Toward Residential Supertall: Greenland Kunming Wujiaba Tower

Damian Eckersley
Practice Director
BVN Architecture, Brisbane

The presentation will explore the global trend toward residential supertall towers through the integrated design process of the Greenland Kunming Wujiaba 458m tower. We propose the tower of the future will be increasingly residential and have a greater symbiosis with the natural environment.

Greenland Kunming Tower is a landmark development at the heart of the new Wujiaba district in Kunming, China. Through the towers development process the program shifted from a typical office dominant mixed use tower to a predominantly residential tower. This new typology requires a rethinking of initial assumptions as the requirements for mechanical systems become less, the towers profile becomes more narrow and the desire for iinternal public space increases.

A streamlined digital workflow gave the design team flexibility to evaluate the shape against a variety of criteria through all development phases. In order to evaluate the changing program requirements the team designed a parametric building model that allowed us to rapidly explore the relationship between building performance and shape. This ‘smart’ model then became a live reference model for standard BIM documentation.

Set to be the tallest tower at the highest altitude the project takes advantage of Kunmings temperate climate by engaging with the natural environment through use of natural ventilation, passivie sun shading and harvesting wind and sun energy. CFD models were used to optimize and place operable mullions allowing natural ventilation at the buildings upper levels. Further studies evaluate the use of building integrated turbines to harvest energy.

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