The NY-BILLBOARD by Prechteck

By:  | May - 25 - 2011

Despite unique identities, geographic spread and differing economies, cities all over the world are being challenged by the same mega trends. With more than 60% of the world population predicted to live in cities by 2030 we are asked to develop sustainable strategies for the future. There is no doubt that the density of cities will increase and therefor the cities fabric will grow vertically. But with reaching a certain height, towers are facing problems:

Height is isolating: towers are monuments elevating the cities population form its urban grid. At the height of towers, ones experience becomes isolated from the public and urban conditions.

Height is dangerous: exiting a highrise in case of an emergency (natural or manmade catastrophes for instance) is facing serious difficulties.

Height is insufficient: when it comes to getting down by elevator 50+ floors for an hour-long lunchbreak and going the same way back later on, towers get inefficient with a certain height.


The proposal designed by Prechteck seeks for a way to add a new horizontal layer to Manhattan. An elevated link between towers, separated from traffic and noise, filled with public functions, bicycle lanes and walkways. The groundarea covered by towers will be given back to the public by integrating its roofs to the grid of linking walkways, elevated gardens and public facilities and, as a unique aspect, it introduces public life into the skyline of Manhattan. NY-BILLBOARD is an accentuation of this new layer on a strategic important site.

Located as a gateway to Brooklyn, Liberty and Staten Island the NYBILLBOARD serves as an attractor for Manhattan, as „Manhattan‘s lobby“, from where u get elevated to the new urban level. The spacial program on one hand and parameters like view of surrounding buildings, sustainable aspects and formal questions (“how to design a non-shape-driven icon in addition to manhattans skyline), the tower should face Manhattans urban fabric horizontally. Cars from an integrated Carshare-system get also charged with the energy produced by the building and so become part of the energy grid of NY-BILLBOARD.

Solar and PV-panels on top and side will cover a 14.000sqm area to produce around 7.200.000kW hrs per year. Within the 60m gap between the main functions, the structure will employ helical wind turbine technology. 110 turbines attached to the West side of the tower have the potential to generate 1.400.000kW hrs per year, or roughly 13% of its energy needs. Rainwater gets collected on the 7300sqm roofarea of the tower and is tunneld into tanks. The building gathers enough water from the sky to account more than its own usage. It gets then pumped into the cooling system, used for flushing and irrigating plants. The diamond shape of the facade with its 60° diagonal grid requires fewer steel beams and the design allows more natural sun light to enter the tower. Twenty percent of NY-BILLBOARD‘s facade area allow algae bio cultivation to take place within the buildings double skin facade. As the algae grows, it sucks up CO2 from the surrounding air. The Bio-Diesel produced using algaes contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.

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