Nova Pro Forma Adapt

New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, United States  |  2024

See the Final Presentations 2024


An overall view of the "Aero Logix" project, which redefines logistics and address current suburban system limitations, utilizing direct freight access and drone-based delivery.

The recent challenges facing urban environments have brought into sharp focus the role and viability of existing tall buildings within our downtowns. These structures, once symbols of economic and architectural prowess, are now subject to scrutiny and reevaluation. The Nova Proforma Adapt studio delved into the realities of these urban giants, some of which were not fulfilling their original intended potential. Triggered by socio-economic shifts and the COVID pandemic, traditional downtowns are experiencing a transformation. As office spaces lie vacant, there is a cascading effect on other urban functions, leading to a somewhat depressed state in these areas.

This studio aimed to address these challenges head-on. Students were tasked with the ambitious goal of transforming existing tall buildings through meticulously crafted action plans. These plans not only focused on architectural redesign but also incorporated robust business cases for new uses of these structures. The studio explored a wide range of innovative uses such as Carbon Capture, Energy Generation, Energy Storage, Food Production, Server Farming, Tourism, Multifamily Housing, and others, adapting these to the context of existing tall buildings.

The studio focused on three major urban centers: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Students conducted a thorough analysis of the downtown developments in these cities, examining the current state of the buildings, occupancy rates, structural conditions, and market possibilities. A critical component of this studio was the selection of specific buildings for adaptation. Students not only needed to justify their building selection but also developed a comprehensive Nova Pro Forma case for its transformation.