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Skyscraper competition winners offer New York population solutions


May 16, 2014

Urban Alloy is one of two winners of Metropolis magazine's Living Cities skyscraper competition

Urban Alloy is one of two winners of Metropolis magazine's Living Cities skyscraper competition

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For its Living Cities competition, Metropolis magazine asked participants for solutions to the housing crisis facing New York. According to the magazine, the city is expected to gain a million more residents by 2040, placing a strain on housing and transport. The winners have now been announced, and include a twisting tower on the High Line and a multi-transport, entertainment and residential hub.

The competition sought designs that were based within the five boroughs of New York, that incorporated a 30-40 story residential tower and that included an, "innovative structural steel system." Participants were also asked to consider sustainability, multi-use strategies, lifestyle amenities and multi-generational design.

Vivo was designed and submitted by Andrew Duffin and NBRS+Partners. It reworks the concept of New York's High Line, a redevelopment of the West Side Line railroad that was opened in 1934 before falling into disuse and which has spawned similar projects in places such as Sydney. The concept "engulfs" the High Line and extends it vertically.

"It's a hybrid structural system where the triangulated diagrid system acts as an exoskeleton providing lateral stability and vertical support," explains the Vivo team. "This frees the internal space from needing internal intermediate structure allowing ultimate flexibility for remodeling or use changes over its lifespan. VIVO is alive and responds to the daily and seasonal energy of NYC."

The second winner was designed by Chad Kellogg, Matthew Bowles and Nina Mahjoub of AMLGM. Urban Alloy is a huge road and rail transport interchange, with the sprawling steel tendrils of the structure appearing to suck in the surrounding train lines and freeways proving a central connecting point for people across New York. In addition to the transport hub, the building also houses residential units and entertainment spaces, made easily acccessible by the transport links.

"Unlike concrete structures that benefit from a very regular floor to floor height because of the need to reuse formwork, steel structures can efficiently be constructed with each unique member cut by an automated system," explains the Urban Alloy team.

The winners each receive US$10,000 of prize money.

Source: Metropolis

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

hmm, Scifi looking structure.


I see no comments. Curious. Why am I reminded of the crashed exotic Alien Spaceship from the movie, Aliens? Surely there would never ever could be a connection with this iconic movie could there? No way.

It seems that there is a pattern here too. In an earlier piece here on Gizmag there was a series of dwellings --I guess for human beings-- that seemed not destined for the ages, but rather an architectural duel to see who could emulate what sentient insects might design in housing structures. Again, the movie Aliens came to mind and no comments, and no comments to my comment as far as I know. It is difficult on Gizmag to know of such, as much as I would like to know. wink wink

I asked, just why Human Beings, must be compressed into, forced into artificial constructs that have little to no bearing on The Human Condition? We see this with Centigrade degrees to these bug like constructs.

I did have a passing thought about The Eiffel Tower in Paris. Originally some Parisians protested, but there was here, ART & GRACE, in this unique structure, and that was noticed. I see none of that here.

Maybe I missed the take over of the world by Aliens, but I do wonder what would Extraterrestrial Theorists have to say?


It looks like it takes a lot of steel for the internal volume.


Sorry, both are hideous and the second is very wasteful of material, since it needs a lot to counter the lateral load of its semi-cantilevered design.

Buckminster Fuller did it much better with his Triton city and Tetra City concepts.


Yet another misguided attempt at 'generating good ideas'. I'm so glad that most comments here are skeptical if not worse! But the biggest problem here (imho) is the jury that picked these horrors. Living Cities? I think not, except maybe for, like, drones.

Elena Chevtchenko

By reading this article I finally convinced the importance of the panorama process modeling. Without having a good modeling process the city will plunge into the most populated havoc. This competition was a positive step toward a new solution, new alternative. They have to be prepared and used every single space possible to accommodate and be ready for the overpopulated city.

Stael Dumesle
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