Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

Vertical Communities
2009, University of Nottingham, David Nicholson-Cole
“The biggest social problems in the case of the high-rise are isolation and the increasing alienation of inhabitants from each other...”                - Ken Yeang, Reinventing the Skyscraper
 

This design research project combined two key themes of contemporary tall buildings: Sustainability and Vertical Community.

The range of resulting ideas – such as the use of algae as a clean energy source to the production of organic, exotic fruits – demonstrate the variety that innovative approaches to sustainability can add to a typology often equated to an inefficient glass box. The
programmatic brief called for mixed-use planning, acknowledging the human factor in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future as perhaps the most important element neglected by modern tall building designs. Rather than simply existing as unavoidable urban masses for generating income, tall buildings were approached as inspirational structures not only in terms of aesthetic but of positive human environments. They thus offered visions of urban utopia, where spaces reflect the human desires to learn, work and play.

Some of the proposed towers focused on marginalized groups, such as the elderly, the poor and, to an extent, artists, while others envisioned the tower as a series of vertical villages, with areas for research, training and leisure. Recognizing that today we inhabit indoor spaces for 90% of our lives, all towers also had vegetated areas such as skycourts, which helped to re-establish a positive bond with nature, and several were skybridged to add vitality and interconnectivity.

The project included a fieldtrip to Chicago and
design collaboration
with Antony Wood’s tall building studio at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Final Presentations


 
Tropicana Tower

Tropicana Tower
Wei Gu, Pi-Lin Quek & Qiao Yang
 
This mixed-use food-producing program is an answer to the problem of 40% of the ecological footprint of a modern city being traced back to its food systems - the transportation, packaging, storage, preparation and disposal of the things we eat.

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Vertical Communities Physical Model Vertical Communities Physical Model Vertical Communities Physical Model Vertical Communities Physical Model Vertical Communities Physical Model Vertical Communities Physical Model

C_NET2  

C_NET2
Tom Stroud, Mark Hall, Wing Ngai & Ben Stuart
 
The 240m high CNet2 Algae-Hydrogen generating tower  would make enough electricity to power the tower and 4 others. This design explores the opportunities in carbon capture, storage and re-use through algae cultivation.

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Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower

Sativa Ecologica

Sativa Ecologica
Azween Ramli, Michelle yeung, Lin Wang & Darren Sai Wa Li
 
This 284m high design aims to take a fresh and alternative look at cannabis and the opportunities its growth presents, in order to educate recovering addicts and unify the community.

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Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower Filtered Light Tower

Trinity Art Tower  

Trinity Art Tower
Neha Shukla & Nishita Baderia

 
The 167m high Trinity Art Tower on Leamouth South, London is mixed use, consisting of an Art college, work and display spaces for artists, art galleries, art library, student accommodation, residential and service apartments.

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

SPA.scraper

SPA-scraper
Lauran Searston, Elizabeth Bennett & Pengfei Zhang
 
This 135m high mixed-use tower – accommodating retail, a library, residential apartments, a hotel, restaurants and a luxury health spa – is designed around the twin concepts of relaxation and rejuvenation.

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

Morphogenesis Tower  

Morphogenesis Tower
Xin Wang, Ruijian Xie & Huiya Qian
 
Rejecting the standard approach of elevators transporting residents to only their own floor, and as such, limiting opportunities for casual social encounters, this scheme instead uses shuttle-lifts in conjunction with local floor-to-floor transport, such as stairs, ramps and escalators.

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

Symbiosis Tower  

Symbiosis Tower
Dommu Krishna Chaitanya & Jeevan Mohan
 
The form of the 165m high Symbiosis Tower is driven by a desire to properly accomodate various functions within and to reduce environmental impact.

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

The Chrysalis  

The Chrysalis
Oliver Mueller, Ali Tarik Paksoy & Prasad Ambade
 
The 225m high Chrysalis Tower design aims to accommodate marginalized groups such as the homeless and those below the poverty line, by providing community accommodation and individual apartments with medical, therapy, sports and training facilities in between.

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Wind Tower Wind Tower Wind Tower Wind Tower Wind Tower Wind Tower

Cubes Tower  

Cubes Tower
Chaofeng Zhang, Bo You & Di Wu
 
Consisting of a series of five stacked cubes (all 30m x 30m x 30m in dimension) within a structurally braced mega-frame, the tower accommodates a school and sports facilities in the lower two cubes and residential apartments in the upper cubes.

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

 Serenity Tower  

Serenity Tower
Abhinav Mohapurkar, Mihir Bhatt & Saurabh Barde
 
The 206m high Serenity Tower is an urban haven for the over 60s. The UK population at over-65 currently stands at 15%, with many elderly people living alone in city-center areas, deprived of social interaction and every-day amenities.

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

Trinity Wharf Tower  

Trinity Wharf Tower
Nde Forcob
 
Jane Jacobs argues that traditional neighborhoods and streets foster the greatest sense of community and are the cultural hubs of the city. This design aims to recreate these settings and challenge the negative homogeneity of interior spaces in the high-rise typology, by providing a series of vibrant artist’s villages stacked above one another.

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