Lanterns Reimagined into a Glass Box Office Tower | Deloitte Summit

Lanterns Reimagined into a Glass Box Office Tower | Deloitte Summit

Michael Sypkens and Esteban Ochogavia’s co-founded architecture studio OSO recently completed the 24-storey Deloitte Summit skyscraper in Vancouver. The design of the skyscraper appears as though protruding boxes are stacked up on each other. With a thin resemblance to a set of lanterns, the tower has been constructed with a series of steel-framed cubes to create a sculptural effect. Here is a detailed report on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


The design continued with the initial plan for the site that had been developed by another architect which was conventional. OSO decided to keep certain elements of the glass tower modality instead of giving up the typical form. As the architects decided to approach the glass box with a different approach, they realised that by using multiple and smaller extrusions instead of a single one, the same density can be achieved. The smaller extrusions turned out to be weightless glass cubes that were placed on top of each other.

Applying a different orientation to each stacked cube allowed the architects to amplify views from within. Additionally, it also created a multi-dimensional effect and created a delusional of no one side being the front of the building. This structure, thus, allowed the architects to take advantage of the corner lot and low-lying surrounding buildings. The angle of the facade and its reflection creates an inconstant silhouette that shifts.

The functionality of Japanese lanterns has strongly influenced the skyscraper. With a performative design approach, the larger windows and side envelopes allow the penetration of natural light. The entire façade gleams at night due to the floor-to-ceiling glass, thereby taking on a lantern-like effect.

A central elevator runs from the core of the building to the six mega columns that penetrate all floors. There are no other columns in the centre of the floorplate, only trusses along the facade that transfer perimeter loads from one cantilevering volume to another. The occupants have flexible working space as the floorplans are open due to the lack of columns in the floorplates.

Photographs: Ema Peter; Courtesy: OSO

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