‘‘The Vortex’’ represents an office building proposal in Manchester, aiming to become a symbol for development and adaptability. The proposal is based on principles found in Nature, inspired by twisting patterns and complex geometry. Using the concepts of morphology and materiality in the process of computational manipulation, the proposal challenges the typical workspace environment and enhances the user’s experience.
The tower aims to accommodate multiple programmes, with a great focus on office spaces, along with cultural exhibitions, retail and leisure areas. Urban gardens and breakout spaces allow higher levels of engagement with the built environment outside the workplace. The tower aims to encourage a variety of business approaches and attitudes, through shared and informal workspaces, as well as private conference rooms and lecture theatres. The reception atrium serves as a gallery space, generating a vertical journey that follows the twist of the building. The feature ramps bridge the gap between the public and private space, encouraging interactions at the mezzanine coffee shops. Preserving the ecosystem, as well as enhancing the user experience and mental health of its occupants are some of the main drivers of the office building.
The main structural system of the high-rise building is represented by a diagrid exoskeleton which braces twisting floorplates and allows the integration of wide, open plan office spaces. This strategy creates greater adaptability to different climatic, programmatic, and economic conditions within the lifespan of the building. The building’s envelope is developed as a double-skin, full height glazing facade system. The complex glass units, generated through Rhino and Grasshopper, represent modular components that form an exciting and complex mesh geometry.
The high-rise design creates a shift in the grid of the city, influencing the Manchester skyline. The ambition behind this project is to push the boundaries of structure, materiality and built environment.