The wow! factor was there from the start. We have all gazed upwards in awe. For centuries, Gothic spires dominated the city skyline and then, thanks to the invention of the steel frame, elevators, and several other key advances in building technology, office towers outreached them, and the competition to build ever higher is as lively as it was a hundred years ago, when the Woolworth palazzo broke the record. In his second book on the high-rise, Scott Johnson moves beyond height and structure, to review ways in which skyscrapers can perform better and make a positive contribution to the environment.
Entries in Skyscrapers (2)
Monday, July 7, 2014 at 8:18AM
Friday, January 20, 2012 at 9:09AM
The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) announced that it has won an international competition to design the Greenland Group Suzhou Center, on Taihu Lake in Wujiang, China, reports Dezeen. The 358-meter supertall tower will top out at 75 stories and will contain a mixed-use program that could comprise a small city--with office, apartments, hotel, and retail uses on site.
The most striking feature of the exterior design is the 30-story high operable window that spans the hotel and residential floors.
The building also features an atrium in the center of the building that separated the east and west side of the building and functioning as a ventilation channel. According to Luke Leung, SOM Director of Sustainable and MEP Engineering: “The design of the Greenland Group Suzhou Center utilizes an atrium as the ‘lung’ of the building to provide ventilation and will incorporate a series of high efficiency measures with the objective to achieve a 60% savings in energy consumption compared to a conventional US high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use.”
The building’s expansive lobby is a result of the building a novel approach maximizing the efficiency of the building structure: “[the] unique split-core configuration of the upper floors increases the efficiency of the building structure. By placing half of the building core program on each side of the lobby and interconnecting them with structural steel braces, the combined core becomes more effective than a typical center core system while also creating a dramatic tall lobby space within.”
SOM also recently announced the opening of a new design studio in Downtown Los Angeles as part of the firm's West Coast practice. Michael Mann, FAIA; Paul Danna, AIA; and Jose Luis Palacios, AIA will lead the new studio--all three come from AECOM but all three also worked for SOM in the past. (All renderings by SOM, via Dezeen)