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architectural design, the Nanjing Green Light House


By 2100, the world’s population could increase to 11.2 billion, and it is estimated that almost all population growth will occur within our cities. In 1930, only 30% of the world’s population lived in cities – compared to around 50% today; by 2050, 66.7% of the world’s population will live in cities.

As we move forward and replace older designs, new buildings will help to accommodate our increasingly complex living-needs. Together with Oasys, specialists in building design and pedestrian simulation software we explore these cutting-edge structures and how they have become a reality.

Timbers that are taller

Architectural Design, Wenlock Cross

New alternative materials, such as timber, are now being used in new designs. Architects are proposing timber structures, for taller and more structurally sound buildings. This is because many are now praising its sustainability and quality, whilst realising how fast a structure can be built.

Attitudes towards new materials are becoming increasingly progressive – this is because CLT (cross laminated timber) regulations are sparse. With its improved strength and stability due to more sophisticated engineering techniques – wooden skyscrapers are becoming a thing of the present – not the future.

Wenlock Cross in Hackney is perhaps the most impressive new structure that is being created with CLT – using a hybrid mix of timber and steel, more commonly known as The Cube Building, it is standing at 6,750sq metres. The building seamlessly blends into grass parks that surround the area, but also looks right at home amongst other urbanised buildings that make up London’s metropolitan landscape. As developments progress in the construction and implementation of timber structures, only time will tell how wooden buildings will influence the future of architecture.

Dynamic Tower Hotel: The Rotating Skyscraper

Architectural Design, Dynamic Hotel

Image courtesy of: The Straits Times

It’s official, the world’s first rotating skyscraper in downtown Dubai now has a completion date. Designed by Israeli-Italian architect David Fisher, the structure was originally proposed in 2008, but after being put on hold, the structure has now been set for completion by 2020.

The apartment block will constantly change shape as it rotates and should, in theory, never look the same twice. Though each apartment will be able to rotate 360 degrees independently, the speed will be adjustable, and the stationary core will contain the elevator with apartments off-shooting this core.

A one of a kind innovative structure leads the way for environmental design. The structure is proposed to power itself, as there will be wind turbines between each floor, negating the need for excessive power supplies from fossil fuels. An apartment will not come cheap, with prices set to be at around US $30 million. This is an exclusive project for those who want to pay the price to be at the forefront of innovation.

Garden Buildings

The East intends to build structures that encourage biodiversity, helping tropical spaces thrive within natural environments. Unlike older building designs in the West, the skyscrapers in the East will now be designed with the natural greenery that surrounds them in mind.

Nanjing Green Light House

Architectural Design, Nanjing Green Light House

Image courtesy of: Archiland International

Unlike any other light house, the Nanjing Green Light House that stands in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, is named in this way because through its round structure and sophisticated façade designs, the building is able to gain 200 LUX natural daylight for all working spaces – making it one of the first zero carbon buildings in mainland china.

Using China’s vast and natural foliage as inspiration for the design, the natural landscape becomes as important as the building itself. Through natural ventilation techniques, exposed windows and moveable skylights, anyone can enjoy this working space that incorporates natural designs.

Oasia Hotel Downtown

Architectural Design, Oasia Hotel Downtown

Image courtesy of:

Situated amongst limited green spaces, this hotel is a vertical garden that stands against the urban backdrop of downtown Singapore. This tropical skyscraper counteracts the Central Business District within the Tanjong Pagar area, and is meant to act as a prototype for how urban tropics will function within man-made landscapes.

Providing public areas for recreation and social interaction within an inner-city environment, the tower is made up of a series of sky gardens. Each sky verandah is open sided, which provides natural breezes to pass through the building for good cross-ventilation without the need for air-conditioning units. The building is also considered a natural haven for wildlife, with an overall green plot ratio of 1,100% – reintroducing biodiversity into the city that was initially driven away through construction.

Architecture now has three key priorities in mind, when thinking to the future: reducing carbon emissions through construction and functionality, encouraging biodiversity, and utilising natural exteriors within the interior of a building. If these priorities are sustained, it’s clear that the future of architecture will not only transform lives, but benefit our natural environments as well.


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