Thin Skyscraper, 2013
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The Thin Skyscraper is a temporary building that can be constructed and dismantled with great ease and speed, thus being suitable for users in need of immediate shelter. The concept of high rise buildings is normally associated with luxury, and skyscrapers are in most cases home to big corporations or super-exclusive apartments. However, our goal is to invert this trend. In the era of globalization and crisis in the international financial market, we believe that it is essential to give a concrete answer on the urban and architectural level, which aims to improve the precarious conditions of different groups of people living in cities. As an example, we have chosen four of these groups which are the target of the Thin Skyscraper: global nomads - people who change cities frequently following the flow of work, victims of natural disasters, students looking for affordable and comfortable dormitories, and young companies with limited budgets.
Our skyscraper design has the fundamental characteristic of being built on a footprint of only 12 x 12 meters. This brings a number of advantages: read more
First, the capital investment in land on which to build the structure can be lower. The TS may in fact be erected in almost any location, from the city centre to the outer city, without being condemned to be built in distant suburbs. The second advantage is that the prefabricated elements that make up the Thin Skyscraper can be mounted easily with the use of a single crane.
The Thin Skyscraper is thus composed of a vertical volume of 12 x 12 meters, variable in height, from which a series of cantilevered volumes protrudes. They are built with the same prefabricated elements and help to increase the usable area of the skyscraper.
The Thin Skyscraper also has the fundamental characteristic required by contemporary society: it is flexible in use. It can be erected exactly where needed, according to a particular socio-economic situation. If after a number of years the circumstances have changed drastically, the Thin Skyscraper has the potential to be disassembled. The individual elements that compose it can then be reassembled elsewhere with the same high rise configuration, or in completely different ways.
Another type of flexibility that distinguishes the Thin Skyscraper is a morphological one. The cantilevered volumes of the skyscraper have different lengths and are rotated with respect to the central axis of the building. This, in addition to facilitating maximum exposure to sunlight, allows a multiplicity of external views from inside of the skyscraper. Regarding the architectural composition, the combination of cantilevered elements can always be different, giving rise to almost endless morphological variations. Normally, the term prefabrication is associated with cheap, repetitive, boring, anonymous, dull. Our aim is to change this association: each Thin Skyscraper, although having a bold iconography, will always be unique.
All the above elements (thin footprint, prefabrication, temporariness and flexibility) are designed to create a tool for urban planning that is at the same time socially committed, affordable and poetic - therefore aiming to improve the lives of people. We consider the positive socio-economic impact of the Thin Skyscraper a beautiful act and thus a manifestation of its intrinsic and non rhetoric sustainability.
Program: flexible spaces to be used as temporary shelter for transient people, housing for families, offices for young companies or student dormitories
Key Team Members: Marco de Piaggi, Weronika Wawrzyniak