adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: imperial tower, mumbai
adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: imperial tower, mumbai
may 08, 2013

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: imperial tower, mumbai

‘imperial tower mumbai’ by adrian smith + gordon gill architecture, mumbai, indiaall images courtesy of adrian smith + gordon gill architecture




amongst the incredibly dense, low-rise metropolis of mumbai, a 400 meter-tall residential building will tower above the most populous city in india. the 116 storey, 76 000+ square meter structure designed by chicago-based firm adrian smith + gordon gill architects aims to be one of the most spacious and luxurious dwellings in the city. the shape of the tower considered the phenomena of wind vortex shedding by optimizing the form to ‘confus[e] the wind’ and counter the oscillating and potentially destructive effects of wind action on the building. while certainly poised to be the tallest edifice in mumbai, the curved form is also fitted with rainwater collection devices and systems for the treatment of graywater– a sensitive decision given the scarcity of clean water in region. a green-wall podium and ‘sky gardens’ will be landscaped with native plants while exterior walls will employ techniques to prevent solar heat gain. while the developer, SD corporation, used floor-specific interior designers for the neighboring complex, ‘the imperial,’ this time, the company might opt for prefabricated kitchens and bathrooms that would help train a local workforce. 




adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: imperial tower, mumbai

evening renderings show the sinuous structure towering over the predominantly low-rise, yet ultra-populated, city



adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: imperial tower, mumbai

curved serve the double purpose of countering wind load and providing pockets of space for greenery 

  • So perhaps this project is as people are calling it “ego-driven” and “nightmarish” but the startling reality is – we have limited space left to build out and the option of creating “vertical cities” may be the only way open to us. It is on the architect and the community to think differently about how such projects could actually provide the dynamic and multi-dimensional living that we so covet today in our horizontal cities. Think about how many cars would be taken off the roads if all you had to do was go up a few floors to work, or to buy groceries. Lets not forget, just because you live in a tall building doesn’t mean you never go anywhere natural or else where in the city (again attitudes would have to change) – but at least if we try to come up with sustainable solutions such as these, we will have those natural spaces still available to us.

  • One must ask…Where is the (developer’s) dweller’s soul, and humanity? When living in the sky, in a near scale-less dimension and vista, not connecting with others, merely to an elevator stop and a door number; that reality, begs that question. Seductive yes, yet so unnatural, and challenging to the essence of humanity!

    Dennis Bathory
  • How many urban poor need to be displaced to make this ego-driven nightmare happen? When will architects stop to be the clowns for ruthless property development, indulging themselves in “phenomena of wind vortex shedding” and “a green-wall podium and ‘sky gardens”? Rather than training “a local workforce” the architects should be up skilled to employ human values to their work.

  • How high do you have to get to forget what it is like at ground level?

    It is however compelling. The illustrations are beautiful.


  • wow


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