Middle East Architect


By David Stavros, se­nior de­sign prin­ci­pal and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Asia, B+H Ar­chi­tects


Our sky­scrapers are reach­ing new heights and as build­ing tech­nolo­gies con­tinue to ad­vance, the next gen­er­a­tion of tow­ers might just stretch the lim­its of to­day’s imag­i­na­tion.

When the Jed­dah Tower rises from the ground in 2020 in Saudi Ara­bia, it’ll be crowned the tallest build­ing in the world – push­ing the bound­aries of what we once be­lieved pos­si­ble. As our cities grow ver­ti­cally, how do they also re­main safe, func­tional and rel­e­vant to the needs of to­mor­row’s ci­ti­zens?

While the no­tion of ver­ti­cal cities isn’t new, what is new are the in­tri­ca­cies of ev­ere­volv­ing so­cial and cul­tural fac­tors that im­pact the vi­a­bil­ity of these de­vel­op­ments. Com­mu­ni­ties the world over are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the com­pli­ca­tions that have arisen from “busi­ness as usual.” Gov­ern­ments, the pri­vate sec­tor and ci­ti­zens alike are look­ing to new de­vel­op­ments to solve crit­i­cal is­sues: eco­nomic dis­par­ity, eq­ui­table ac­cess to safe em­ploy­ment and clean re­sources, sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion, over pop­u­la­tion, and so on. Now more than ever, we need cre­ative so­lu­tions to en­sure that build­ing higher and higher, and denser and denser re­sults in pos­i­tive gains to hu­man­ity.

To sup­port com­mu­ni­ties and bol­ster economies, to­day’s tow­ers com­bine of­fice, re­tail, res­i­den­tial and other uses. To­day’s mixed-use ap­proach en­ables a more ef­fi­cient dis­tri­bu­tion and use of re­sources based on cur­rent con­sump­tion, but what is its po­ten­tial as new en­ergy sys­tems, wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion mod­els, ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies emerge?

Can a tower be com­pletely self-sus­tain­ing? What if our tow­ers pro­duced all the food their in­hab­i­tants need? We be­lieve the goals should be to cre­ate sky­scrapers as vi­able and re­silient or­gan­isms that ful­fill the needs of peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties while pro­tect­ing our fi­nite re­sources.

Com­pu­ta­tional de­sign tech­nolo­gies like vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity, para­met­ric de­sign and 3D print­ing, along with big data from GIS and other sources have trans­formed the cre­ation process al­low­ing us to test a build­ing’s re­sponses to spe­cific en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and push the bound­aries of con­ven­tional form. We’re forg­ing new part­ner­ships be­tween peo­ple and ma­chines to co-de­sign the fu­ture. What con­ceiv­able lim­its can we push when we blur bound­aries and com­bine the ex­per­tise of ma­te­ri­als sci­en­tists, bi­ol­o­gists, en­ergy com­pa­nies, and be­yond to ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties?

At B+H, we’re ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers, as well as busi­ness plan­ners, brand spe­cial­ists, re­searchers, data an­a­lysts, and real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als. We col­lab­o­rate with our clients, help­ing them dream big and co-cre­ate a fu­ture where we can all be suc­cess­ful. We lever­age our skills to ex­plore and de­velop sce­nar­ios in­formed by the hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, our clients’ busi­ness goals, and the art of the pos­si­ble.


 ??  ?? David Stavros, se­nior de­sign prin­ci­pal and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Asia, B+H Ar­chi­tects
David Stavros, se­nior de­sign prin­ci­pal and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Asia, B+H Ar­chi­tects

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