Isentropic Cities. 2017
Evolo Skyscraper Competition
Buildings, despite being anchored in the earth, are constantly swimming through the environment. Their envelope is a protective barrier as well as a receptor to climatic conditions. The careful balance between sustaining a thermally comfortable indoor environment and providing a connection to the outdoors is the primary design goal for ISENTROPIC CITIES.
The origin of the form is based on an ovoid shape which seeks to escape from the traditional planimetrically generated tall building. This shape seems to naturally provide a flexible building floor plate while, at the same time, exhibiting desirable aesthetic qualities such as a highly provocative form. The exoskeleton of the ovoid is developed with a ribbed structure that radiates from the central void, the vortex, and exploits the natural structural characteristics of an ovoid. Floor plates are stacked within the ovoid and removed at select locations to create large volumetric spaces within the building.
Key Design Features
The curvature form allows for minimum drag from the wind currents and removes edges from the design that often create weak points in aerodynamic design. It also creates a graceful curve in plan that maximizes the floor plate and allows for the best opportunity for planning. The building has an exuberant ability to be a neutral effect on the environment. It exists without causing positive or negative influence. ISENTROPIC CITIES are a physical manifestation of environmental serendipity.
Vertically, the building is programmed like a city. It is not a simple stack of like minded program. The chaos that lives at street level can be found throughout the building, enriching the experience from top to bottom. When designing big structures like ISENTROPIC CITIES it is imperative that there is no place for the mundane. The paradigm of stack economy must be avoided in order to improve our lives and advance our thinking.
Each floor plate is open and flexible. User demand will shape each plate and produce creative, ecological environments that will transcend economic cycles. The plate is not the programming of space but the appropriate outfitting of a place mixed with sustainable design initiatives.
The void within the form, the vortex, is a natural place for a large wind turbine. The envelope itself is a large solar collection system which, when coupled with the turbine within the vortex, maximizes the energy generating opportunities in the building. The goal is to have a building that is energy neutral, balances itself with nature and promotes the planet’s wellbeing.
ISENTROPIC CITIES can be built anywhere in the world. This example, in the Netherlands, is a prototype of densification in a rural environment. In order to maintain the planet’s health, the surface of the world needs to be restored. To achieve an environmentally neutral city, people will need to be organized in large scaled urban environments. The elimination of the rural and suburban is necessary and urban centers need to diversify to create a place that is both emotionally and physically healthy. Architects of the next generation will need to embrace this way of thinking.