September 4, 2008

Thrilling Architecture x Urban Cactus

In an increasingly urban world, outdoor space is highly coveted. Apartment and condo dwellers especially are at a shortage of green and airy spaces to connect with nature in their homes. The designers of the Urban Cactus in Rotterdam want to change the experience of condo inhabitants by giving them amazing views and a personal garden space. The shape of each unit is dictated by the outdoor space it provides, with the terraces arranged in a staggered configuration so that each terrace features an open space overhead rather than the floor of the above unit.

Due to its siting at the end of harbor, the architects chose to conceptualize the project as belonging to the "green nerve" rather than the surrounding urban structure.

They placed the 98 residential units on 19 floors, using the pattern of outdoor spaces to determine the overall appearance of the project. 
The slightly irregular pattern alternates these outdoor spaces to create what are in effect double-height spaces. Each unit then receives more sunlight than a typical stacked composition. 
Also the terrace area might be equivalent to a constant depth extended around the perimeter (say two meters), but their configuration creates larger "rooms" for gardening and for enjoying the outdoors and the city views.

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