Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

The Minerva Tower
2004, University of Nottingham, Professor Antony Wood
"Like all things in nature, to exist and to flourish, a synthesis must be achieved. True harmony is created by an internal balance within an element and an external balance with its context"                                                                                                               -  John Portman, 1992

The subject for this project is a mixed-use tower in the City of London, at the St Boltolph's Street / Houndsditch junction. At the time, the site was being developed for a real tall building, the Minerva Tower, designed by Nicholas Grimshaw Architects. The studio schemes were required to accomodate prestigious office headquaters and residential apartments, along with ground floor and high level retail areas. Emphasis is placed on the tower's interface with the ground (see programmatic brief).

The project included a fieldtrip to London with visits to the studios of Marks Barfield Architects and Nicholas Grimshaw Architects.

The Minerva Tower final projects incorporate a wide range of design agendas; these include a project inspired by the opportunities of tall building skin, a scheme where the office and residential functions are interpreted as folding, intertwining ribbons, a tower inspired by construction and prefabrication, and a project that explores the possibility of a series of towers interlinked by skybridges across London.

 

London Tours
Site Studies
Design Reviews


City Sky  

City in the Sky
Harijinder Singh

 
This project expands both the site and brief to explore the possibilities of a series of tall buildings throughout the city, linked through a network of skybridges at differing levels.

Stacked Courtyards Stacked Courtyards Stacked Courtyards Stacked Courtyards Stacked Courtyards Stacked Courtyards

Ribbons

Ribbons
Anna Holden
 
A somewhat abstract approach in this scheme sees the office and residential functions interpreted as ‘ribbons’.

Sky Forest Tower Sky Forest Tower Sky Forest Tower Sky Forest Tower Sky Forest Tower Sky Forest Tower

Building As Frame  

Building as Frame
Annette Ward
 
This project is inspired directly by the presence of the tiny St. Botolph’s church at its base.

Green Roof City Green Roof City Green Roof City Green Roof City Green Roof City Green Roof City

Biomesh Tower  

Biomesh Tower

 
This project deals primarily with building skin. Taking the wrapping qualities of stockings as inspiration, the organic form is cloaked in an open, photovoltaic biomesh.

Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky

Sky frame  

Skyframe
Ahmed Barcley
 
This project takes on a particular structural emphasis, with the proposition of an exposed steel mega-frame from which is supported a series of fabricated and part-fabricated accommodation areas.

Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky Streets in the Sky

Community Vertical  

Community Vertical
Gareth Selby
 
This project splits the office and residential functions vertically into separate towers, with the (expanded) community facilities suspended in the void in between.

Live / Work Tower Live / Work Tower Live / Work Tower Live / Work Tower Live / Work Tower Live / Work Tower

Net  

Net
Simon Chiou
 
The office and residential functions are, again, separated vertically into two distinct towers here, but joined by a semi-open net structure which spans between the two towers.

Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Live / Work Tower

Contorsion  

Contorsion
Will Craig
 
This scheme is reminiscent of some of Hamzah & Yeang’s recent tall building proposals, with a twisted form punctured by skygardens and open space.

Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower

Chamfer  

Chamfer
Nick Horvath
 
Office and residential towers are completely separated here, but sharing a clear harmony of expression. Both towers are ‘chamfered’ from the bottom up, thus allowing more light and air to the plaza below.

Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower Water Tower