300,000SF - architecture as infrastructure I
45-story eco-friendly residential tower
This residential tower is a hybrid offering pods for transient residential units while producing energy when and where these units are not present.
Three super-columns act as both cores and structural systems. Pods are piled on and around each super-column and host residential units, wind mills or solar panels. Every 5-to-7 stories, green pods span all three super-columns to brace them in a truss-like system. Nine large-sized wind mills top the tower and blur in the wind.
This model of inhabitation finds scale significance if repeated and scattered in a fractal distribution in urban settings across the globe. The residential units would move from tower to tower, along with its inhabitants in a highly entropic narrative. This building is not only energy self-reliant but also a contributing node to the electric grid. Therefore, this tower has a negative CO2 footprint and transcends its architectural identity by acting as infrastructure.
An urban framework where architecture is also infrastructure produces a shift in the balance of real estate values and safeguards the overall economical stability of a large-scale ecological project. In fact, this model of infrastructural architecture would entail the participation of public funds, and/or the collaboration of private and public resources and figures. Thus far, only a change in policy has been able to create the economical viability for environmentally feasible architecture. This hybrid model which overlays architecture and infrastructure further establishes the importance of a new sustainable paradigm.
Further, mass-customizable residential units can be fabricated and installed to suit specific needs. This approach opens up traditional construction methods to new design/build processes where design and installation are purely based on form and performance. New social models are forming, and fluidity of relationships and mobility of the smallest social units are pushing for a more ductile economical model for the construction industry. Hence, mass-customization is a natural, viable and necessary consequence.
These premises offer scenarios of an ever-changing architecture in a continually varying urban setting. They portend a shift in the conception of portable residence and architecture without site. In this conceptual framework the diagrammatic approach of modern times has no longer relevance.
international architecture awards - architecture podium, third place [architecture] 2015