For City Life, Zaha Hadid Architects have investigated the urban location of the tower as a portal, or gate into the site along Viale Scarampo and Via Bartolomeo. Derivations of the “passaggio” from the site into this gate give shape to a certain torsion or vortex, and it is this movement, this dynamism that we are investigating.
Moving from the ground datum of the Piazza Porta Fiera, the retail base of the tower slowly rises and twists, in provision of a pedestrian ramp, to a bifurcation along its length servicing a galleria/promenade. This line of torsion continues to the tower that releases its horizontal energy into a vertical, spiraling vector from the base to its crown that finally aligns with the snaking forms of the housing across the river.
Congruent with this movement, the structure of the tower is conceived as a stack of equivalent, economically efficient floor slabs that incrementally twist about a vertical axis. This incremental twisting is algorithmically controlled so that each floor does not have the same angle, but has a fractional, relational angle to the floors above and below, further developing the dynamism of the tower. All lateral forces are absorbed into a conventional central core, while a radial display of columns support vertical load.