It's Alive: a vision for tall buildings in 2050

“It's Alive” envisions a futuristic tall building that can dynamically adapt to the evolving needs of society and the environment. The concept promotes dialogue on the possibilities and challenges of future buildings, without aiming to predict exact details. The building incorporates circular economy principles, reusable materials, and emerging technologies to create a sustainable and user-friendly experience. It recognizes the importance of both digital and analog design solutions to foster a human-centric and resilient environment. Ultimately, the concept aims to empower communities and address changing environmental demands.

Quick Facts
Report location: source
Language: English
Publisher: ARUP
Authors: Josef Hargrave, Iris Gramegna, Tom Butler
Time horizon: 2046 - 2050
Geographic focus: Global
Page count: 20


The document doesn't have an explicit methodology section. Each of the 10 aspects listed below have 3 related examples associated with them. The end of the report also lists references as well as ARUP tools, both listed below.


Key Insights

10 aspects of tall buildings were explored:

  • The future of tall buildings is Human-centred - Future designs should prioritize human health and well-being by incorporating shared public spaces, amenities, and stakeholder engagement to foster healthier lifestyles and bridge social gaps.
  • The future of tall buildings is Circular - To address the environmental impact of consumerism and construction waste, future building designs must prioritize circularity and consider adaptable components for re-use, with a focus on deconstruction, efficient material management, and the creation of versatile shared spaces.
  • The future of tall buildings is Inclusive - By 2050, inclusive design will prioritize safety and empower vulnerable groups through integrated digital and analogue approaches, ensuring improved access and social exchange in the built environment.
  • The future of tall buildings is Integrated - Designers must collaborate with diverse stakeholders to create integrated buildings that offer seamless operations, diverse workspaces, accessible public spaces, and sustainable transportation options.
  • The future of tall buildings is Adaptive - By 2050, buildings will embrace flexibility and adaptability through modular design, digital fabrication, and efficient resource utilization, ensuring spaces are easily modified and cater to evolving needs while promoting interaction, pedestrian flow, and universal access within the urban context.
  • The future of tall buildings is Intelligent - By 2050, high-rise buildings will embrace digital design and fabrication, incorporating modular units, a digital twin, and smart sensors for optimized functionality, sustainability, and user experience.
  • The future of tall buildings is Regenerative - By 2050, high-rise buildings will incorporate green spaces throughout their structure, promoting biodiversity and restoring local ecosystems, while temporary construction elements will be covered with living green wraps to mitigate pollution and enhance aesthetics, making the buildings net-positive to the local ecology.
  • The future of tall buildings is Robotic - By 2050, robots will revolutionize the construction industry by operating round the clock, performing tasks such as brick-laying, painting, and cleaning, enabling complex designs, reducing waste, and transforming building typologies at various scales.
  • The future of tall buildings is Innovative - By 2050, a shift towards retrofitting existing buildings, embracing regenerative design, and utilizing advanced technologies will reduce emissions and pollution, with high-rises incorporating timber, recycled materials, and innovative façade systems to enhance sustainability and energy efficiency.
  • The future of tall buildings is Resilient - By 2050, resilient and sustainable design solutions will prioritize environmental protection, adapt to extreme weather conditions, and promote community awareness and engagement, with cities incorporating flexible and adaptable features, efficient water management systems, and mandatory urban farming practices for food security.

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Last modified: 2023/06/13 18:04 by sarah.wheeler