suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
julia KOERNER : the helices tower is a building prototype that aims to transform the modern high-rise typology for equatorial climates through the incorporation of sustainable, bioclimatic building-systems. the design demonstrates that passive ventilation strategies can be exploited for both energy efficiency and formal beauty.
sP: what or who influenced this project:
jK: case study for a treasure box for an artificial knee
studio greg lynn die angewandte ws08/09
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project:
jK: reading about bioclimatic design strategies, ad techniques and technologies in morphogenetic design watching artificial bone and joint systems
sP: whose work is currently on your radar:
jK: ross lovegrove, tokujin yoshioka, hussein chalayan
the helices tower is a building prototype that aims to transform the modern high-rise typology for equatorial climates through the incorporation of sustainable, bioclimatic building-systems. the design demonstrates that passive ventilation strategies can be exploited for both energy efficiency and formal beauty. careful research into the equatorial climate, its temperature and humidity, is at the core of the design concept which proposes vertical ventilation cores to encourage the stack effect. formally, the design takes advantage of the vertical multiplication of open office floor plans to produce a graceful helices—multiple helix spirals—on the façade.
the helices tower features innovatively designed building systems that transition from highly articulated, two-dimensional façade patterns to richly dimensional bioclimatic interior spaces. the design shows that “highly evolved” building systems can synthesize to simultaneously produce a building’s passive energy strategy, internal organization and formal sophistication. the evolved systems of the helices tower consist of two primary elements: opaque monolithic cores, incorporating the ventilation system and primary structural system, and the twisting helices that span in-between to form floor slabs and interior divisions. the interaction of these two elements produces a design that is both compositionally and performatively dynamic. the opaque cores are located on the east and west sides to shade the building from low solar angles and draw air through the tower. visually monolithic, the cores also incorporate a dichroic surface pattern to externally communicate the dynamic flow of air through the building’s interior. similarly, the helical slabs create a fluid gradient pattern on the façade while also providing additional shading for the interior. together, the monolithic cores and helical slabs form a richly synthetic system capable of providing open office floor plans as well as soaring vertical atriums that both sculpt interior space and provide passive ventilation.
since the early 1980’s panama city, panama has emerged as an important hub for international banking and commerce. the city’s dense skyline consists mostly of new apartment buildings, hotels and commercial high-rises. the helices tower is a proposal for a banking headquarters building in the city’s marbella district, a narrow strip of high-rises along the coast. the triangular site has dramatic, sweeping views to the pacific ocean and is nested between a primary thoroughfare (balboa avenue), a small river and another office high-rise complex.