UNStudio unveils design for stepped-terrace towers in Düsseldorf

Dutch firm UNStudio has revealed its design for New Heart, two high-rises that will sit at the centre of a new development in Düsseldorf, Germany, and feature staggered terraces and a bright-orange bridge.

One of the towers will house residential apartments while the taller one will have workplaces, with both designed to be flexible and adaptable for different residential and office layouts.

The two towers, the tallest of which will measure 120 metres, will surround a low-rise community pavilion at the centre of the 10,000-square-metre development.

This will house a variety of services including a daycare centre, co-working spaces and a medical centre.

New Heart in Düsseldorf by UNStudio
A bright orange bridge will connect the buildings

The buildings will be connected by a bright orange bridge that is designed as an “experience path” linking the first floor of all three volumes.

Both high-rises will sit within a terraced landscape and have a staggered design, with terraces that step back as the balconied towers ascend in height.

A mobility hub will be located across three stories in the office tower, connecting the bridge on the first floor with a bicycle highway on the ground floor and a neighbourhood garage on the first basement floor.

This will also have spaces for shared vehicles.

View of New Heart towers in Germany
The project will have a community centre at its heart

New Heart will be located on the Kennedydamm, an area of Düsseldorf that is currently mainly known for housing offices, and was designed to be “highly sustainable and future-proof”, UNStudio said.

It will be constructed from reinforced concrete and timber and has a “sustainable structure concept that enables significant CO2 savings”, according to the studio.

Photovoltaic surfaces will be integrated into the facade to help generate energy, and the facade will be constructed from prefabricated, recyclable facade modules.

Heating and cooling will be provided by geothermal energy and the development will also have a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

“Our design is not only highly sustainable and healthy for the people who will live, work and visit, it also supports a highly diverse mix of functions that will enliven the site around the clock and add a cultural edge to this area of the city,” founder and principal architect at UNStudio Ben van Berkel said.

It will truly celebrate the connecting power of culture and high-quality public space.

UNStudio was chosen to design the New Heart development by a unanimous jury that included developer Die Developer and the state capital of Düsseldorf.

It beat studios including 3XN, BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Büro Ole Scheeren, CF Møller Architects, David Chipperfield Architects and MVRDV, as well as Hadi Teherani Architects, HPP Architekten and Ingenhoven associates, which came in joint second place.

Other recent projects by UNStudio include the headquarters of website Booking.com in Amsterdam and a K-pop music agency HQ designed as an “urban speaker”.

The images are by Engram.

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