Traditionally, the great homeowner’s dream was a sprawling house with a large yard, echoing the values of low-density suburban living. While these residential developments focused more on horizontal space rather than the vertical, an increase in population and urban density means that this traditional dream is being replaced with something that has a far smaller footprint and reflects wildly different priorities.
As densities increase and key jobs continue to be located in central city centres or CBDs, metropolitan living is on the rise, with its appeal only increasing due to the high liveability rates in major cities. This means communities are being built in a vertical fashion, with high-rise and skyscraper residential living on the rise.
This type on living brings with it different priorities than those in traditional suburbia. Backyards are a no-go in apartment buildings, yet the need to connect to the outdoors – whether to the natural environment, or the surrounding built environment – is still apparent.
Developers and architects reconnect residents with the outdoors through windows, with the ‘view’ and accompanying balcony or terrace replacing a yard.
However, to achieve unspoiled views at every level, architects have to use innovative design methods. One such development is a concept plan from Hangzhou-based architectural firm LYCS architecture known as ‘writing tower’.
The residential apartment has been planned for Lima, Peru and gets its name from its striking rotating form.
Each two-storey apartment is rotated 45 degrees, going from the ground floor upwards, so that the building looks as though it has been twisted. The choice to design in this manner means that each apartment has an ‘uninterrupted vista’ of the parkland area to the front of the development, and the same uninterrupted view of the ocean behind.
It also means there are no abutting balconies, so residents have ultimate privacy when outside.
While the view replacing a large backyard garden still allows for an indoor/outdoor connection, it may face some issues when being implemented in the future. With air rights up for grabs in central Melbourne and other major cities both nationally and globally, the concept used in the writing tower offers another possibility for architects designing buildings with optimal views in mind.