Architecture

MVRDV's Cloud reinvents the skyscraper

MVRDV's Cloud reinvents the sk...
The Cloud is design at its cleverest
The Cloud is design at its cleverest
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MVRDV's T?F envisioned this
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MVRDV's T?F envisioned this
It's a cloud
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It's a cloud
Uninterupted views of the sunset from 30 floors up
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Uninterupted views of the sunset from 30 floors up
Create your own environment
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Create your own environment
MVRDV's Cloud
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MVRDV's Cloud
Tranquility in the cloud
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Tranquility in the cloud
The interplay of light envisioned for the atrium is breathtaking.
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The interplay of light envisioned for the atrium is breathtaking.
The Cloud is design at its cleverest
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The Cloud is design at its cleverest
WTF? T?F
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WTF? T?F
View gallery - 9 images

There's a bit of controversy going around about Dutch architect MVRDV's design for a residential environment in South Korea. Some people are concerned about the resemblance of MVRDV's "Cloud" to a twin towers explosion.

Yes, it is a 9-11 lookalike but it's not meant to be - it's a cloud - and an ingenious reinvention of the skyscraper using glass and sky and light and sun.

The Cloud building comprises two luxury high-rise residential towers - one 54 floors and 260 meters, the other 60 floors and 300 meters - and halfway up, there's a cloud of architecture ten floors deep, spanning both buildings and beyond.

MVRDV's Cloud
MVRDV's Cloud

The space is so large that it can take the shopping, services and space that is normally underneath a residential complex (services, shared areas, etc) and relocate it in a more convenient form, closer to its users.

The interplay of light envisioned for the atrium is breathtaking.
The interplay of light envisioned for the atrium is breathtaking.

This makes space at ground floor level for public gardens. Instead of a concrete obstacle in the center of the community, there's a park, thereby creating a radically different ambiance for the building's immediate surroundings for all.

Inside the cloud's 14,357square meter volume, there's a huge connecting atrium, which is bathed in light at different times of the day by the use of angled and carefully positioned - a kaleidoscope very attuned to nature and envisaged to be still and calming.

Create your own environment
Create your own environment

The cloud contains all the services you'd normally expect at ground level plus lifestyle services in keeping with the nature of the building, such as a wellness centre, conference center, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes.

In addition to the retail and top of the cloud are a series of public and private outside spaces, patios, decks, gardens and pools. Underneath, glass floors can be used for other purposes.

Uninterupted views of the sunset from 30 floors up
Uninterupted views of the sunset from 30 floors up

The outer surfaces of the cloud are going to the most expensive parts as they will have some of the most spectacular views - large common areas, cafes and restaurants and 9,000 square meters of Office-Hotel are planned.

Similarly, some of the more luxurious 260 square meter apartments imaginable will be thereabouts too. Normally, the amount of square footage available on top of a skyscraper is limited. The cloud design multiplies the amount of rooftop real estate by several orders of magnitude, creating very high priced real estate.

Tranquility in the cloud
Tranquility in the cloud

These areas atop the cloud will contain apartments of immense luxury with complete seclusion and privacy, just metres away from a vibrant community.

Private apartments above and beneath the cloud will include massive balconies, double height ceilings, pools and gardens.

Alternatively, the top floors of both towers are penthouse apartments of 1200m2 with private roof gardens.

Tennant parking is underground, each tower is accessed via a grand lobby and dedicated express elevators take people into the cloud from the parking area inside a few seconds. A metro train station is five minutes walk.

It's a cloud
It's a cloud

MVRDV has an interesting portfolio, which completely validates its cloud metaphor. Its understanding of community design makes it far more than just another architectural company. It specializes in urban futures, it is part of an important urban environment think-tank run in conjunction with Delft University of Technology named The Why Factory (T?F).

T?F concentrates on the vizualization and production of models for future cities. The foundation is well worth a look for architectural students and the knowledge it creates is stored through a evolutionary gaming program - all bleeding edge thinking.

MVRDV's T?F envisioned this
MVRDV's T?F envisioned this

My favourite among the projects envisioned by MVRDV is this one.

View gallery - 9 images
22 comments
Kieran Isherwood
looks like someone has been playing to much minecraft
VoiceofReason
Ingenious, sure. Inflammatory, you bet. Maybe someone should design something to remind the Dutch of the Nazi occupation and see how they like it.
EinSascha
I like the vision of trees in skyscraper buildings, but I wonder how they'll be planted, anchored and how they can survive the harsh wind conditions. You'll probably have to have some square meters of soil under each tree, removing much housing space.
PS: I wasn't reminded of the twin-towers. But I guess there would be enough politically-overcorrect to raise their voices.
t2af
@ Kieran Isherwood will it protect you from zombies tho ? that\'s got to be the biggest issue.
Andrew Rockefeller
That balcony/reflecting pool/railing detiail is nice. A passive barrier before a physical barrier could alleviate a lot of tention. Like.
Unfortunately I think there are some engineering hurdles for the \"cloud\" section. To my understanding, the sheer surfaces of tall structures are necessary to defelect the path of prevailing winds. I can only imagine the additonal loads in high wind situation with all those surfaces creating pockets to trap air.
Rt1583
People need to get past the \"everything is reminiscent and can be tied to 9/11\" mentality. It is a building of good design pure and simple.
Also, to Kieran, try taking a trip to other countries or at the very least do some research. They don\'t need to build something new to remind them of the Nazi occupation as there are still remnants of the concentration camps in various locations in Europe.
rsheng
I\'m not sure how many of the the comment posters are Architects (I am.) Most responsible designers are sensitive to as wide a range of reactions to their work as possible - in fact, that is basic to the approach to design. After all, if not for others, why do we do what we do? It\'s extremely arrogant to create monuments to oneself. Thus, in light of what the imagery evokes, it would seem that a re-thinking of the design might be appropriate (although it\'s difficult to imagine that this wouldn\'t have come up in MDRDV\'s internal design reviews.) It\'s not political correctness or a matter or over-sensitivity - it\'s just good Architectural Design practice.
YukonJack
It is a very fine design but, it does resemble the twin towers a bit too much. I can only imagine how those who witnessed this tragedy first hand will feel when they see it. Maybe after a few more decades have past by it will be more acceptable to the eye.
Weihan
I DETEST heights!
Manuel Borbely
people that support comments like \'it resembles 911\' are hypocrites. it\'s just design, art - if it bothers someone, that someone is the problem. this \"politically correctness\" hypocrisy is idiocy. in today\'s world everything is either racist or discriminatory, but it\'s not - there just too many pussys. Before many people say anything now, they consult themselfs with questions like \"is this offesnive in anyways?\" which is a real problem. And also not addressing an issue, even if it really was for example 911, is not an answer for any of these PTSD SOBs. Back on subject, the design of the cloud is very interesting and purposeful. Looks good too.