Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects named 2009 “Best Tall Building Overall” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named Steven Holl Architects’ recently completed Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing the “CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Overall,” selecting it from among candidates from regions worldwide.

Annually, the CTBUH recognizes one outstanding tall building from each of four geographical regions: Americas, Asia and Australia, Europe, and Middle East and Africa. Recipients must possess seamless integration of architectural form, structure, and building systems, as well as exhibit sustainable design qualities working to preserve the quality of urban life.

At the awards ceremony, CTBUH Awards Committee Chairman Gordon Gill stated, “This project is so rich in thought, both programmatically and architecturally. It presents an advances typology for dense urban living.”

CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood said, “This project […] points the way forward for the intensified multi-use, multi-level connected cities of the future.”

The 220,000 square-meter Linked Hybrid complex includes eight towers linked by a ring of eight sky bridges housing a variety of public functions. The complex is located adjacent to the former city perimeter of Beijing. To counter the current privatized urban development trends in China, the complex forms a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side. In addition to more than 750 apartments, the complex includes public, commercial, and recreational facilities as well as a hotel and school.

With sightlines around, over, and through multifaceted spatial layers, this “city within a city” has as one of its central aims the concept of public space within an urban environment, and can support all the activities and programs for the daily lives of over 2500 inhabitants. From the 18th floor a multi-functional series of skybridges with swimming pool, fitness center, cafe, gallery, tearoom, etcetera connects the eight towers and offers views of the city. Together with the ground level passages and public programs, the skybridges aim to constantly generate random relationships; functioning as social condensers in a special experience of city life for both residents and visitors.

Geo-thermal wells (660 at 100 meters deep) provide Linked Hybrid with cooling in summer and heating in winter. All the water in the project is recycled, using a grey water system that reuses an estimated 220,000 liters of water each day, resulting in a 41% decrease in potable water usage. These strategies make Linked Hybrid one of the largest green residential projects.