As the need for housing increases in the next few decades the way architects envision where and how we live will dictate the new horizon of cities throughout the world. this year’s top ten most viewed residential structures features both completed and conceptual projects. with two of the most controversial and ambitious proposals, MVRDV bookend’s this year’s list, with ‘future tower’ and ‘the cloud’.
Frank Gehry adds new dimension to New York City’s skyline with ‘New York by Gehry’. and MAD architects tops another list with ‘absolute towers.’ as these structures expand high into the air, providing us with greenery and panoramic views, Japan and Paris showcase how materials in mid-density units can transform even the smallest of spaces.
1. ‘the cloud’ by MVRDV
understanding that residential towers are being built higher into the skies, MVRDV designed ‘cloud’ to express this new reality. with a resemblance to the WTC, uproar over the scheme ignited controversy over the initial concept. despite the provoked imagery, it is a new vision for a vertical urban village situated among the clouds.
2. ‘condominium at bishan central’ by moshe safdie
the creation of a family and community oriented complex, safdie architects has incorporated open-air pedestrian walkways linked at different elevations providing panoramic views of the tropical landscape. individual units encourage cross ventilation to pass through the interior spaces to take advantage of the cooling breezes. this new village echoes the hillside architectural developments maximizing the individual’s exposure to nature and open spaces.
3. ‘beekman tower / new york by gehry’ by frank gehry
manhattan claims another title with ‘new york by gehry’ the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere standing 870 feet high. the structure is clad with stainless steel, a signature material for gehry, which appears to be constantly moving in the sky. the height initially created controversy and was almost reduced by half due to the struggling economic climate.
4. ‘west 67th’ by BIG architects
as new york city transforms itself into a more green and livable city, ‘west 57th’ adds to the revitalization of the hudson river waterfront and the highland by positioning itself between 11th and 12th avenue adjacent to this area. the pyramid form explores a new hybrid standard combining a traditional courtyard with the manhattan high-rise structure. keeping three corners close to street level, the courtyard opens up to the hudson river providing views and sunlight into every unit.
5. ‘vertical forest’ by stefano boeri
currently under construction, ‘vertical forest’ is situated within the metropolitan center of milan, italy. its concept of reforestation within the city, attempts to minimize the urban sprawl and increase biodiversity and green spaces which is traditionally lost in the building process.
the development of this project serves as a model for contemporary european cities linking a building with nature within the city boundary.
6. ‘LUZ shirokane’ by naoya kawabe architect & associates
individual units are accessed from an internal communal gathering space encouraging interaction between inhabitants as well as visual connections between transparent enclosures bordering the central common area. dynamic activity is then projected outward, extending the spatial limits of the residences.
7. ‘student residence’ by LAN architecture
rifts between the slate brick facade of this urban complex reveal a landscaped courtyard hidden from the street. accessed with open-air stairways, the apartments are lined with a system of wooden louvers along interior-facing windows and terraces to control interior microclimates.
8. ‘absolute towers’ by MAD architects
launching the practice of the beijing-based studio with the initial competition win in 2006, this pair of gently undulating towers is nearing completion as construction of the exterior is now finished. the buildings respond to each other and the surrounding area creating unobstructed views to the city of toronto and lake ontario in the distance.
9. ‘housing development in gdynia’ by mikolai adamus and igor brozyna
this proposal interconnects clusters of homes with a public park. vegetated exterior walls blur the boundary between the landscape and structures while roof top terraces and gardens allow inhabitants to view the natural setting.
10. ‘future tower’ by MVRDV
the angled roofs of this series of highrises mimic peaks, canyons and valleys to provide optimal views for the stepped terraces placed along them. large metal shutters will enable dwellers to adjust for changing lighting conditions during the day will creating a dynamic appearance to the gridded facade.