Los Angeles Skyscraper in 2040

Los Angeles Skyscraper in 2040

Designed by Houston Drum

As we move toward the year 2040, the demands for energy, mobility and space in Los Angeles continue to grow in a region already overwhelmed with urban sprawl, traffic congestion, scarce open space, and inferior public transportation. Excessive autonomy of living situations and transportation are at the root of these problems. The 25-Hour City looks to oppose the Los Angeles urban model of autonomy by creating an urban environment with hyper-density and vibrancy by incorporating everything, everywhere, all the time. The hyper-mixing of program allows for the freedom of continuous work or leisure at anytime of the day or night. This urban configuration is coupled with the programmatic dispersal of commercial, residential, retail, public, and recreational space to fulfill the 25-Hour City concept.

This vertical proposal accomplishes the ultimate level of sustainable responsibility vis-à-vis hyper levels of land-use efficiency. By condensing 75,000 people in one tower, transportation needs are reduced substantially while open space on the ground level is maintained. When dealing with the hyper-dense situation of 80,000 people / km2, parameters of natural light and ventilation become the most prominent influences on zoning and massing throughout the city. Using these parameters of light and air to understand limits in density that can happen at the ground level, the only logical way for a city to grow is vertically. Through the use of this logic, swells in the urban fabric are created that evolve into vertical cities where the limits of density cease to exist. 

Cities as we know it achieve variety through zoning distributions along the horizontal plane; this 25-Hour Tower proposal investigates how this programmatic variety can be accomplished in a vertical format. In order to create a city that includes a multitude of program types and sizes in a vertical situation, the overall building area must increase substantially compared to a typical high-rise in order to provide an extensive amount of programmatic and spatial diversity within the structure. The varieties embedded within a city are developed through different program types and sizes and their mixture. This vertical city proposal reaches a level of ultimate diversity by being composed in a fashion that creates micro-autonomous areas of one program typology, a multitude of mixed program areas, as well as areas of hyper-diversity.

The vertical city is composed of networked strands of program that expand and contract in their spacing between one another in order to create the desired level of variety. This alteration in the spacing of the strands does not affect the amount of program embedded within the building; the degree of compaction determines the level of programmatic diversity that occurs. A vertical city is also faced with technical issues such as vertical circulation, natural light, ventilation, and structure. The control of these technical parameters are embedded within the massing strategy used for programmatic distribution. The spacing of the strands develops voids for natural light and ventilation, and the continuity of the strand network maintains structural integrity for the massing. A dynamic and robust vertical circulation system is produced by developing a hierarchical system of express and local elevators that create multiple ways to reach a single destination.

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