Lonely Planet Writer

See how this incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline

An incredible new curved skyscraper called The Big Bend has been conceived by a New York architectural firm, and it aims to be the world’s longest building. Measuring 4000 feet in length, it features a dramatic U-shaped bend at its highest central point, and it was designed by Oiio Studios. Speaking to Lonely Planet, architect Ioannis Oikonomou explained that the primary challenge that arose during formulation of the concept was how to access the top floors.

This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image:Oiio Studios
This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image: Oiio Studios

“This will be tackled by implementing an elevator that incorporates an innovative track changing system, allowing the horizontal connection of two shafts on the top and bottom in order to create a continuous loop,” he explains. “The development of such technology has already been announced and is expected to be realised by the Thyssenkrupp company.”

How the elevator at the incredible U-shaped skyscraper would work. Image: Oiio Studios
How the elevator at the incredible U-shaped skyscraper would work. Image: Oiio Studios

If it gets built, the slender tower will be nearly double the height of some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers when fully stretched out, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world’s tallest building. “To compensate for the structural complexities that come up when designing such a high-rise building, the unique shape of the building provides advanced resistance against lateral forces, i.e. wind,” says Ioannis. “The structure is stiffer than that of a conventional skyscraper. Imagine the wind hitting one leg of the structure, then the other contributes as well to resist load.”

How the U-shaped skyscraper compares with other amazing buildings. Image: Oiio Studios
How the U-shaped skyscraper compares with other amazing buildings. Image: Oiio Studios

If the vision is realised, The Big Bend would join the area of luxury skyscrapers in New York City known as “Billionaires’ Row,” overlooking Central Park. It has been designed to bend the city’s restrictive property zoning rules, and Ioannis says that the part of the proposal that could make the realisation challenging is that it proposes the connection of two sites in an unprecedented manner. “On the other hand, as a concept it complies with NYC’s zoning laws, and that is why it constitutes a feasible scenario,” he says.

This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image: Oiio Studios
This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image: Oiio Studios

For those puzzled as to what it would mean for inhabitants of the building if they were situated within the arch, Ioannis explains that the arch would form part of the penthouse. “This specific apartment will utilise the arch in order to create the highest ceiling of the tower,” he says. “The typology of the tower ensures that the penthouse covers the same amount of square metres as the tower’s base. This way the penthouse is provided with the largest area possible.”

This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image: Oiio Studios
This incredible U-shaped skyscraper could dominate the NYC skyline. Image: Oiio Studios

One thing is for certain: if this amazing building gets the go-ahead, it will be a game-changer for planners and architects worldwide.

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