International architecture competition
Client: eVolo
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg with A. A. Villota, C. C. Bonilla, H. V. Morales
Year: 2010


…on tallnes – overtaken by density through public space


Tall buildings are intense but also non efficient and create mostly rest space. The time has come to research and design more productive and compact types of density. These new types emerge as soon as we concentrate on public space instead of dense matter itself.


How to bring life and social performance in urban substance of unprecedented density?


An urban mass of 1312 x 1312 x 328 ft (400 x 400 x 100 m).
Its footprint is 1,72 million ft2 (160.000 m2).
Its volume is 565 million ft3 (16 million m3).


-public space instead of rest space,
-tissue instead of building,
-coherent urbanism instead of stand-alone architecture,
-generic instead of high-tech.


1. unprecedented urban mass
2. excavations for public space
3. excavations for admittance of daylight and air
4. use of generic building techniques
5. logistics for people, vehicles, energy, water, waste, security and structural support


Through these five design steps Highland delivers a high density project full of potential that acts as an urban tissue. Its densities are: a gross floor space of 26,9 million ft2 (2,5 million m2), organizing the complete amalgam of urban programming (housing, working, recreation, production, retail, office space). A volume with an average of 21,2 million ft3/hectare (600.000 m3/hectare) of intense urban substance.


Highland performs best if its public spaces are integrated loop wise, as one interconnected system.
After tallness is overtaken by density, Highland is ready for architecture.