10 Year Award Finalist: Comcast Center, Philadelphia

Zero, neutral, negative. These kinds of terms usually inform approaches to building performance since new construction is generally understood to be a burden in terms of its consumption of resources and its impact on an existing city. This presentation will cover three case studies for projects in design that have been conceived to go beyond the client’s brief and make a positive impact on their surrounding environment.

Although much has occurred over the last 50 years in the realm of tall building design, a study of what has been produced since 1969 shows that the fundamental role of the tower in the city has remained consistent. Zoning and building codes have made towers safer and limited their negative impacts by controlling height and density. Technology has made design, construction and operation more efficient and cost effective. It is expected that those trends will continue, towers will continue to define our cities and affect our skylines but in the end present challenges for municipalities.

This presentation will focus on new tower designs that illustrate ways to improve our cities for the next 50 years. Towers that increase public open space, rather than limit it. Towers that generate energy, while they consume it. Towers that increase daylight at street level. Towers that improve wind conditions in their neighborhoods. These three case studies are sited in North America, Asia and the Middle East and represent the work of a cross-disciplinary collaborative team.

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