The issue of density and how best to live sustainability in booming urban centres was one of the key focal points at the recent World Architecture Day conference in London, and the architecture industry is not shy of opinions and solutions when it comes to tackling space issues.
One key solution to the density issues is upwards planning. With an increased emphasis on environmental and resource preservation in response to climate change issues, urban sprawl is being avoided like the plague in most major countries worldwide, leaving developing taller buildings as the obvious alternative.
Architectural firm ANDO | AndaluciaOffice have taken this concept to whole new heights with its concept for the extremely dense city of Beijing, China. In what they have dubbed the NODO project, the architects have envisioned a prototype that could lead to entire ‘mini-cities’ located in massive prefabricated skyscrapers.
The concept, described by the architects as a ‘mutant vertical city,’ would consist of a singular unit stretching up 550 metres, with 150 floors that contain both infrastructure and precinct development including housing, office and both commercial and public spaces.
The concept relies heavily on its adaptable and responsive layout. Some elements of the building, such as the vertical communication and facilities core, would be permanent but others would be mobile and could be located where necessary. Prefab modules for each of these elements would centre around an interior hollow reinforced concrete core.
For example, each floor or unit, be it a residential, public or garden space, could be dissembled and reassembled according to the needs of the particular area and community.
While this particular concept is still in is early days and the technology does not yet exist to make it a reality, it certainly demonstrates the global tendency towards building upwards.
With vertical gardens, farms and even waste units being designed vertically, the notion of building an entire city in a vertical skyscraper structure does not seem nearly so outlandish as it once might have.