Hysan Place. Image courtesy of Grischa Rüschendorf.

18 Robinson. Image courtesy of Tim Griffith.

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KPF Projects Highlighted as Examples of “Cities in the Sky”

In a recent article for Alta, Joseph Giovannini cited Hysan Place and 18 Robinson as notable vertical neighborhoods, with insight on the growing design trend from KPF Founder Bill Pedersen and Principal Rob Whitlock.

Following a design proposal for a set of twin 20-story towers resting upon a 15-story podium that failed to materialize in Los Angeles in 2016, a recent article from Alta, “Cities in the Sky,” examines the history of projects that fully utilize their site buy stacking multiple uses and outdoor space to create vertical neighborhoods. The piece highlights Hysan Place’s location in Hong Kong as one of the “densest agglomerations on earth,” and through a segmented structure with retail at the base and office above, a gap in the form that allows “cooling breezes through the body of the building to air-condition the surrounding urban canyon.”

Continuing this trend in Singapore, 18 Robinson is comprised of a 30-story office tower balanced upon a 10-story shopping center. Above the podium and at the tower’s top are publicly accessible gardens that adhere to the country’s Landscape Replacement Area policy. Rob Whitlock noted the importance of offering tenants easy access to outdoor spaces, adding that “developers are pushing for wellness ratings, and that means breaking the extruded box so that each use gets its own ground floor and an outdoor connection.” Adding to the discussion, Bill Pedersen said “There’s a growing acceptance among both developers and tenants for allowing nature to penetrate into the building. Tenants like it, and developers find offices with outdoor space highly marketable. There’s more potential for a building to become a city within a city.”

Alta is a quarterly journal that focuses on California and the greater West Coast’s trends and happenings, from culture to technology to the environment. Read the full article here.