Cloud Tower: The Impacts of Time

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Holly Smithberger (designer)
Jennifer Rittler (studio professor)
Spring 2021
The design of this building began with the image of a traditional office tower left empty and uninhabited over time. As a result, the orthogonal form of the tower begins to recede and expand in response to natural elements, resulting in a clash between the organic form caused by time and the rigidity of the remaining structure. The building takes design cues from this image, translating it into retractive and additive cloud-like glass structures responding to the site: the city of Columbus. The structure is continually reduced by organic carvings at the edges. These carvings break the orthogonal form and the traditional office layout, while allowing natural light into the core of the building, as well as connecting interior spaces to views of the surrounding city. Additive concave spaces engulf the street level, offering spaces for the public, and bulge out of the tower on higher levels giving space to tenets of the office units. These bubbles are meant to be moments of calm and social connectivity. The building is supported by an exposed exoskeleton, a result of the structure left of the traditional office building. This exoskeleton will also act as a sun shading system. Sun Shading fins will respond to the shading needs of each respective facade and their sun exposure. The exposed edges are taken out at varying levels to offer views that correspond to the floor's amenities. There are four main points of interest I wanted to address on either side of the site. These varying views relate to the function of the amenities at the respected levels, reminding inhabitants of their expanded site, the city of Columbus. The overgrown street-level expands on the idea of environmental entanglement, by formally reaching out into the city. Inside these spherical enclosures will be a variety of public amenities, a bus stop, cafe, park extension, public art gallery, and children's play area. The cloud structures are meant to be both indoors and outdoors, acting as a sort of vestibule for the tower.
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