• Laura Chan

Words by Laura Chan.

Most people never think about how a building ‘grows up’ and ages,” says Matthias Hollwich, architect and narrator of our new animation, ‘Skyler’. As the number of people above 65 will double in the next 35 years, architects need to reconsider how amenities, services and spatial configurations are designed for our aging population.
Designed by Hollwich Kushner, Skyler depicts a ‘new aging tower’; a prototype that enables users to age in one place, while shaping their own future.
A hybrid of the classic 1930s New York City skyscraper, the tower’s sculptural and faceted form appears different from every viewpoint.
Skyler showcases a truly inter-generational tower that offers smarter and more integrated ways to live. The proposal coincides with the launch of Matthias Hollwich and Bruce Mau Design’s new book, ‘New Aging ‐ Live smarter now to live better forever’, published by Penguin Random House. Both the book and the building reveal how reconfigured living spaces can accommodate the needs of people as they age, so that the aging process will be, “less of a disruption and more of an adventure”.
Consisting of over 600 residential units, the tower encapsulates a cross section of society and serves its 1,000 inhabitants throughout the course of their lives - from birth to old age.
Tailored amenities are located throughout the prototype, including a mix of micro studios to maximise economy, grouped apartments that minimise isolation, and duplexes that act as single family homes. The self-contained skyscraper also incorporates special conveniences, such as shared transportation to extend mobility and services to help facilitate laundry, shopping and the school run.
The entire community’s needs are catered for their whole lives, as the building offers nurseries for small children, an infirmary for those in need of extra care, a health centre and activity hubs, which enable a heightened sense of neighbourliness.
In designing according to this new, smarter model, an enhanced experience of living is created; as our buildings better respond to the natural course of aging, and as a result, better respond to life.