Phototropic TOWER

  • Highline, Manhattan, New York

  • Conceptual Design Proposal for Competition


Phototropic Tower is a design proposal for a site in lower Manhattan right adjacent to the high line area  where active urban transformation is happening. Once a heavy manufacturing area adjacent to the Chelsea piers with lots of transportation happening, the site used to be heavily occupied by traffic and activity. Phototropic Tower extends the concept of introducing green space into the urban context by providing an elevated green platform in the podium area. A spiraling up outdoor circulation path wraps around the lower portion of the tower introducing diverse viewpoints and resting areas connected to the highline park. 


  1. Living Rooms projects out, Bed Rooms recess in: The living room is the major space for daytime usage while the bedroom is more for night time usage. Through projecting the living out room out, the living room becomes a brighter space with excellent view toward the street. In contrast the bedroom will have higher solid to glass ratio with stronger insulation to minimize night time heat loss. 

  2. Tilt the Facades toward the sun: By tilting the main facades toward south, each unit will have better exposure toward the sun which will not only improve the day lighting condition, but also will provide better solar heat gain throughout the year.   



The typical floor plan of the Phototropic Tower includes seven one bedroom units, one two bedroom unit and two small common rooms which are interconnected to the adjacent level. The direction and angle of the tilted facades are determined by the optimum angle to introduce maximum sunlight at the given site. The living rooms are projected out 16ft from the structural wall to gain maximum exposure toward the sun during daytime while the bed room units are recessed to the inside in order to have better insulation and security during the night time.  
Each common room has operable openings which can be used to control the cross ventilation throughout the building. The common rooms are strategically located at the end of each hallway in a way they can face each other to create better cross ventilation.