MVRDV has plenty of form for coming up with unusual building designs and its latest project is no exception. Planned for Rotterdam, the Netherlands, The Sax consists of two novel Jenga-like mixed-use towers joined by a skybridge.
The winning entry in an architectural competition, The Sax will rise between Rotterdam's New Luxor Theater and Boston and Seattle residential areas.
The project will consist of two towers rising to between 70 - 150 m (229 - 492 ft) that are connected by a large eye-catching skybridge. According to the firm, the unusual form of the project, with its protruding glazed boxes, does have some practical merit: each apartment will benefit from lots of natural daylight and will boast 270-degree panoramic views of the Nieuwe Maas river and Rotterdam itself.
The 82,200 sq m (884,793 sq ft) project will include 450 apartments, a 150 room hotel, which is inside the skybridge, and commercial units, in addition to parking space and a public terrace.
"Rotterdam is more and more a city of towers and The Sax will add a new element to this collection," says Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV co-founder. "The facade features a contemporary reinterpretation of the bay window, providing views for each unit with the advantage of allowing individual and unique apartments in this large collective complex. This windowed effect adds an extra dimension in experiencing the view onto Rotterdam. The plinth and the bridge which contains a hotel will be open to the public making Wilheminapier even more lively."
The design very much follows MVRDV's usual design language and resembles past works like the Bałtyk, for example, but can also be compared to other Jenga-like buildings, such as ODA's 416-420 Kent Avenue and Herzog & De Meuron's 56 Leonard Street – clearly the classic toy made a big impression on a generation of architects.
MVRDV collaborated with engineering firm ARUP on the structure, facade design and sustainability of The Sax (details on the latter aren't yet available at this stage). Construction on the project is set to begin in 2018 and completion is expected by the close of 2022.
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