers to acquire neighboring unused airspace and construct large structures without any type of previous public review. But how are these super tall skyscrapers being accommodated? By replacing older existing structures. This out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new pattern comes as no surprise, as the “concrete jungle” is gradually being axed to make room for an even larger jungle.
Gensler's Tower Fifth in New York City will be the Second-Tallest Building in the Western Hemisphere
Gensler has released details of their proposed Tower Fifth in New York City. If realized, the 1556-foot-tall scheme would be the second-tallest building not just in New York, but in the Western Hemisphere. Located east of Fifth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street, the tower will sit adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
According to Gensler, who designed the scheme in collaboration with developer Harry Macklowe, the tower “creates a new paradigm for how a supertall structure meets the street and interacts with its neighbors.”
MVRDV have released images of their ambitious design for the Taipei Twin Towers, set to revitalize the central station area of the Taiwanese capital. The two towers are characterized by a “pile of blocks” that create a vertical urban neighborhood, complete with interactive media facades.
The site is currently occupied by the city’s main station, containing railway, airport lines, metro networks, and underused parks and plazas. Under the MVRDV scheme, the two towers will be built over the top of the station, offering retail, offices, two cinemas, two hotels, and the unification and redevelopment of surrounding plazas.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has announced the completion of the third-tallest building in Shenzhen. The China Resources Headquarters, a 400-meter-tall commercial office tower, stitches together retail, residential, and office functions surrounded by 2,000 square meters of public space.
The tower, inspired by the shape of winter bamboo shoots, seeks to “invigorate Shenzhen’s urban fabric while providing one of the country’s premier companies with a visual icon symbolizing its historic growth and prominent stature.”
Foster + Partners has released details of their proposed China Merchants Bank HQ in Shenzhen. The soaring 350-meter tower, intended to house the bank’s 13,000-strong workforce, will be complemented by a sister tower 180 meters in height, containing a luxury hotel and mixed-use office, cultural, and retail spaces.
The taller office tower is comprised of large-span column-free floorplates supported by offset cores at either side. A glazed façade has been shaped to avoid downdrafts, thus making the surrounding open spaces on the ground floor more comfortable for the public.
Emporis has announced the results of its annual Emporis Skyscraper Award, recognizing the best new supertall buildings completed in the previous year. This year, the top prize was given to the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Baum Architects. The tapered tower, South Korea’s tallest, also houses the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, for architects who can handle the 1820-foot (555-meter) drop.
Zaha Hadid Architects have received the go-ahead for their Vauxhall Cross Island towers, a duo of skyscrapers sited adjacent to Vauxhall Station. The scheme, which was publicly announced nearly a year ago (19 January 2018), would be the first project undertaken by the office in the UK for a private client.
View the republished content from Orbitz' list complete with an interactive timeline of Chicago's tallest buildings.
The CTBUH has released its Year in Review, charting the year’s tall building developments around the world. 2018 saw a record-breaking 18 supertall buildings (over 300 meters tall) built across the world, and 143 buildings of over 200 meters in height completed.
To quantify the extent to which architecture reached to the sky throughout the year, the CTBUH estimate that if each tall building completed in 2018 was laid end to end, it would exceed the entire length of the island of Manhattan; some 13 miles (21.6 kilometers).
Blossoming alongside the iconic Gherkin building, Foster + Partners' Tulip Tower has been planning to join London's skyline since they released their proposal earlier in November. However, construction of the1,000-foot tower has been halted until officials can determine its impact on aircraft radar systems at London City airport, six miles away. Featuring mobile gondolas in the form of three-meter wide glass spheres intended for visitor rides on an elliptical journey around the tower, the proposed viewing platform is potentially highly problematic.
Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.
While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work:
EID Architecture was selected earlier this year as one of the two finalists in an international competition to design a 518 meter-tall tower in Fuzhou, China. Located on a prominent riverfront site in Fuzhou, Shimao North Riverfront Tower was made to be the centerpiece of a new business district within the city. The tower's design explores what supertall building means today. In contrast to many form-driven towers, Shimao Fuzhou aims to integrate architecture and structure to create an iconic and futuristic landmark with remarkable efficiency.
Arquitectonica has revealed new renderings of its proposal for a 53-story tower of cantilevered pools in Downtown Los Angeles. The skyscraper could be built under two different scenarios, where either the building becomes primarily residential units or a hotel and condominiums. The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning published a draft Environmental Impact Report with further details on the 784-foot tower. Arquitectonica's tower is one of multiple developments underway around Pershing Square.
Steel and concrete facades have dominated contemporary cityscapes for generations, but as pressures from climate change pose new challenges for design and construction industries, some firms are turning to mass timber as the construction material of the future. But could it be used for structures as complex as skyscrapers?