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Structural Cell Skyscraper

By:  | March - 8 - 2010

Special Mention
2010 Skyscraper Competition

Hong Wong, SheungHok Lim
United Kingdom

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In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population is living in cities than rural areas, that’s 6.6 billion of us. By 2050, this figure is expected to surge up to 9 billion. This had led to rapid urbanization in cities all over the world over the past several decades. However the form and spatial organization of skyscrapers (or vertical-strategy) have been majorly dominated by the structural and cost efficient of extrusion of floor plates and the definition of space by planes- floor plates, walls and ceilings.

This striated spatial definition and its arrangements had forfeited the future adaptability of skyscraper space for ever-changing needs and users group.

In this project, we are exploring the opportunities that individual space be composed from a unique cell-structural system, where like a cell could be split, replicated and combined – to form different spatial opportunities. Having to support this transforming space, an ever-evolving vertical transportation system has to be explored. Similar to any metro-system in cities around the globe, it can always be extended and re-routed, regions and zones are defined dedicating to specific functions (e.g. office/ retail) and inducing population cluster and growth.

In the dated horizontal urban planning (abundant in Asian cities), the striated and smooth elements often occur concurrently. The zoning for individual working, recreations and public entities are regarded as the striated. The smooth is the exact volume and organization of space for living and working entities that accommodate for ever-changing group/family size through time. As they are lease to different users through time and having to cope with the ever-evolving different needs, living and working components.

By overlaying the daily activities and program vertically, the two towers are envisaged as two anchoring devices, designed to house most of the routinely events. People from all over the world could come, live, work for a flexible amount of time, working on global projects collaboratively. The towers were designed with a village typology in mind, translated vertically, freeing individuals from a monotonic planar spatial experience. Large public spaces are inserted in-between working spaces, to hold large events like concerts, festivals, and markets. While structurally, the tower is supported in reference to a bird’s lattice-bone structural system, yielding various sized façade openings, internal volumes and forms for different types of spaces. Its intertwining structure allows living pods to be connected to the façade structure of the main tower coherently, hence, creating an integral aesthetic, looking strong and grounded on the outside, magical on the inside.

The two towers are then interlinked with living pods, designed to increase in number as the population grows over time. Based loosely on the formation system of chemical compounds (i.e. individual atoms could combine differently to form different forms and properties) allows individual living pod to combine and split with outcomes in varying forms, spatial organization and quality. This notion respects the ‘smooth’ quality of the ever-changing group/family size through time forming an ever-evolving landscape on the two vertical urban villages.

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