Steven Holl – Horizontal skyscraper

This project by Steven Holl architects is located in China, and is actually as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Its massing has clear references to the site on which it sits: in plan one can identify a “spine” that follows the landscape, and out from this it shoots out short branches pointing towards specific landscape features. The whole structure is raised above ground level and put on top of eight legs holding the vertical services, appearing as if the building was once floating on a sea that has now subsided.

The architects had to comply with a 35 metre height limit when designing: by taking all the required programmes and fit them in one larger volume rather than several separate structures, I believe they came up with a holistic scheme that works really well. All areas of the building can be accessed from the public garden, which basically makes out the whole site.

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