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3D City – A New Urban Typology

By:  | February - 21 - 2010

Project submitted to the 2006 Skyscraper Competition
Designed by: Nik Stützle

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High-rise buildings have always been symbols of economical strength, and necessary for every metropolis to compete as a modern and vital city. This demonstration of power on the other hand mostly has a negative effect on the urban context: because of their size high-rise buildings are difficult to integrate into sensible urban environments and behave like aliens in the city.

Behind impressive facades apartments are still quite minimal; one floor-plan usually is multiplied in vertical, connected by dark elevators and rescue stairs. Narrow corridors and anonym foyers do not really offer an adequate space for social activities. The consequences very often are loneliness of the inhabitants, alienation and criminality, syndromes that contributed to the negative image of high-rise buildings.

Taking this deplorable state of affairs as point of departure my design should be a proposal for the development of a typology that increasingly forms the character of cities all over the world.

The building consists of four towers that are interconnected by bridges on different levels and reaches a height of 206 meters. On a total floor space of 120.000 m2 are located offices, apartments, hotel, shops and other services; public spaces are spread over the whole building. Functions are arranged in clusters and form a 3-dimensional city-scape, each cluster is accessible by a sort of foyer or atrium that are connected to the ground by high-speed elevators. This network of atriums is extended through the whole building and enables the access of the building by walking. In the same moment every floor has a semi-public area that everybody has to pass and through this social contacts between the inhabitants is supported, the network of spaces becomes a social one. The atriums become the centre of a neighbourhood of a size that is easy to grasp and thus a space of common local identification which helps to grow a local social structure: Friendship, help, services inside the neighbourhood, control and security.

Some atriums are connected to form a public path that offers the possibility to climb up to the highest roof terrace. This path is really open to all public, so it involves the whole city and supports the identification. Along the path there are located several public functions, such as bars, shops, restaurants, a culture institute, pool. Ever changing views and highlights change the exhausting path into an experience.

Another important topic is movement in the 3-dimensional space and visual orientation: All elevators have a view to the outside. The texture on the inner side of the elevator-core translates the vertical movement; the lines get immaterialized and give the traveller the feeling to fly!

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