As much as everyone likes natural light and window views, boxy glass skyscrapers are, frankly, incredibly boring. A city full of monotonous glass towers? No thank you. As urbanization forces us to build denser, and technology allows our towers to rise higher, architects are starting to build entire cities in the sky, and it’s likely that the brave new skyscraper world will be a glassy one. So how can we add in a little flair?
A new design by Copenhagen-based architects 3XN for a Sydney skyscraper for investment management company AMP Capital solves the problem from several angles–literally. The 49-story Quay Quarter Tower on the Sydney waterfront is broken up into five stacked masses, each only a few stories high. While one side of the transparent facade is relatively flat, as the building rises, the stacked volumes rotate, creating a facade that juts out at different angles, breaking up the monotony of the tower and creating green terraces above each section of the building, as if each section were its own detached house and lawn. This angled design not only helps create a more lively, engaging building at the street level, but the orientation of the upper levels shade the lower sections of the tower, lowering energy needs for those floors.
“This project looks at the ‘high rise’ in an entirely new way, from both the inside out and outside in,” 3XN founder Kim Herforth Nielsen explains in a press release. “Its dynamic, shifted massing maximizes views for all of the building’s users while also creating expansive open spaces that encourage the possibility for interaction, knowledge sharing and vertical connectivity.”
Construction on the tower, part of a 3XN’s master plan for the neighborhood, is expected to start in 2018.