Skyscrapers, of course, are an obvious way to create density. The question is how to put the qualities of the European city into a skyscraper – and avoid Hong Kong-levels of stress. In a traditional skyscraper, you can only go up and down and look out. You might never meet your neighbors. But by creating much more irregular shapes with cantilevered apartments and terraces you can go out, have more views, step out and meet your neighbors.
“This is the beginning of a vertical village that’s basically what we want to do,” Jan says. “We change more parameters in a computer program and then suddenly you end up with a skyscraper that has qualities of an Italian mountain village. You can imagine that people will actually get to know each other.”
With the help of LEGO, which donated 2 million pieces of LEGO, the company created 350 variations on the European skyscraper. The final result, which will open next year, was optimized to provide an ideal mix of outdoor space, views, shadows and acoustics as well as more technical issues like the amount of facade panels or window types.