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The New Millennium

Edited by John Zukowsky and Martha Thorne, Prestel/The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 144, 2000, $49.95

Kingdom Centre, Riyadh

Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia designed by Ellerbe Becket

By Carter B. Horsley

Unlike some other recent international surveys of skyscrapers that highlight many spectacular and exciting projects by world-famous architects, this one will introduce many readers to some not so famous architects. There are some truly spectacular projects, some modest but intriguing projects and some that are uninspired, a reminder that the real world is not always the best of all possible worlds.

This interesting volume contains illustrations and short essays on more than 70 major projects, some of which are still on the drawing boards and may, in fact, not get off them, but are important to the study of this spectacular building type. Most of the projects have more than one illustration, some of which are excellent and some of which are not.

This book was compiled by John Zukowsky and Martha Thorne, curator and associate curator, respectively, of the department of architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago, which will hold an exhibition based on it from August 19, 2000 to January 15, 2001.

Probably the most phenomenal project adorns its cover, the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, shown above, designed by Ellerbe Becket of Minneapolis and the Omrania Corporation of Riyadh for HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud and estimated for construction completion in 2001. The top third of the 984-foot-high-tower, which is the same height as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is only "sculptural’ to conform with the city’s planning ordinance that limits the number of occupied floors to 30, but its "handle" top does contain an observatory. Ove Arup & Partners are the project’s structural engineers and this silvery, reflective glass tower that rises from an elliptical plan that ends in an inverted parabolic curve beneath the shallow arch of the observatory is a high-tech marvel of stunning sculptural beauty.

The building’s description in the book notes that the mixed-use tower will include the "Prince’s business headquarters, a first-class hotel, the three-story Kingdom Mall, a wedding and conference Center, office space, a sports club and luxury condominiums." "One entire floor of the Kingdom Mall - reached by a separate entrance and elevator - reserved for women only, where Islamic veils are not obligatory," it added.

This tower’s "arch" is certainly the most modern arch since von Spreckelsen and Andrew’s Grande Arche arch at La Defense in Paris and its observatory promises to be even more spectacular than the Umeda Sky building in Osaka, Japan, designed by the Hiroshi Hara Atelier (see The City Review article on Francisco Asensio Cerver’s book, "Architecture of Skyscrapers" with an illustration of the Umeda project). The cladding of the tower gives no indication, during daytime, of its internal structure and number of floors by its blanket uniform appearance, a visual device first used to great effect by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates in the United Nations Plaza project across First Avenue from the United Nations in Manhattan a generation earlier.

The scale of the arch here is breathtaking. Cut-outs have been used before, rarely, but this "eye" of a giant needle stuck in the ground is awesome and an extravagant gesture that harkens back to the Pyramids. Cut-outs, or voids, are signature design elements of Arquitectonica, the famous Miami-based architectural firm, which is represented in this compendium with two projects, the Shanghai Information Town and a project near Times Square in Manhattan. The former consists of a 25-story tower completed in 1998 and a 50-story tower due for completion in 2002. The two towers are at right angles with each other and each have large square sections cantilevered from the cores, "visually destabilizing the otherwise static, rectangular forms," the authors observed.

"Sail"Tower designed by M3 Architects

1,495-foot-high "sail" tower designed by M3 Architects of London

Some of the other ambitious projects also include unusual forms such as the design of M3 Architects in London for a 1,495-foot-high mixed-use tower for a suggested site along the eastern approach to London that is in the shape of a sail and is designed to include wind slots to prevent turbulence at its base and to harness the wind to drive turbines that combined with 50 percent photovoltaic cell coverage of the facade is expected to provide up to half the building’s power consumption. The project’s principals are Ken Hutt and Nadi Jahangiri, who worked together previous on the London Millennium tower and the Commerzbank in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, with Foster and Partners.

Jakarta Tower by Jean-Paul Viguier

Jakarta (Indonesia) Tower designed by Jean-Paul Viguier

The notion of stacked atria, which Skidmore, Owings & Merrill used in several projects over the last generation, has been employed by Jean-Paul Viguier for the Jakarta (Indonesia) Tower, a 1,186-foot-high structure that is 150 feet in diameter and consists of five 25-story modules that the authors say "look like Dixie cups stacked on top of one another - separated from each other by spacious sky lobbies." The 1995 design, the authors added, remains "in the concept stage."

While Viguier’s design has its main structure support in its center, Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn, Inc., the Chicago-based architectural firm, has designed a square-plan, 48-story building, known as the 21 Century Tower in Pudong, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, that has four nine-story, triangular atria at one corner where the design does not call for structural support. The building’s "braced-tube" design "clearly references Chinese architectural traditions by the liberal use of red onits structurally expressive elements," the authors note. The East China Architectural Deign & Research Institute is the associate architect and Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd., and Werner Sobek Engineers GmbH are the structural engineers for the project, which is being developed for the Shanghai 21 Century Center Real Estate Co., Ltd., and is due for completion in 1901.

A 1,007-foot-high building known as Telekom Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur employs large, open sky gardens that are supported by prefabricated steel trusses that project up to 107 feet and are dramatic elements in the design on the east and west ends of the structure that consists of two conical and convex slabs that "appear to overlap and roll up on one side and unfold on open up on the other side, replicating ‘[a] new sprout shooting up from the earth, with solid roots to anchor it and the beauty of an unfurling leaf," the authors wrote. Designed by Hijjas Kasturi Associates of Kuala Lumpur for Telekom Malaysia Berhad, the project was influenced, according to the architects, by "the work of the Malaysian sculpture and painter Latiff Mahidin. Construction of the almost completed tower has been "delayed indefinitely," according to the authors. Ranhill Bersekutu is the structural engineer.

Commerzbank Frankfurt

Commerzbank in Frankfurt designed by Foster and Partners

More gardens in the sky can be found at the Commerzbank Headquarters building in Frankfort/Main, Germany, designed by Foster and Partners of London and completed in 1997. This 849.73-foot-high building is the tallest in Europe and has a 49-story atrium and nine 4-story-high gardens, each acting as a "village green. The triangular-plan building has motorized window to permit the circulation of outside air when the offices are warm. Ove Arup & Partners were the structural engineers.

Another high-rise tower with "garden" floors, this time double-height, is the Sheraton Tower at Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Scheduled for completion in 2001, the 450-foot tower was designed by Busby + Associates of Vancouver and will be the tallest building in the city because it stands on the highest point of the downtown penisula. Glotman Simpson is the structural engineer. The 45-story tower joins a 34-story hotel and a 29-story apartment tower at the complex and has gently curved glass facades that have photovoltaic cells for energy conservation and efficiency.

155 Macquarie Street tower

155 Macquarie Street Tower in Sydney designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

One of the most beautiful designs is 155 Macquarie Street Tower in Sydney, Australia, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop of Genoa, Italy, and Ove Arup & Partners, structural engineers. The building is on the site of the former State Office Block, designed by Ken Wooley, that was erected in 1976. The Piano building is a 34-story office building and a 16-story apartment building that are linked by a public plaza beneath a transparent glass canopy that is suspended by steel cables between the two towers. Each of the 62 apartments will have when the project is completed in 2000 its own glass-louvered balcony and the office tower is topped with glass sails to "pay tribute in form and shimmering material to Jorn Utzon’s famous Opera House (1957-1973) only 2,600 feet away," the authors write. "Additionally, the tower’s corners, where the elliptical core is exposed, are covered with terra-cotta panels whose color and texture is similar to Sydney’s native, yellow sandstone,’ they added. The tower gets larger as it rises.

Not surprisingly, Chicago has several new buildings. At first glance, 300 East Randolph appears to be a relatively modest, by Chicago standards, office building. Completed in 1997, it is 30 stories tall, but the design by James Goettsch of Lohan Associates of Chicago envisions its possible expansion in two more phases, a second phase that would add 12 more stories and a third that would another 12 stories to bring it to a height of 731 feet. "Vertical expansion is possible because the roof is removable, allowing new steel columns to be connected to those directly below, continuing the building’s structural design. The increased need for vertical circulation will be served by two more passenger elevator banks, now reserved on the building’s north side as a dramatic vertiginous atrium space adjacent to the two passenger elevator banks now in service. The building is occupied by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois. Chris Stefanos Associates is the structural engineer and Costentini Associates is the mechanical engineer. The building is quite elegant with a broad expanse of windows and fine detailing. The same architect has also designed another simple but elegant 52-story tower for John Buck Company/ERE Yarmouth Inc., at One North Wacker Drive, that is due for completion in 2001.

Jean-Paul Viguier also has a Chicago project, the Hotel Sofitel, a triangular-plan tower that is due for completion in 2001.

Another French architect, Christian de Portzamparc, is represented by his LVMH Tower on 57th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Manhattan and nine design schemes for the modest but flamboyant tower are shown. The 23-story tower conforms to the city’s complex zoning but has an indented and curved facade with a setback for a blue-glass element and, the author’s noted that "the plastic expression of the building is emphasized at night, when concealed neon lights tint the facade with a palette of soft colors and while lights illuminate the underside of the floor slabs. The evolution of the design is interesting from a plain, clean-cut modern facade to a post-modern stacking of differing geometric shapes, to a Deconstructivist angularity to the final, svelte design with curves.

The LVMH Tower looks best at night when its facade colors change as during the day its pearlescent white is a bit weak although the dramatic, sculptured lines of the building, which opened in 1999, are fine.

350 Madison Avenue

350 Madison Avenue expansion designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Another modest, by New York standards, project is an expansion of the building at 350 Madison Avenue for Max Capital Management that is due for completion in late 2001. Here, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill are adding several floors to the building that will be clad in frosted glass, stainless steel mesh and polished concrete in dramatic contrast to the existing building’s brown masonry. The new floors will cantilever out at an angle over the building’s lobby in the middle of the block on the avenue and the lobby will be rebuilt and its floor and ceiling will be of glass with floodlights beneath the floor directed upward to reflect off the new metal mesh surface of the south facade of the building. The asymmetrical addition looks a bit like the architects have taken a small scale version of Christian de Portzamparc’s famous Credit Lyonnais Tower of 1995 in Lyons, France, and tiled it on end and shove it down through the roof of the existing older building on this site. The form of the addition is very dramatic, but it remains to be seen how well its high-tech surfaces meld into the masonry fabric of the existing and surrounding buildings. The overall effect would appear to be ungainly and awkward, yet this sleek hammer may prove to be quite riveting in this location close to Grand Central Terminal. Gilsanz, Murray Steficek is the structural engineer.

Not all of the projects in the book are gigantic towers. In Montevideo, Uruguay, Carlos Ott International has designed a 520-foot-high building known as the ANTEL Telecommunications Tower that is not only very colorful but also arises from a very complex base that includes an inverted conical structure. The tower combines a triangular plan with curved facades. "The irregular and shifting facades as well as the alternating black-and-gray granite exterior cladding, tri-colored aluminum curtain wall, and green, blue-green, and silver glass all contribute to the dynamic expression," the authors wrote. Marcelo Sasson is the structural engineeer and the project is due for completion in late 2000.

Olympia Plaza, Hong Kong

Olympia Plaza in Hong Kong designed by Wong Tung & Partners

Similar complexity can be found at Olympia Plaza in Hong Kong, a building designed by Wong Tung & Partners of Hong Kong for Ka Chee Co. Ltd., and completed in 1999. Only 26 stories and 387 feet high, the building concentrates its design flourishes at its base rather than its top. The lower three floors are shopping arcades and these are topped by eight levels of restaurants and 14 stories of offices. The office floors project over the base in a convex facade and "linear trim along the silver, reflective curtain wall emphasizes the horizontal breadth of the building - a design feature that is reiterated even in the horizontal bands around the glass cylinders and elevator enclosures - and compresses vertical movement. This underlines the architect’s intention…to give the overall composition a ‘coherent and dynamic form,’ which emphasizes the ‘streamlined’ qualities of ‘horizontality and transparency,’" the authors noted.

Olympia Plaza facade detail

Facade detail of elevator shafts at Olympia Plaza, Hong Kong

The building combines the polished sophistication of Hans Hollein and the bold sculptural gestures of Shin Takematsu. (See The City Review article on "New Forms, Architecture in the 1990s," a book by Philip Jodidio, which illustrates Takematsu’s great Kirin Plaza in Tokyo.) This building is much better than most of the new buildings in Times Square!

ELA Tower in Tel Aviv

Proposed ELA Tower in Tel Aviv, Israel, designed by Shin Takematsu in 1995-6 in association with Eliakim Architects

Shin Takematsu is one of the world's greatest architects and this book illustrates his proposed ELA Tower in Tel Aviv, Israel, that he designed in 1995-6 in association with Eliakim Architects. The book, unfortunately, does not provide further information on this rather amazing design, shown above. Indeed, the major shortcoming of this book is the brevity of the information about some of the projects.

The construction binge that began in the 1990s in Shanghai continues apace. One of the handsomer projects is Wan Xiang International Plaza, a 1,056-foot, 52-story office tower designed by Ingenhoven Overdiek und Partner of Dusseldorf, Germany. Due for completion in early 2003, the tower is distinguished by its tall antennae and the diagonal struts of its concrete-filled steel frame. The East China Architectural Design and Research Institute is the associate architect and Buro Happold is the structural engineer.

Nikken Sekkei Ltd., of Tokyo designed the Shanghai Information Center for the Shanghai Information World Co., Ltd., and this 926-foot-high tower is very complex with a finned roof, angled wings and a 109-foot-high atrium with a huge sphere suspended from a seventh-floor truss containing a telecommunications museum. The project is due for completion in late 2002.

Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership of Toronto has designed two towers in Shanghai, the China Insurance Building for the People’s Insurance Company of China, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. The former is a 38-story tower that is notable for its stunning top of twin beacons and masts as well as its large exposed facade trusses and its generally happy countenance. It was completed in 1999. The latter is due for completion in 2000 and its considerably more sedate, but does sport a large rooftop lantern and spire.

Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai

Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago

The best new Shanghai project is the 1,380-foot-high Jin Mao Tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago for the China Shanghai Foreign Trade Centre Company. Completed in 1999, this building consciously adopts the pagoda tradition of China in a memorable and very beautiful modern monolith of great delicacy and power. The 88-story building has an octagonal concrete core surrounded on four sides by a pair of supercolumns and "three sets of eight-two-story high outrigger trusses connecting the columns to the core at six floors provide additional support to prevent the core’s collapse," according to the authors. Adrian Smith was the partner in charge and the East China Architectural Design and Research Institute was the associate architect. The tower has 13 flaring setbacks and four receding ones and is topped with a fine sculptural skyline ornament that is appropriate to the very complex, almost pine-cone design of the tower, whose complexity rises as it ascends. The base of the building contains a hotel with a huge barrel-vaulted, skylit atrium.

This may well be the world’s finest skyscraper since the Chrysler Building.

Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers designed by Cesar Pelli

The twin towers of Cesar Pelli’s Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the world’s tallest at 1,483 feet is are shown in a fine night photograph that makes the two braces for the bridge between the towers a stunning and surprising focal point. Featured prominently and spectacularly in the movie, "Entrapment," this tower has a sensational facade although the proportions of the towers is not too satisfying because of the shallow setbacks. Of course, the towers’ design "was generated by a floor plan whose geometric circle-and-square design symbolized the principles of harmony in Islam," the authors note. Adamson Associates was the associate architect for this project, which was completed in 1998 and Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers were the structural engineers.

Frilly, intricate, dazzling and awesome, the Petronas Towers are cultural icons of great power and Pelli has successfully given them an Asian beauty that may be a put too fussy for some purists and Westerners. Individually, they are not as elegant as the slightly smaller Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai. The notion of twin towers perhaps stems from the days of Gothic cathedrals, but most of those were merely the fronts to large structures that sported a central or rear tower of even greater height. The World Trade Center in Manhattan is, of course, the other famous twin-tower project but Minoru Yamasaki’s sleek and sheer designs were minimalist despite some frills at the bases and his towers had no connecting bridges.

Why only one bridge? Why such a relatively thin bridge? Why such dramatic, large and angled braces? Why not three towers of different heights? No matter how one answers such questions, the Petronas Towers are an impressive achievement and the generic facade is the best since Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s "Lipstick" building at 885 Third Avenue in Manhattan.

Another twin-towers project is the Emirates Twin Towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates designed by NORR Limited of Toronto for HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. The towers, however, are not twins as one is 1,154 feet high and the other "only" 991 feet high, but the design of both is otherwise very similar. The taller building is for offices and the smaller is for a hotel. "The nearly identical towers rise from an equilateral triangle plan. This Islamic-inspired, geometric pattern is repeated through the building, from sloped glass roofs and triangular skylights and canopy structures, to various interior and exterior paving designs. The rigid geometry is balanced by the curvilinear and terraced podium, which includes a cascading waterfall at the hotel entrance and circular glass drums which enclose the lower eight levels - an architectural motif that is repeated in the upper segments of the towers. The project is due for completion in 2000.

Swiss Re tower

Design of Swiss Re Headquarters in London by Foster and Partners

Foster and Partners of London have designed two major towers in London, the Swiss Re London Headquarters and the Millennium Tower. The former design was completed in 1998 but the book does not indicate when construction is planned. It is a 590-foot-high, 41-story structure that is diagonally braced and in the form of a pill with one end stuck in the ground. "By rotating each successful floor, Foster and Partners have created voids at the edges of each floor plate which will form a series of spiral atria. To assist in ventilation, they have incorporated horizontal slots into the atria which will draw in natural air at each floor. Additionally, they have enclosed the atria at every sixth floor to allow for gardens and social spaces for the tenants," the authors wrote. The intricate design combines triangles and diamonds and curves that wrap the structure in a lace. The building bulges a bit in its lower portions. The high-tech helical design is very impressive, but also rather ungainly in its proportions. Two years before, Foster and Partners unveiled a scheme for a 1,265-foot-high tower that was "promoted by the Norwegian-based business group, Kvaerner," and the proposed mixed-use building would have an observatory and the "top of the building would divide into two tail fins of differing heights."

Millennium Tower, Japan

Rendering of 2,755-foot-high Millennium Tower in Japan designed by Foster and Partners

Both of these projects look they have been on steroids and do not manifest a great deal of gracefulness, whereas the firm’s Millennium Tower project for Tokyo is exquisite. Designed for the Obayashi Corporation, the 170-story, 2,755-foot-high tower has been proposed for an island in Tokyo Bay. "Using a helical steel cage, woven like a basket, the Millennium Tower has a conical shape that offers both an aesthetic and structural solution to the design limits of the very tall building. In laboratory studies, the conical shape proved the move stable, since potentially destabilizing winds move safely around the building’s contours," the authors wrote.

S.O.M. 2,000-ft. tower designed for Chicago

Model of 2,000-foot-high tower in Chicago designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Another beautiful design, slightly less ambitious, is "a proposal for the heart of downtown Chicago, initiated by European-American Realty Ltd., [which] aims to put the city again in the running for the world’s tallest building." "The mixed-use building will measure 2,000 feet…in height including its antenna…and include a retail concourse, thirteen floors of parking, approximately thirty floors of offices, 350 residential units on forty-two floors, and communications levels. The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is designing the building which is a sleek, rectangular, steel-and-glass tower with curved corners, divided into six sections, which step back as the building rises. The entire top is devoted to communications floors, mechanical systems, a cooling tower and the Tuned Mass Damping system….The tower is constructed of a concrete tube structure, which forms the spine from which floors cantilever out twenty to thirty feet….This means that the upper residential floors have no perimeter columns dividing the space, and the lower office floors have open plans with additional support provided by external columns," the authors wrote. The S.O.M. design is rigorous and fine.

In Melbourne, Australia, developer Bruno Grollo has been planning a major tower for several years. In 1995, he commissioned a design for a 1,625-foot-high structure from Harry Seidler and Associates that was very dramatic with slanted corners and exposed diagonal braces with an asymmetrical top. The hexagonal tower had a tapered profile supported by only six exterior columns and a triangular central core and the facade was going to have embedded photovoltaic cells to use solar energy. "Due to a lukewarm public and governmental response to the original design, developer Bruno Grollo commissioned a second design for a specific site in the Docklands area of Melbourne. For the second scheme he chose the Australian firm of Denton Corker Marshall. Their proposal is a glass, multi-use obelisk, 113 stories - or 1,820 feet…- high, containing shops, offices, apartments, and a hotel….The basic structural elements are four pairs of columns that raise the tower off the ground, creating space for a park more than 100 feet …high at its ground level and the symmetrical central core which contains circulation and services. The building has three main parts, each separated by a triple-level sky lobby. Above the top, or hotel section, are observation decks, a restaurant, shops and recreational facilities. The uppermost 350 feet…is the "Light Pinnacle," a beacon filled with telecommunications equipment and capped with an open viewing platform," the authors wrote. The top of the slender building, surprisingly, has a flat top.

Haines Lundberg Waehler was commissioned by the Chongqing National Garden City Inc., to build a 1,693-foot-high tower of at least 100 stories in Chongqing, Sichuan, China. The building will have a eight-story-high lobby, offices and a hotel as well as an observatory and its top, the authors wrote, "is designed to reference traditional Chinese imagery."

In Denver, W. Scott Moore has commissioned Richard Keating of DMJM Keating Architects to build a 86-story, wedge-shaped tower that would be known as the Trango Tower and would be clad in honed and polished granite and the shaft in ochre-colored, striated stone and dark glass trips. "Although no specific schedule has yet been set, the developer looks optimistically towards 2004," the authors remarked.

Some projects lack the design cohesiveness of the Jin Mao Tower but have some very fine elements such as the Nadya Park project in Nagoya, Japan, designed by Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz of San Francisco, and completed in 1996. This building has a 14-story Design Center that is connected by a 165-foot-high glass-enclosed atrium with angled facade walls, to a 23-story retail and office tower that is topped by a 40-foot-high mellatic screen and elliptical crown with three very distinctive fins. The asymmetrical project has many design flourishes such as convex facades, indented facades, screens and curves that are very interesting, although the overall effect is something of a jumble.

Menara UMNO building

Menara UMNO building in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, designed by Ken Yeang

Ken Yeang of the Selangor, Malaysia architectural firm of T. R. Hamzah & Yeang has designed a "bioclimatic" 21-story tower known as Menara UMNO for the South East Asia Development Corporation of Berhad in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Completed in 1998, this tower is unusually complex and has large panels to direct wind around it for maximum environmental efficiency and a balcony pattern that is different for every floor but design related.

Scotts Tower

Model of Scotts Tower in Singapore designed by Ong & Ong

Another small, but interest project is Scotts Tower in Singapore by Ong & Ong Architects Pte Ltd., of Singapore for the Far East Organization Pte Ltd. Expected to be completed in 2001, this 22-story, 299-foot-high apartment building has a plan that is mostly elliptical, except for one side that houses its elevator and staircase core. "Its facade is defined by a number of interlocking elliptical bodies that recall the dynamic designs of early twentieth-century architects such as Erich Mendelsohn and members of the Bauhaus….The lower half of the tower is defined by horizontal ribbon windows that are set in wide, protruding frames and wrap around the building’s corner. Aluminum fins at the shifting of the ellipse function as visual extensions of these horizontal components. On top of the tower, the mechanical plant is hidden behind elliptical louvers which are, in turn, crowned by a metal-clad, hyperbolic plane that is pierced by a ast. With its striking architectural forms and full-height, blue-tined glass windows, the Scotts Tower vividly invokes the streamlined design favored by architects at the beginning of the twentieth century," according to the authors. Steen Consultants Pte Ltd., was the structural engineer.

Scotts Tower has almost too much intriguing design. The framed windows are very strong. The hyperbolic plane pierced by a mast is sensational and the fins are, well, fantastic, especially since they grow in length the higher they are. Is the mast for flags? What’s the view, if any, from behind the fins?

Another modest-size apartment building is the SEG Apartment Tower in Vienna, Austria, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au of Vienna for the SEG Stadterneurerungs- und Eigentums - wohnungsgesellschaft m. b. H., and completed in 1998. This is notable for its slanted edge and mix of facades.

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