New Miami Towers Are Unlike Any Other In The World, Pushing Engineers To Use New Techniques

Two under-construction projects in Miami are among those that Gizmodo says are a new kind of skyscraper unlike any seen before in the world, forcing engineers to figure out ways to build towers that seem ‘physically impossible’.

At One Thousand Museum, the tower’s alien-like exoskeleton was originally intended to be strictly decorative. Engineering firm DeSimone spent two years working on the building’s structure, with the result being that the exoskeleton is actually now a part of the building’s engineering.

Pre-cast panels that will make up One Thousand Museum’s exoskeleton are now being manufactured in Dubai. They will then be shipped to Miami, where they will be filled with concrete after being installed, becoming an integral part of the structure.

Another project that is pushing the engineering envelope, perhaps setting a a precedent for other towers, is Bjarke Ingels’ Grove at Grand Bay. Instead of building with solid concrete walls, as at most Miami towers, engineers switched to composite steel walls. Although more expensive, the thickness of load-bearing walls was reduced by 50%, which allowed for more space on each floor, thus paying for itself.

More importantly for the developer, the engineers figured out a way for Grove at Grand Bay to enlarge into a larger rectangle as the building twists higher, which the engineer calls ‘shapeshifting.’ That allowed for more space on the higher (more valuable) floors.