‘Unbuilt’ architecture projects embody creativity and innovation for the times ahead. They are a reservoir for design inspiration and development conveying a strong sense of architecture that is not just about making a building.

The realm of ‘unbuilt’ works can shape and guide how and what we build today. The emerging trend of computational and generative designs offers architects and designers great flexibility to create forms and structures that are otherwise not possible. However, the limit to the concept of parametric architecture lies in its construction itself, due to which some ideas do not turn into reality. Nevertheless, these projects can alter the methods and ways in which we perceive space and the idea of space-making.

Here is a list of 10 Examples of Conceptual /unbuilt parametric architecture projects-

1. Tessellated Hyperloop Station, UNStudio

The Hardt Hyperloop Transfer Hub is a study and a vision to incorporate Hyperloops into European cities and towns of different sizes and contexts. The proposal is centered around the idea of ‘modularity’ so as to make this system scalable, resilient, symbiotic, and adaptable to the local environment and existing conditions through a series of tessellating components present with the Hub. The Hub could also become urban centers accommodating various kinds of spaces and functions. The Hyperloop Hub would act as a battery to sustain itself through a roof canopy that would provide daylight, protect passengers, ensure climatic balance, and harvest energy and water.

Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station
Tessellated Hyperloop station

2. 425 Park AvenueProposal, Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid’s proposal was amongst the top four finalists for the international architecture competition to design a new 435 Park Avenue tower in Manhattan’s Plaza District. The design challenge was to produce a timeless elegant structure reflecting a strong identity of New York. Zaha Hadid’s proposal presents a seamless, open building with an approach to harmoniously unite the four fundamental qualities of the project – Function, Design, Culture, and Value. The sleek verticality of the proposed building with gentle curves evokes a new dynamism of form which is distinctly contemporary, elegant, and timeless. Along with that, the flexible design and technological efficiency makes it adaptable and quintessentially “New-York” in its very definition. The proposal by Zaha Hadid aimed at creating a unique landmark for New-York City.

Park Avenue Proposal © elizabethbishop.org
Park Avenue Proposal © elizabethbishop.org
Park Avenue Proposal © elizabethbishop.org
Park Avenue Proposal © elizabethbishop.org
Park Avenue Proposal © elizabethbishop.org

3. The Toronto Tree Tower, Studio Precht

The Toronto Tower offers an alternative to the conventional steel and glass high rise buildings by proposing a tower that draws inspiration from natural materials and coming up with the idea of wooden high-rises. The project offers a more efficient to construct and a more ecological approach to our environment than the common construction methods. Inspired by Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 in Canada, the 62m high residential tower would have a modular building process, where prefabricated and pre-cut CLT panels would be assembled on site.

The Toronto Tree Tower © parametric-architecture.com
The Toronto Tree Tower © parametric-architecture.com
The Toronto Tree Tower © parametric-architecture.com
The Toronto Tree Tower © parametric-architecture.com

4. Tainan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, MVRDV

The Fruit and Vegetable Market located in Taiwan is a great place for people to gather and experience food and appreciate the views of the landscape. The design comprises a simple open structure with high undulating ceilings that allow natural light and ventilation. The undulation terraces would accommodate different products of the area and the building would provide an elevated platform from which visitors can appreciate the characteristic part of Taiwan- landscape. It would accommodate the market’s administrative offices, restaurant, and an exhibition center where regional agricultural products can be displayed all in a four-storey structure. It would have punctures in the main structure that would provide secondary access to the landscaped roof. The terraces of the roof will each grow a different crop.

Tainan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market © www.archdaily.com
Tainan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market © www.archdaily.com
Tainan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market © www.archdaily.com
Tainan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market © www.archdaily.com

5. Sharjah Modern Museum, MEAN

A modular building that explores the realm of timeless architectural typologies of the middle-east. It has triangular modules of limestone columns that are paired to compose an arcade that is stacked at varying heights to indicate various functions of the museum. The stone columns rise to become vaults resembling the shape of the petals and providing exterior shade to the visitors. The courtyard draws natural light and acts as green lungs to the building, which can be enjoyed by the upper floors as well through overlooking balconies. The gallery spaces are designed as contrasting seamless, uninterrupted spaces taking visitors on a journey to experiencing the art.

Sharjah Modern Museum © worldarchitecture.org
Sharjah Modern Museum © worldarchitecture.org
Sharjah Modern Museum © worldarchitecture.org
Sharjah Modern Museum © worldarchitecture.org

6. Twisted Link, WAU Design

The winning proposal for the Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point Passenger Terminal Building competition, Twisted Link is a unique design connecting Hongkong and Luohu in Shenzhen, China. The twist in the building represents the complementary and mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries. The project is based on a people-oriented principle, providing a low scope path that avoids vertical transportation.

Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com
Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com
Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com
Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com
Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com
Twisted Link ©www.archdaily.com

7. The Farmhouse, Studio Precht

A modular concept for housing that encourages its residents to grow and produce their own food in the form of vertical farms. The project aims at reconnecting people in cities with agriculture and moving towards living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The triangular modular homes would be constructed by prefabricated A-frame modules from cross-laminated timber that would be stacked to provide flexible living space. There are different living configurations with varying size and open plan living. The growing gardens could be private or communal and the V-shaped buffer zones between apartments would provide plants natural light and ventilation. The building would have ground floor and cellar to sell and store the produce and composting units as well to turn the food into compost.

The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht
The Farmhouse, Studio Precht

8. Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects

The winning proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects, for the international design competition to build the new concert hall in Russia draws its inspiration from the physical aspect of sound waves. The properties of musical sound resonance creating wave vibrations in a continuous smooth surface are translated as fluid and contained under one canopy. Elevated off the ground it creates a public plaza and a grand 1,600-seat Concert Hall and 400-seat Chamber Music Hall. The rooftop terrace would provide spectacular views of the city and its landmarks.

Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sverdlovsk Philharmonic, Zaha Hadid Architects

9. Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha

The winning proposal by UDG·Atelier Alpha of the Conceptual Design of Panda Base Sightseeing Tower is designed to be the new landmark of Chengdu China. Clearly, drawing inspiration from the pandas, the tower will be an extension of the existing Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The proposal aims at becoming the world’s top research base and reservation for pandas.

Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha
Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha
Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha
Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha
Panda Base Sightseeing Tower, UDG·Atelier Alpha

10. Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull

The concept behind this innovative project is to challenge the current practice of repetitive dwelling units. The project aims to produce individualistic unit experiences. The building is imagined as porous and offers spaces between different units and floors to have social interactions, lightness, and outdoor spaces, producing – Houses in the Sky. The slabs are cantilevered off the central core with staggering floors to create outdoor spaces and vertical courtyards.

Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Houses in the Sky, Anthony Lee Mull
Author

Aayushi Sanghvi, a young architect who extensively believes in the potential of research to make informed design decisions. She considers intellectual design dialogues as the stepping stones towards cognisant architecture. She is flexible, quick learner and an avid traveller; learning about new culture, people, spaces and expanding her horizon every-day.

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