Mile-High Prototype

  • Location

    Prototypical Urban Environment

  • Client

    Independent Design Study

  • Team

    Designed with AS+GG, Chicago as Design Director

  • Size

    1,162,535 m² (12,502,754 ft²)
    325 storeys, 1,610m tall

The Mile High Prototype is a design exercise studying the structural and architectural viability of constructing a mile high tower.  The project is a mixed-use programme, comprised of office, hotel and residential.  The design draws upon the rich architectural legacy of historical aspirations of Hugh Ferriss and Frank Lloyd Wright, incorporating 21st century technology creating an iconic “city within a city”.

The concept of the building is based on three separate towers, pulled apart and linked together via a central structural “mast” enclosing double decker elevator shuttles.  Further structural stability is achieved with a tubular structural “lattice”, and 3 storey bridges every 32 floors linking the towers together.  The central structural “mast” is linked to the towers via a 3 storey “umbilical” every 32 floors.  These linking elements combine to create a central atrium space between the towers, creating the opportunity for wind harvesting via vertical axis wind turbines.  The tower floor plates are shaped as “tear drops” along with aerodynamically shaping the mast, lattice, umbilical and bridge elements to further channel inherent wind dynamics through the turbine farm.   The tower floor plates step up the building mass, decreasing in size in a spiral.  These setbacks translate vertically up the building with expansive landscaped terraces integrated into the tower form.

The programme of the building is separated based on anticipated market-driven scenarios, with office located at the base of the building where the floor plates are the largest, hotel at the middle where larger room counts per floor can be achieved, and a 5 tier residential programme being located above the hotel where the floor plates diminish in size to allow for full floor residences.  The tapering of the floor plate “tear drops” allow for placement of the hotel and residential programmes to be flexible, creating a hierarchy of hotel addresses.