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A different Highrise

Published on 11th November 2016

That little metal box you get in everyday several times a day, is a waste of space, architecturally speaking - elevators take up to 40 percent of the total floor area in some buildings. 

Trademark feature of Hong Kong landscape is its innumerable high rises. The high rises has been criticised for its lack of adaptability and lack of dynamic internal arrangement, such as the dead space created by elevators situated in the middle, running through the core of the building. 

Alternative strategies have been buzzing through architectural society for the past couple of decades, such as having units of structures connected through nodules (as shown by the diagram). 

In this example, the nodules would act much as a public space.. This is where the shuttle tracks, a substitute for an elevator, will operate as well, breaking down the notion of a central core. 

The habitation system will be broken down into pods, adjacent to atria including amenities and plazas. This particular design puts strong emphasis on moving away from repetitive, isolated slabs and cells we see in typical modern day high rises. 

Proposed structure allows for greater connectivity within a highly subdivided structure that provides a framework for occupations and uses a higher and superior interaction with space and other inhabitants.

On the other hand, the proposed structure also requires highly synchronised transportation and climate control system. The feasibility of such alternative design is one among many other questions regarding an less-ordered life such as 'will mechanical spaces and crevices be inhabited by the poor?,' and 'will street vendors offer their goods and night bazaars emerge?'

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Photo and Ref/ A Very Tall Building in Hong Kong by Wolfgang Ungerer
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