Turm-Vision in drei Teilen (Bild: Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio)

Triple towers in extravagant design

Architect Hayri Atak has produced an intrepid vision: his high-rise project “Ternary Tower” plans to add another skyscraper to Shanghai’s collection. The proposal envisages eye-catching towers that seem to embrace, while also offering superb views.

For the time being, the Ternary Tower still only exists on paper. But if it is actually built, it will be the fifth-highest building to soar upward into the sky in Shanghai. That’s according to current statistics. Hayri Atak’s new construction – in a metropolis that already boasts so many skyscrapers – would be 400 metres tall. And so the Ternary Tower would actually be shorter than the Shanghai Tower (632 metres), the World Financial Center (492), the Oriental Pearl (468) and the Jin Mao Tower (420). But the project designed by this Turkish architect is extraordinary for a wholly different reason.

Three sections, one skyscraper

Strictly speaking, it isn’t just one single tower. The Ternary Tower actually consists of three separate pieces enthroned on a 7,500 m² site, with a total surface area of 45,000 m². Standing out against Shanghai’s skyline, their shape is quite remarkable: The three slender, undulating towers look like plant stems growing too closely together, reaching skyward, tightly entwined. 

Hayri Atak has designed an unusual high-rise project for Shanghai: the "Ternary Tower" (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)

Hayri Atak’s concept combines these elegant constructions to form a balanced whole. With their shape alternating between slender and bulbous, the three sections of the Ternary Tower seem to mutually complement one another. They form a gently undulating silhouette with a decidedly light, friendly appearance, despite their size.

Triple towers in extravagant design: the "Ternary Tower" designed by Hayri Atak. (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)

However, the playful design is more than just a spectacular attention-grabber. The Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio (HAADS) has created the unusual shape of the Ternary Tower specifically to provoke “a different experience for the user”. Residents, neighbours and passers-by alike are all intended to benefit. While the skyscraper itself will offer superb views, “a very striking silhouette at the city scale” will be enjoyed down on the ground.

Stunning pictures, unanswered questions

The structured openings serving as windows in the bulbous sections underline this idea and continue rhythmically as a pattern. But outdoor areas for residents are conspicuously absent in Atak’s designs, and there is no facade greening. What’s more, there is a complete lack of information on sustainability measures. Only a little basic technical information on the construction is shared.

Triple towers in extravagant design: the "Ternary Tower" designed by Hayri Atak. (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)

Triple towers in extravagant design: the "Ternary Tower" designed by Hayri Atak. (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)

A reinforced concrete core with steel corbels will enable the Ternary Tower to achieve its intended, elaborate shape. The description also emphasizes: “It is important that 3 separate towers are assembled at the same time during its production.”

The epitome of unusual

It’s no secret that Hayri Atak’s design studio likes oversized dimensions. His ideas for the Sarcostyle Tower in Manhattan have already made that quite clear. And even though – like its sister project for Shanghai – the Sarcostyle Tower is yet to be realized, the Manhattan building will be gigantic. Its shape is so ostentatious that it will cause a stir even in New York, a city more than used to unusual designs.

The "Ternary Tower" designed by Hayri Atak Design Studio for Shanghai (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)

Compared to the weighty tower envisaged for Manhattan, Atak’s design for Shanghai appears almost graceful. And although the Ternary Tower is apparently without a sustainability concept (to date), the architect certainly isn’t inexperienced in that area.

From eco-luxury to Ternary Tower

After all, the Hayri Atak Design Studio also designed the spectacular rotating hotel being built off the coast of Qatar. Emphatically sustainable, this floating classy hotel aims to show that luxury and environmental protection can go hand in hand.

This is how the Ternary Tower designed by Turkish architect Hayri Atak will look – when it has been built. (Credit: Hayri Atak Design Studio)
This is how the Ternary Tower designed by Turkish architect Hayri Atak will look – when it has been built.

The sustainability strategy for this eco-luxury hotel seems courageous, but it remains to be seen if the plans actually work. LEED certification is still in the pipeline. All the same, Hayri Atak always has a surprise up his sleeve with his visionary designs.

Futuristic designs

The work of Hayri Atak’s studio is shaped by his interest in the use of futurism and information technology in architecture. Parametric design, prototyping techniques and robotics play a compelling role in the development of his projects. And even if the designs for the Ternary Tower are never taken further, the ideas behind it are definitely inspiring.

Text: Elisabeth Schneyder
Translation: Rosemary Bridger-Lippe
Renderings: Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio (HAADS)