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Press kit

aac designs of the workshop "Vertical Life"

On Friday, March 9, the Academy for Architectural Culture’s (aac) Spring workshop ended with the evaluation of the students’ designs. From February 14 on the scholarship holders explored the utopia of a vertical city under the direction of Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Dipl.-Ing. Meinhard von Gerkan and Dipl.-Ing. architect Stephan Schütz.Their final presentations demonstrate how the qualities of a horizontal urban structure can be translated into a high-rise building.

In the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen the structural problems of a rapidly growing city are clear: The increasing rural exodus into the cities calls for residential and office concepts which can create space-saving, highly efficient, and liveable environments. In order to meet these requirements, both economically and in terms of urban development, “super high-rises” considerably greater than 300 meters are in trend in megacities such as Shenzhen. Does this development mean that the urbanity and neighbourliness of flatter urban city districts are now replaced by the uncompromising functionality of high-rises? The designs of the aac scholarship holders develop solutions, employing very different routes, which combine high sojourn quality with functionality.

The workshop assignment consisted in the planning of a hybrid high-rise for Shenzhen which both combines a diversity of uses, and translates the urban quality of a city district into the vertical. With spatial diversity, public passageways, and communicative open spaces, the scholarship holders were tasked with producing a contemporary design for the utopia of a “vertical city”, while factoring in the advantages of the historically evolved city.

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