Reach for the Sky.

Superman can leap over tall buildings with a single bound, but by tall buildings did they mean skyscrapers? If Superman was bounding around I think he would probably hang around some of these majestic beauties, whose designers believed that the sky really is the limit.


56 Leonard Street, New York by Herzog and De Meuron.

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In this building the architects went against the repetitive anonymity that high-rise towers normally represent, and created a character which is individual and personal to its inhabitants.

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Conceived as a stack of individual houses, the design progressed to include varying cantilevers, balconies and corners for every floor. The rooms were thought of as pixels, which come together to inform the volume and shape of the tower, which is experienced internally as a series of large bay-windows.

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The large number of terraces and projecting balconies are designed to avoid direct overlooking, whilst also providing an indirect visual link between people who share the building. This creates a vertical neighbourhood, inspired by the specific New York neighbourhoods with their distinctive mix of proximity and privacy.


Aqua Tower, Chicago by Studio Gang Architects.

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This 82 storey high building contains a hotel, apartments, condominiums, parking, offices and one of Chicago’s largest green roofs.

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The outdoor terraces are oriented due to views, solar shading and dwelling size and change shape on every floor.

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The design was inspired by striated limestone outcroppings common in the Great Lakes area.


Urban Forest, China by MAD Architects.

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Urban forest is a tower which shifts our understanding of sustainability, and incorporates nature into a high-density urban environment.

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The building draws inspiration from the appreciation of nature and the desire to reconnect urbanity to the natural realm.

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The shape mimics vertiginous hillsides, with a shifting organic rhythm with multi-storey sky gardens, floating patios and gathering spaces.


New York Tower, Madison Avenue by Daniel Libeskind.

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The proposal for this project was to design a series of spiralling gardens extending the green of Madison Square along the façade of the tower.

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Containing 54-storeys of condos, with a series of ‘sky gardens’ in different locations, where the encasing cylindrical glass tube is cut away to open the gardens to the outside.

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The openings also allow the provision of balconies for the condominiums in these locations.


Shanghai Tower by Gensler.

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This 632meter tall tower will be located in the heart of Shanghai’s Finance and Trade zone.

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The building’s transparent spiral form will showcase cutting-edge sustainable strategies and public spaces, and will set a new standard for green communities.

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The 121 storeys will contain office space, entertainment venues, retail, a conference centre, a luxury hotel and cultural amenity spaces.


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