HEARST TOWER by Foster & Partners: diagrid The diagrid allows for very open floor plans. The 22,000 sq. ft. plates are mostly open. “ Because the triangles are so efficient in terms of bearing both the gravity and lateral loads, the building will use 21 percent less steel tonnage than a conventional building of its size.” -
Burj Khalifa Structural System In addition to its aesthetic and functional advantages, the spiraling “Y” shaped plan was utilized to shape the structural core of Burj Khalifa. This design helps to reduce the wind forces on the tower, as well as to keep the structure simple and foster constructability. The structural system can be described as a “buttressed core”, and consists of high performance concrete wall construction. Each of the wings buttress the others via a six-sided central core, or hexagonal hub. This central core provides the torsional resistance of the structure, similar to a closed pipe or axle. Corridor walls extend from the central core to near the end of each wing, terminating in thickened hammer head walls. These corridor walls and hammerhead walls behave similar to the webs and flanges of a beam to resist the wind shears and moments. Perimeter columns and flat plate floor construction complete the system. At mechanical floors, outrigger walls are provided to link the perimeter columns to the interior wall system, allowing the perimeter columns to participate in the lateral load resistance of the structure; hence, all of the vertical concrete is utilized to support both gravity and lateral loads. The result is a tower that is extremely stiff laterally and torsionally. It is also a very efficient structure in that the gravity load resisting system has been utilized so as to maximize its use in resisting lateral loads.
The Strata: Skyscraper With Built-In Wind Turbines
The three wind turbines integrated into the pinnacle of the tower provide 8% of the building’s energy needs , which is enough to provide for the building’s electrical and mechanical services, including three express elevators and automated window cleaning rigs. Construction of the top of the tower and integration of the wind turbines was said to be challenging, as every part of the turbines had to be hauled up via crane. The turbines are designed so that they will not be too noisy for the penthouse residents below. In addition to running off renewable energy, 25% of the development was designed to be affordable housing or for those who earn less than £60,000 a year. So floors 2-10 are affordable flats, while the remaining units are luxury condos all the way up to the penthouse. Markets and shopping areas are close at hand in the Elephant & Castle area, as new buildings and developments are slowly springing up. Two more residential towers are also slated for the area in the near future.
Thinking about turning on the news or heading to Weather.com to check out the forecast? Bo-ring! Wouldn’t it be infinitely cooler if you could just glance over at a giant skyscraper illuminated by a rainbow of 72,000 LEDs to let you know whether it was going to rain or be sunny? Well that’s exactly what the Dexia Towers in Brussels do. The buildings’ 6,000 windows light up the night sky with a barrage of colorful bulbs showing residents of the city if they need to bring an umbrella to work the next day. Designed by lab-au , the installation uses a dozen LEDs in each window, making the whole building look like a big Lite Brite (remember those?) canvas. The whole thing is uber-pretty, but how do you tell the weather? Well the temperature is shown based on the monthly average and a different color represents each increase or decrease. There also apparently is some color code for depicting humidity, wind speed and precipitation, but it beats us. We have to admit that the project is pretty awesome looking and it’s notable that the designers opted to use LEDs, but we have to point out that the building would use considerably less energy if they used less lights or lit them up for shorter periods of time. NOTE: According to the Dexia Towers website, the lighting of the weather forecast lights has been drastically reduced due to the economic and financial conditions. Between sunset and midnight, the lights will only illuminate for 10 minutes per hour. Well, we guess that takes care of that.
Dubbed ‘Rotating Tower in Motion’ building based on ‘ Dynamic Architecture ‘ concept by Florentine architect David Fisher is first of its kind and trend-setting. Not only be the pioneer, the Dynamic Architecture building which will constantly in motion changing its shape with each floor capable of spin, move and rotate 360 degress independent of one another, will also be able to generate electric energy enough for itself as well as for other surrounding buildings from at least 48 wind turbines that fitted between each rotating floors as well as the solar panels positioned on the roof of the building that will produce pollution-free energy from wind and the sunlight. Any acoustics issues are solved by modern design of the building and the carbon fiber special shape of the wings. And the floor only rotates at the slow speed of about 6 meters a minutes, so that guests inside probably won’t feel it. The Rotating Tower is actually a tower with a central concrete core surrounded by 59 independently rotating levels. It will also be the first skyscraper built with industrial systems process, where 90% of the building materials will be produced and constructed as modules in an industrial factory set up in Jebel Ali. These pre-fabricated units will then be shipped to the construction site and then assembled on the central core, the only part that will be built on-site using traditional techniques to house important static amenities like elevators, staircases, plumbing and other utilities. Each floor of the tower will consist of 48 of these factory-made modules that will arrive at the job site completely finished and self-contained with electrical, plumbing as well as air-conditioning systems ready for use. The modules will then be mechanically assembled at the rate of one floor every three days.
When completed, the rotating tower skyscraper will have 68 floors and will be 313 meters (1,027 feet) high. There will be a 6-star hotel, offices and apartments of various sizes besides five villas on the top floor. Each of the villas will have designated parking on the same floor with vehicles brought up and down in special elevators. The roof of the “Penthouse” villa will also have a swimming pool, a garden and an Arabian majlis. The tower also have a retractable heliport, a platform that will extend from the shell of the building at the 64th floor at the moment of landing, thus maintaining the dynamic aesthetic architecture of the tower. If you can’t visualize how the tower can have endless shapes by dynamically rotating floors to adapts to its surroundings but also to the tenant’s needs and the tenant’s caprices, the following video may help you.
Water Purifying Skyscraper Cleans up Jakarta’s Rivers
One of our favorite projects from the 2010 eVolo Skyscraper Competition is this incredible water purifying skyscraper designed for the rivers of Jakarta. Dubbed the Ciliwung Recovery Project (CRP), the design took second place in the competition thanks to its amazing concept, beautiful design and ecological benefits. The project provides housing and features an integrated filtration system consisting of a series of tubes that pump and purify waters from the region's polluted rivers. Jakarta is located in the center of thirteen different rivers that are heavily populated – the people who live here rely on the waters not only for their water, but their livelihood and waste disposal. Hence, the rivers have become highly polluted and completely surrounded with slums as a result of flooding that damaged the city. The Ciliwung Recovery Project, designed for Jakarta’s largest river, was designed by Rezza Rahdian, Erwin Setiawan, Ayu Diah Shanti, and Leonardus Chrisnantyo to help address the problems of pollution as well as housing.
World’s Greenest Skyscraper: Pearl River Tower Almost Complete
What might be the world’s greenest skyscraper just finished construction of its top floor floor in Guangzhou, China . We wrote about the “zero energy” Pearl River Tower, home of CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation, back in 2006 when it was just a rendering . Now that the structure is in place the tower is slated to be finished later this year . Pearl River integrates the use of top of the line sustainable technology , passive wind and solar design , and innovative structural techniques to create a near zero energy building that is as beautiful as it is green. “ The design of the ‘zero-energy’ concept Pearl River Tower reflects the principle of humankind in harmony with the environment,” notes Skidmore, Owings and Merrill the architecture firm responsible for the design. The building was situated to take advantage of the sun and wind patterns of the location. It is south facing and features funnel style breaks in the facade that focus wind on integrated internal wind turbines . It has integrated photovoltaic panels that — along with the energy from the turbines — keep the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems energized. There are also motorized louvers on the facade of the building that rotate to keep the building cool and provide fresh air ventilation. This is one structure that has pushed past the dream like design phase into a structural reality. The list of green features goes on and on. From the double-skinned, triple-glazed facade to the cooling beam structure and greywater collection system this skyscraper design has all it needs to be as lightweight on the Guangdong grid as it can manage. Though the company behind the building, the CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation, isn’t the greenest of them all — let’s hope they don’t ruin their indoor air quality by lighting up all the time — they’re certainly making an effort by building this 71 story sustainable beauty . We can’t wait for the finishing touches on the Pearl River Tower and we’re hoping that the building proves to be as exciting in action as it has been in construction and design .
EDEN FALLS: Skyscraper Zoo Topped With a Waterfall
Costanera Sur is a proposal for a vertical zoo in Buenos Aires that transforms a pile of rubble into a towering pillar of falling water. Designed by Visiondivision , the project aims to reclaim debris left over from the construction of Buenos Aires’ decades-old highways, is entirely self-sufficient, and could theoretically provide water and energy to surrounding structures. Costanera Sur features a central pipe structure that draws water from a nearby river, filters it, and pumps it through the building, eventually overflowing a rooftop pool and creating a waterfall that flows over the building’s facade. At the basement level, energy from the waterfall is turned into electricity through the use of turbines and a central generator. Visiondivison ’s vertical zoo is a mixed-use structure, with monkeys and birds allowed to roam free in the building, which also contains food storage, a veterinary facility, observation decks, and a cafe. Other animals are contained on separate floors that feature appropriate habitats and individual balconies. The rooftop pool also houses dolphins. Costanera Sur is an imaginative idea if nothing else, but we’re skeptical about the practicalities of keeping dolphins on the roof and letting monkeys wander free. There’s also some improbable physics to be worked out with finding a way to transport all that water to the top of the building, even if it generates some energy on the way down (perpetual motion, anyone?) Still, we like the idea of making a more interactive zoo — especially one that is completely self-sufficient.
Steven Holl’s Stunning Solar Copenhagen Bridge
A welcoming beacon before a shining expanse of sea, Steven Holl Architects ‘ LM project will update Copenhagen’s waterfront with two eye-catching photovoltaic -sheathed skyscrapers and a sky bridge studded with wind turbines . The iconic development recently took first place in a competition to design a new gateway for Copenhagen , and it was approved in a unanimous vote by the jury. Holl Architects ‘ winning entry is defined by a number of pairs: two towers, with two bridges, oriented in two directions that connect the city with the site’s history. The Langenlinine tower takes its geometry from the site’s old harbor, while the Marmormolen tower forms a connection with the city via an expansive main terrace and a public auditorium. The project also boasts a stunning public walkway that rises 65 meters over the harbor, securing the development’s status as an iconic new addition to Copenhagen’s waterfront . The LM Project’s sustainable solutions are just as exceptional as its aesthetic merits. Both skyscrapers incorporate glass curtain walls shaded by a photovoltaic -laden solar screens. The buildings also feature seawater heating and cooling systems , radiant floor heating, and excellent natural light thanks to the reflective light performance of the solar screens. A true blessing in tall office buildings, each of the towers’ floors also contain operable windows that allow for natural ventilation . Finally, the pedestrian bridge is lined with enough wind turbines to light all of the the buildings’ public spaces. The administrative director of the development company City/Harbor and Copenhagen’s previous lord mayor Jens Kramer Mikkelsen stated that “The project combines the esthetical, the functional, and the business minded. This winning proposal is architecture in high, high class.” Ritz Bjerregaard, the current mayor of Copenhagen also shared his thoughts, saying “With the winning project, we get a great high-rise building, which will bind the city better together and function as a landmark in the harbor.”