Blues Towers

BLUES TOWERS           Skyscraper in Greenwich South, Manhattan, New York

CTBUH “Why tall?” Contest, Chicago, USA         • Honorable Mention Prize Final stage in Seoul, South Korea                                            

Team: Dobrina Encheva, Stanislava Markovska, Teofana Haralampieva



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The skyscraper is located in lower Manhattan close to the WTC and the Financial District.

The Greenwich street axis is enhanced and new green spaces are added in the neighbourhood. The BTR tunnel street is covered with a green ramp. Furthermore new connections between East and West side were created –two new streets. The main pedestrian path is through Battery park via a ramp, and through Battery Plaza – via escalators.

The newly created green zone contains multiple program elements (such as: media plaza; Information; exhibition areas; music center; educational center; workshops). The connection between the tower, the base and the park is via a floating peak.


The concept is based on the idea of dividing one regular structure into two connected undulating bodies, not leaving the orthogonal city borders, elegantly aligned with the Manhattan street grid. Effective contrast has been achieved by the contrast of the building’s elevations, the curvy flowing south façade vs. the sharp edged east–west prisms and the highly technological north face connecting to the New World Trade Centre with wind turbines.


The building design appropriates the wind and the sun’s potential to produce clean and sustainable energy. As it may be observed on the diagrams on the plate in Manhattan there is a constant South-North air flow. Furthermore, given the North-South orientation of the building has a warm and a cold façade, and a constant air flow is created between the two towers. Therefore wind generators are installed there. Even when there is no strong air flow the warm air always rises up and creates constant pressure that puts in motion the energy generation turbines.

To create a building full of light the mass is divided into two connected towers which allows for natural light to reach each part of the interior. The aim is to be created a skyscraper different from others in New York which usually have dark ungraced with natural light interior spaces. In order to make sure that the maximum amount of light penetrates into the interior the MIRROR system was employed.

The East and West prisms are seemingly solid. Covered with decorative profiled sheet metal thanks to which is created the overall impact of the prisms and at the same time each room has a window with a nice view. The dark colour of the metal increases the façade air temperature. The warm air moves upwards and escapes out of the upper levels of the building, secured via spinning turbines and openings. This stack effect causes air infiltration and is a good way to insulate the tower in summer and winter season. Between these two forms a triplex glass system was installed and beneath it the green system is visible.


The tower peaks at 260 meter height and consists of 64 floors. Each floor has an approximate area of 1800 square meters.

In the ground floor plan are located the subway station, the entrance halls for the different functional units of the building, the commercial event spaces and the cultural function (theaters, exhibition halls, library and shops) – active base- design for people.

The skyscraper is divided into four functional units – office spaces, student living spaces a hotel and a residential (apartment) space.

The design and placement of the units has been implemented according to public traffic requirements, cardinal points and the various cultural and architectural sights. In order to avoid the undesired looks and comments of the neighbours green system inside the building’s core is designed.


Outrigger system unifies the four cores of the building through internal concrete slabs situated at the technical floors that link the four cores of the building (consisted of massive bearing elements made up of square structures). At the technical floors steel hangers carry the weight of the concrete slabs.


We wanted our design to join the WTC group thorough the use of a similar geometry. We implemented a second soft form inside the strict geometry. Various interpretations are possible given the final design of the building and our aim was to provoke the imagination of each person who passes by the tower. Given the final form of the skyscraper we believe that we achieved a modern and unique design that enriches and completes the dynamic city silhouette of New York and could easily become an icon of Lower Manhattan and a trendy and popular place for various social events.