Miami’s latest skyscraper has an impressive glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC) exoskeleton designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. In this video, The B1M look at design considerations of this innovative building programme, and how the exoskeleton contributes to not only the buildings physical structure, but its form and intricacies.
The project is no less Zaha at this unprecedented scale. A concrete exoskeleton structures the perimeter of the tower in a web of flowing lines that integrates lateral bracing within the lines of structural support. Columnar lines near the base splay out to meet at the corners, forming a rigid tube highly resistant to Miami’s demanding wind loads.
With structure at the perimeter, the interior floor plates are almost column free, allowing maximum variation in floor plans. The bottom two-thirds of the tower has two units per floor, while the upper third boasts units that occupy the entire floor. The moving, curving lines of the exoskeleton mean that each succeeding floor plan is slightly different from the last. On the lower floors, terraces occupy the corners; on the upper floors, the terraces are tucked in from the edges.
Zaha Hadid Architects project director Chris Lepine says that the structure—which appears as if it were eroded from a solid—reads from top to bottom as one continuous liquid frame. The tower represents a line of research in high-rise construction that explores a fluid architectural expression consistent with engineering for the entire height of the structure. The emphasis is on expressing the dynamism of the structure in an integrated whole that avoids the frequent typology of a tower resting on a base.