Formal Hybrids: Great Design or Bad Taste? Image

Formal Hybrids: Great Design or Bad Taste?

By Lucas on Nov 22, 2012

Okay, we’ve seen some pretty interesting high-rise designs, but nothing like this!  And you know what? We have some mixed feelings.

First off, let us explain what you’re looking at.  These five towers go by the name “Formal Hybrids,” and they were designed by Alex Lozano and Reynolds Diaz Jr. for a design competition held for a casino/convention centre in a neighbourhood of the lower west side of Manhattan.

This area of Manhattan is currently undergoing a metamorphosis, which played a big part in the design of Formal Hybrids. The new Highline Elevated Park and a number of other amenities have attracted a diverse crowd, from local artists, to tourists, to nocturnal individuals who thrive off the exciting nightlife scene.

Formal Hybrids is an attempt to amalgamate this diverse crowd, creating a centre that caters to everyone who frequents the neighbourhood.  The lower portions of the towers, beneath the bubble-like things, would be completely comprised of rental units.  Probably slightly smaller units for young couples and singles.

The middle sections, the bubble things, are where all the public spaces would be, such as entertainment areas, retail, the hotel lobbies, comfy lounges, meeting rooms, observatories, ballrooms - basically every Toronto condo amenity you can imagine, and then some.

The areas stemming from atop the bulbous midsections would be solely hotel units.  We’re assuming they’re the super fancy, luxurious, “I-came-to-play-high-stakes,” type of units; based purely on how expensive it would probably be to even build something like this.

Now, on to the mixed feelings.  We like it, we really do.  Formal Hybrids is a straightforward concept, and is definitely unique.  The only thing that is puzzling is that no one has called it out for resembling the Twin Towers - mid-collapse.

Does anyone recall The Cloud designed by MVRDV? It received a flurry of ridicule because of its resemblance to the Twin Towers. Granted, Formal Hybrids does have five towers and not two, but those bulbous midsections still look eerily familiar to the Twin Towers, which were also located in Lower Manhattan.

What do you think? Is this design amazing or disrespectful?