Big Bend

New York’s skyline is truly a thing of beauty. The city that never sleeps can lay claim to some of the tallest and most advanced skyscrapers in the world, but one company is ready to take things in a new direction. 

America and Greece based Oiio Studio has stunned the architectural community after unveiling a plan for what it calls “the longest building in the world”, also known as ‘The Big Bend.’

This bendy-building was designed to get around Manhattan’s restrictive zoning laws by opting for length rather than height. The 4000 foot ‘tower’ would, upon completion, be nearly twice as long as some of the highest skyscrapers in the world. However, rather than aiming for title of ‘world’s tallest’, the building will curve down in a U-shape at its apex, making it look like a giant horse shoe.

Oiio Studio’s press release remarked that “a property’s height operates as a license for it to be expensive.”

Big Bend

“New York city’s zoning laws have created a peculiar set of tricks through which developers try to maximise their property’s height in order to infuse it with the prestige of a high rise structure.

"But what if we substituted height with length? What if our buildings were long instead of tall?

"If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. The longest building in the world.”

This literal rule-bender would stand on the illustrious ‘Billionaires’ Row’ in Manhattan, which is home to much of the city’s wealthy elite as well as some of its most famous buildings.

The shape of The Big Bend is certainly impressive, but it raises questions about how certain elements of a traditional skyscraper could be adapted to suit it. Oiio Studio went into detail about the elevator designs for the tower, which would be capable of travelling the entire ‘length’ of the building.

“What was once considered to be the greatest challenge in elevator history, is finally becoming reality: the elevator that can travel in curves, horizontally and in continuous loops. 

"The innovative track changing system allows for the horizontal connection of two shafts on the top and bottom to create a continuous loop.”

Big Bend

New York’s skyscrapers are certainly held in high regard, from The Empire State Building to Trump Tower. Although The Big Bend might go against the grain, it demonstrates the new and surprising directions that modern architecture can take, provided it actually gets approved!

"There is an undeniable obsession that resides in Manhattan. It is undeniable because it is made to be seen. There are many different ways that can make a building stand out, but in order to do so the building has to literally stand out.

"We have become familiar with building height measurements. We usually learn about the latest tallest building and we are always impressed by it’s price per square foot. It seems that a property’s height operates as a license for it to be expensive.

"The Big Bend can become a modest architectural solution to the height limitations of Manhattan. We can now provide our structures with the measurements that will make them stand out without worrying about the limits of the sky." 

Big Bend
Big Bend
Big Bend

All images & drawings copyright © ioannis Oikonomou – oiio architecture studio.