Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The WyeEcoHab
Simon Fielder, Ingemar Hunold & Daniel Preusse
Site: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Technical University of Munich
Thomas Bock, Peter Land, Stephen Kibler & Antony Wood
2010 Design Thesis

WyeEcoHab exterior rendering
WyeEcoHab urban analysis
WyeEcoHab concept research

WyeEcoHab vertical landscaping

WyeEcoHab site section

WyeEcoHab site plan

WyeEcoHab typical floor plan
WyeEcoHab building section

WyeEcoHab integrated green spaces

WyeEcoHab typical floor plan

WyeEcoHab vegetation diagram

WyeEcoHab building detail section
WyeEcoHab green ramp
WyeEcoHab structural diagram

WyeEcoHab structural rendering

WyeEcoHab structural detail

WyeEcoHab construction detail

WyeEcoHab construction detail
WyeEcoHab construction diagram

WyeEcoHab energy diagram

WyeEcoHab circulation diagram

WyeEcoHab maglev elevators

WyeEcoHab exterior rendering
WyeEcoHab interior rendering

The WyeEcoHab is a proposal for the Olympic village for the Chicago summer Olympics 2016. The design uses emerging technologies and examines their possible influence on the future architectural developments of the skyscraper. The prominent site on Northerly Island became a dominant factor throughout the design process. The shoreline of Lake Michigan has been the green recreation area for the city for decades. The WyeEcoHab takes this ecosystem and extends it vertically. The site becomes part of the building and the building becomes part of the site. Unlike most recent skyscrapers, the WyeEcoHab develops a strong relationship to its surrounding environment.

Vertical Ecosystem
The WyeEcoHab has a continuous ecosystem running through the center of the building. Where you would find a service core in conventional highrises, here you find a vertical garden space. A ramp system allows inhabitants as well as plants to walk and grow from the base of the tower all the way to the top. On every third floor the garden reaches out into one of the three wings of the plan. The double skin facade in these areas is used as an intermediate space and can be opened and closed.

Building Structure
The structure of the WyeEcoHab had to provide the possibility of keeping the centre of the plan free of any structure. A continuous bracing system around the perimeter of the building as well as braced main columns at the end of each wing absorbs the wind loads. At the voids, created by the social functions, the dead loads will be transferred into the main columns.

Maglev Elevators
Maglev elevators replace common elevator technology in the WyeEcoHab. A paternoster like system reduces the shaft area dramatically and clears the space for the ecosystem. Once a cabin changes the direction it can switch shafts horizontally due to the maglev technology. The elevators are located at the end of each wing. The passengers can enjoy the view over the lake, city and the south shore while travelling up or down the building.

Skin Design
The skin of the WyeEcoHab integrates emerging technologies into the design. Every seven meters vertical algae systems are integrated into the facade to generate H². Along with bio refineries for garbage disposal, wind turbines in the upper part the building and lake water used for cooling the algae contribute to the sustainability of the technical systems of the building.

About the Studio

This design thesis was organized as a “Sonderdiplom” at the Technical University of Munich by three of their students - Simon Fiedler, Ingemar Hunold and Daniel Preusse. These students had previously worked on innovative high rise buildings with Professor Peter Land at the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology during their exchange study program in Chicago (Fall 2005 - Spring 2006). The intense research, worldwide discussion about the future of highrise design and the current development of highrise buildings in Chicago led the students to the idea of creating their own thesis topic related to this challenging field of architecture, based on a site in Chicago. While designing their final thesis project, they were supported by both architecture faculties of TU Munich as well as IIT Chicago, with periods spent at each.

The advising professors included Professor Thomas Bock from the Department for Building Implementation, TU Munich; Professor Peter Land and Associate Professor Stephen Kibler from the College of Architecture, IIT and Professor Antony Wood from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and IIT.