Sydney architectural practice, NBRS+PARTNERS have won the 2014 Living Cities Design Competition with their design of a 40-storey steel tower in the heart of Manhattan, New York.

The Living Cities Design Competition is an international association that awards visionary residential design.  A 21st century steel tower in New York City was the project for this year’s competition and the brief challenged architects to develop an original design for modern, urban residential living that makes use of structural steel framing systems.

Under the design leadership of principal Andrew Duffin, the NBRS team created VIVO on High Line.

“VIVO is an innovative, dynamic, steel framed tower which can flex with the physical demands of changing family size and integrate the shifting balance of work and social connectivity,” said the firm.

“The winning design solution is the end result of research into the global urban landscape, where technology is moving at break neck pace and people are responding with a desire for a continuum of adaptation. The structural design that enabled this flexibility was conceived together with ARUP Sydney.”

The design responds directly to the current trend of urban overpopulation and the need for architects and planners to create environments which can release the pressure valve.

“NBRS understand that in the contemporary urban environment, the only commodity more valuable than space is time. Our proposed solution includes a platform of city nodes that are safer, cleaner, greener, pedestrian and cycle friendly with all daily needs centred around 20 minute nodes.”

The NBRS scheme, VIVO on High Line aims to connect with the revitalised High Line elevated park and to draw it’s vitality vertically to reach the New York skyline some 40 storeys above.

The NBRS design focus was on creating a seamless connection with the High Line and its publics which runs through Midtown West.

“VIVO is a place of layered contextualism, vitality and interaction. It is demographically mixed, attracting individuals, couples and families; permitting invention and reinvention; a place that is inclusive and participatory.”

Vivo was awarded for VIVO for being an activity based solution that permits vertical flexibility of use.

The international jury; Kai-Uwe Bergmann of BIG, Eileen Hatfield, principal of Buro Happold, Sylvia Smith Senior Partner of FXFOWLE, and Gary Higbee Director of Industry Development Steel and Ornamental Metals Institutes of New York, chose two designs as joint winners.

NBRS+PARTNERS were awarded $10,000 and a media package prize.