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The Power of Towers

September 16, 2014

Over the years I developed a personal process in designing commercial office towers. This post is not a step by step description of my process. It is an effort to graphically illustrate my thinking and my sketching process.

Tower A Options 1&2 by Err

Every architect has their own way of approaching their design process. Usually it is a complex and perhaps an indecribable technique.

Tower A Options 3&4 by ERR

Philosophers time and again have tried to analyse how designers think. That is almost an impossible task. Don’t try to follow the process they describe, you must experiment to find your own.

Tower A Options 5&6

Establishing the physical configurations of the tower; the total tower GFA; the typical floor area; the technicalities of the elevator and stair core; and the structural requirements of the columns, beams and floor slab system is the easy part of the design process. Conceptualizing the configuration, the massing and the potential aesthetics of the tower is another matter.

Tower A Options 7&8

It is, for me a multidimensional process. The plan, elevation and structural system must be considered and explored together all at the same time. In other words several sketches should be consecutively explored all at the same time.

In this particular project more than 40 tower configuration of plans, elevations and column layouts were explored. Only the core design remains constant throughout the explorations. The process for each option followed a constant sequence to reduce the margin of errors. They all began with a vision that imagined the curtain wall and the columns in a ‘dance sequence’ that led from one scenario to another resulting in the development of several different tower designs.

2 elevations in MLP

Finally all options were superimposed into the master layout plan.

  1. Reblogged this on Archi Blog.

  2. Sketch up renderings by my colleague and dear friend Architect extraordinaire Ms Joan Straub.

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