Stairway to heaven
A very tall building is inevitably related to the sky, but also with the city in which it is inserted, usually hyper-densified. The human being, in these spaces, is abstracted from the natural element because the built element becomes a visual barrier to the top. We associate this situation to the works of James Turrell, where enclosed spaces are organized to frame the sky and to observe weather elements through the roof vents. The idea is to drill holes in the building to reattach the man in the sky, a view through a “controlled” upward.
“A landscape is less valuable when it is viewed through a crystal wall; the constant presence of this view becomes usual to the visitor. I admired the beauty of the Michelangelo cathedral when I watched it through the hole of the lock of a door.” L. Barragan, conversation with Selden Rodman, 1958
The SKY is “captured” into the skyscraper becoming an integral part of the architecture. The empty sky is more emphasized if the rest of the structure looks like a full volume to the human eye. The building, however, cannot be blind; it needs light, and, therefore, glass surfaces, shielded from sunlight to avoid an excessive overheating. The principle of anamorphosis, by definition, is regarded as an artifice prospective apt to make a pictorial image readable only by an abnormal point of view, for the most oblique. The idea is that the building takes shape according to this technique with a series of thin plates that have the dual task of protecting it from the sun and modifying the appearance depending on the point of view. These elements have three different depths depending on the type of space that they protect and a thinner section in correspondence of public spaces so as to favor a greater transparency. On the contrary, they are longer next to the private spaces inside. The different thicknesses of the structural elements also allow reading the functional diagram of the building facade. The Skyscraper is made up of 3 levels for entry, 7 floors of commercial spaces, 9 floors of office spaces, 15 floors of hotel and 18 floors of residential spaces. Each of these functions has public spaces at altitude useful to the function itself and clearly legible from the outside. In the great void left by framing the sky is located a public space for residences, a meeting place for functions and people, with a viewpoint different from that at ground level. In this way the skyscraper is a dynamic and curious figure, which varies at every angle and able to elicit different emotions in the viewer.