UNStudio Proposes 'Green Spine' Skyscrapers


Dutch architecture firm UNStudio recently revealed its entry for a competition to build a new skyscraper in Melbourne, Australia. UNStudio’s proposal revolves around a pair of towers that aesthetically share a “green spine” of terraces and verandas housing plant life.

The tower design, developed in collaboration with Cox Architecture of Melbourne, opens up city views and houses space for retail, offices, recreation and other purposes.

Green Spine Towers

According to Archinect, the green spine element of the pair of towers acts as a key organizational element, providing outdoor green spaces along the facades of both structures. The design uses two kinds of facades: what is known as the “Green Spine Facade” and the glass facade. Both styles “are subject to an optimized variation of architectural parameters,” which include screen density and depth, the architects noted. These parameters also guided the creation of the green spine facade to account for noise absorption and air quality.

The lower levels of both towers are clad in the greenery of planted shrubs, with actual trees planted in the winter gardens. The garden at the top of the residential tower absorbs noise and air pollution. Forest ferns covering the ground help provide a cool atmosphere regardless of the heat. Open balconies and gardens in the upper sections of the towers provide spaces for socializing.

The podium, which stands at ground level, as well as its rooftop park are open to the public. Like the towers, the podium proper houses space for shopping and entertainment, as well as a BMW experience center. Stairs run from street level to the roof garden.

“As Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, our design proposal for Southbank by Beulah will enhance this profile and give the city a new place in which its art and culture can be displayed for the world to see,” the architects wrote. “The various podium terraces offer platforms for temporary performance art, sculptures, light installations and other exhibitions.”

The Southbank by Beulah design competition also features entries from well-known firms OMA, MAD Architects and Coop Himmelb(l)au. The winning design will be announced Aug. 8.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Australia; Color + Design; Color + Design; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Design; Glass

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