Tokyonara Hypertower 1993

This is a project that both extends and experiments with several theoretical ideas founded in earlier works, in particular that of Menara Mesiniaga. Kuala Lumpur 1992. Both Meslniaga and Nara tower forms aie constrained within the outline of a circle and contain the principle of a vertical spiral of boundless dimensions. While the KL Mesiniaga Tower is a mere 15 storeys, the Nara Tower can be visualised and extended to 210 storeys, or 880 metres high, almost double the vertical dimensions of Pelll's Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The Nara Tower project provided Yeang with the opportunity to realise and expressively confirm many of th.s theoretical ideas. The project represents a summary of his research to 1993,

"... Into the nature and evolution of tall buildings ..." «

The central ideas In the project design and its conception are dominated by the spiral floor-plate structure festooned with vertical landscaping which loops around and penetrates the form and its progression of

-nd ,n the same way the abundant foliage assists in cooling the bulldmg T"ted paces contribute he ell uln Trment Wi,hm ,he OVe",,, itruc^ «his case the calculated, assembled mass of planting balances the biosystems

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with the mechanical systems in a symbiotic relationship that yields a stable environment a blocllmatlc machine a habiter

In response to the maintenance needs of the vertical landscaping, g|a/in>, and panel cladding systems, Yeang introduced an innovative robot-arm as a form of 'cherry-picker' on moveable trellises. These travelling devices move on an external track that spirals the tower in vertical, expressive circulation.

The structural system is a tour de force a three-point equilateral triangle defines a tripartite primary cellular honeycomb structural frame, linked and set within the circular geometry of the robot track system This matrix provides a support system for the radial/spiral arrangement of organic floor plates (described as plectrum shaped)

As the floor plates are rotated at alternative floors, the overlapping layers provide a natural shading system This shifted pattern allows the introduction of hanging gardens, inter-floor bracing, ventilation and cooling system networks The mam structure is penetrated centrally by a pivotal cable stay mast, and this element, together with the outer triple V-form structures, define the positions for batteries of vertical transportation The floor plate spiral shift also creates variations of atrial space that are further infused with terraces, internal courts, private gardens and skycourts

Throughout, Yeang envisaged his first principles of vertical urbanlsm These included principally mixed occupancy such as offices, apartments, hotels and communal facilities; skycourt oases, the equivalent of green parks; and the atrial spaces as a public areas of movement, vistas, air and light. The skycourt oases, located at regular vertical intervals, provide major breaks in the built volume - a form of suspended natural park, introducing fresh air and acting as the Tower's lungs, distributing via the atrial voids and essential airflow, while insulated from the city beneath The atrial network of spaces, winding within the tower, provides a sheltered interaction of walkways, bridges and stairwells - a pedestrian system of routes, open to the environment but particular to the tower itself Taken together with the central corr these elements provide an overall system of wind-flues, which brm« wind to inner parts of the building, with adjustable dampers This principle has been further developed in the wind wing-wall system used in the Penang UMNO Tower

As with the Mesiniaga Tower, the lift and service cores are laid defensively on the east-west axis of the sunpath to absorb the maximum quantity of solar gain The cooler facades on the north-south axis <»e conversely, more open with clear glazing and atrial voids, echoing th. earlier precedent. In the same bioclimatic tradition the shielding and glazing systems are orientated to resist solar gain The east-west fac^ sides are more solidly glazed, with cast and perforated metal cladding - selected for qualities of reflection, weight and structural capacity And again, the north-south faces of the form are equally legible by open louvres, tiered sunshades and clear glazing in response to the lower exposure to the sun.

The vast spiral form of this bioclimatic supertower is intended to n*' independent of the polluted lower city beneath, reaching into the Inhabitable upper atmosphere, in Yeang's words " the edge of the sky". Armoured against solar gam and strategically opened to introduce natural ventilation, the overall spatial composition and functional mix offers the possibility of a new form of urban life

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Yeang has mad. a crucial pent in the design of the ED.TT Tower in that the major -ssue In the urban de^n of^yscrapers

¡s poor spatial continuity between street-level activities with those spaces at the upper-floors of the city's high-rise towers in the conventional case, which .s based on repetitious. compartmentalisatjon of floors an inherently sealed envelope.

Yeang's central manifesto is that urban design involves 'place making', in the EDITT Tower he has applied this principle with conviction: " .. in creating 'vertical places', our design brings •street-life' to the building's upper-parts through wide landscaped-ramps upwards from street-level. Ramps are lined with street activities: stalls, shops, cafes, performance spaces and viewing decks, up to the first six floors. Ramps create a continuous spatial flow from public to less public, as a 'vertical extension of the street', thereby eliminating the problematic stratification of floors inherent in all tall buildings typology. High-level bridge-linkages are added to connect to neighbouring buildings for greater urban connectivity." 43

In addition to the consideration of public space and circulation, Yeang added an analysis of views to enable upper-floor design to have greater visual connectivity with the surroundings. In Singapore, with its superb seaboard location, this is a significant factor, and rightly exploited.

But, it is the manipulation and integration of the ramp, within the form and function of the project, that emerges as the fundamental precept of the architecture and its manifestation of public space and use. In common with the early projects of le Corbusier, and more recently Richard Meier, the ramp is once again celebrated here as a symbolic notation, and the visible expression of the promenade architecturale.

Aside from the abundant, spiralling landscape of indigenous vegetation which assists ambient cooling of the facades, two further elements appear foremost in the form-giving process. These include the curvilinear rooftop rainwater collector, and the attendant rainwater facade collector scallops, which form the rainwater collection and recycling system. Equally the extensive incorporation of photovoltaic panels, as a major formation on the east facade, adds a further level of formal detail residual in the overall bioclimatic discipline, towards reduced energy consumption.

In this case, Yeang's ecological response begins with an extensive analysis of the site's ecology This exhaustive analysis of ecosystem hierarchy, determines that this site is an urban 'zero culture' Consequently, this is a crucial determinant, which focuses the design approach towards the restoration of organ,c mass, which will enable ecological succession to replace the inorganic nature of the site in its current urban state of devastation.

Tte policy ,S ™n,,„. in lhe pUn,cd tamped upwards „„,„ lhe 8,ound j^'' ' »« leva, and conSMo«„g . slgni)lcan, cor t. „„h lhose ¿zzxxx «

underscores every move >ustalnabllity

Otherwise. Yeang's ecological design process ochjdes a further of significant analyses. Perhaps most important >s to submit the to a 'loose-fif philosophy, which will enable the building to absorb change and refitting over a life-span of 100/150 years. Ovca - . allows conversion from the expo-condition to possible office jse A— a high level of floor occupation efficiency. This involves removable partitions and floors, reuse of skycourts. mechanical jointing. wK:-enables future recovery of materials, all within a matrix that s baseo upon flexibility as a paramount condition.

In addition, Yeang introduced a series of systems and assessment procedures that further underscore the ecological design of the towf-As well as water recycling and purification associated with rainwater and grey-water reuse, the project includes sewage recycling, solar energy use. building materials' recycling and reuse, together with natur. ventilation and 'mixed-mode' servicing. The latter optimises the jse of mechanical and electrical servicing so that both mechanical air-conditioning and artificial lighting systems are reduced, relative to the locality's bioclimatic responses. Ceiling fans with demisters are used for low-energy comfort cooling. Wind is also used to create internal comfoi conditions by the introduction of 'wind-walls', that are placed paralle to the prevailing wind to direct airflow to internal spaces and skcourts to assist breeze cooling.

Finally, the whole material fabric and structure of the tower were subjected to an embodied energy and COj emission assessment, in order to understand the environmental impact of the project, and to define a balance between embodied and operational energy confer1:

While these methods are neither unique nor overly new in themselves it is the co-ordinated collective effect of their application in Yeang's architecture that signals his ecological attitude to design, and provides the basis for development in following projects.

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