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5. Wolf Prix
Coop Himmelb(l)au
Vienna, Austria
Click on thumbnail for larger image.

HOURGLASS: In Prix's futuristic scheme, three beveled towers support a vast bowl of apartments and a platform housing malls, hotels, and cultural facilities.

Wolf Prix, a radical Viennese architect with experience in large-scale museums and high-density public housing, plays with New York's identity as a vertical city by proposing a megastructure piled 100 stories high. Three mixed-use towers placed in a triangle act as pylons supporting a vast bowl of apartments, conceived for what Prix calls "Skyliving." Like the upper half of an hourglass, the bowl hovers above a dome around and inside which spirals a promenade. The interior ring overlooks the footprints of the World Trade Center towers, protected within a grand vaulted space dedicated as a memorial void. A huge platform several stories high rings the dome, housing cultural facilities, malls, hotels, and public offices. The platform, with an edge that curls like a cloud, floats above the ground plane, where the street grid is restored and outdoor space is left open for public use. A pedestrian bridge starting near Broadway crosses the site and becomes a ferry port on the Hudson. Prix and his partner, Helmut Swiczinsky, dedicate several floors within each high-rise for sky lobbies -- areas where occupants can shop and socialize. Residential and office space mix in each tower.

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