Towers in London
program: high density urban order
location: Bishopsgate, London
collaborator: Kiana Hosseini
advisors: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher with Simon Kim and Lasha Brown
The project for a cluster of towers in Bishopsgate, London, takes reference from initial material studies using wax printing and twine twisting. These experiments informed structure, atmosphere, and facade treatments, resulting in a speculative urban composition that goes beyond conventions. One way each tower challenges the tower typology is by eschewing the discrete service core, having it interact with the spaces within the tower. The structure that facilities this system consists of two interlocking frames, coming together to create a third condition – amenities such as viewing galleries and restaurants that allow the public to also experience the architecture.
This system is a pliant one and interpolation using parametric inputs is able to produce a variety of typologies that can come together to produce diverse urban conditions. As an urban proposition, the project offers a new type of experience, one which an almost forest-like ground condition constructed entirely out of waveform lines. These lines then rise to form much more pristine towers, producing change along both their vertical and horizontal axes, and difference between what one observes in plan and in section. The architectural experience of London is transformed from just the typical low European city blocks or the glass skyscraper. This binary is overcome through the creation of new urban composition that merges the intimate, humane qualities of the city block and the density and transparency of the skyscraper.