The Relevance and Resilience of (super) High Rise Architecture
with Gerard Loozekoot (Partner / Senior Architect) and Harlen Miller (Senior Architect / Associate), UNStudio
The high-rise typology has always been synonymous with modernist notions of a futuristic utopia. The grand impressions of spires rising from the urban fabric while piercing the sky have shaped our collective culture over the last century through our writing, film, public policy, means of transportation, economic stratification and urban disposition. Towers have become targets for sharp criticism where they boarder on being icons of egotistical opulence, to a sociopolitical byproduct of greed.
Yet despite the critique, we remain in an ever challenged world, with a growing populous in need of food, energy, and ultimately space… leaving only one option for us to move forward… but to build upward. Once the spectacle of constructing upward has faded from the conversations of pop culture, what will keep this typology relevant? The high-rise, in the end, will have to demonstrate resilience and true value through its functionalist and utilitarian character.
Gerard Loozekoot received his Master of Architecture from TU Delft, after which he joined UNStudio in 2000. Alongside two other partners, Gerard has been part of UNStudio’s management team since 2008. Gerard has extensive experience and interest in complex design processes with a focus on typological innovation. As a UNStudio Partner and Senior Architect, Gerard is actively involved in all phases of the design and construction process.
Harlen Miller is a Senior Architect and Associate who joined UNStudio in 2012 after moving to the Netherlands from Los Angeles. He currently stands as the Coordinator of the Computational Knowledge Platform which assists office-wide in numerous projects of varying scale and complexity. As a lead designer, his work is integral to developing strategies and tools for rationalizing buildings and facade systems through computational and parametric modelling.