In 2004, we embarked on the design of Aqua Tower, our first tower commission and the origin of our ongoing tall building research.
Many of the conceptual trajectories developed for Aqua have been further refined in subsequent tower designs (some commissioned; others studied as independent ideas), often spawning entirely new directions of their own. Together, these conceptual trajectories can be seen as a morphological investigation of the tall building typology, resulting in different formal outcomes.
Exploring the idea of outdoor living and its potential social dimensions
Bringing flexibility to both the interior and exterior by designing mechanisms that allow inhabitants to customize their environments
Changing the orientation of a structure in small steps, thereby accommodating structure and possibly outdoor space
Shaping the angles of the building or its facade depending on climate, to minimize or maximize solar benefit
Increasing comfort in outdoor spaces around towers, through formal responses including reducing wind on balconies or increasing natural ventilation
Transitioning the size and shape of the floor plate or column structures from floor to floor, to achieve a variety of views over the height of the structure
Making use of flat exterior wall panels rather than stick columns, in order to open corners in the floor plan and increase solid insulated zone
Occasionally spanning over features on the ground plane, including buildings, roads, or important axes that must remain clear
Employing perforated or solid structures on a variety of scales to achieve stability, aid in bridging, and create spatial interest
Achieving variety and difference within normally repetitious aspects by designing methods that disrupt a pattern