Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV says: “It is nice to see that if we take the two hour cast shadow regulation seriously we are able to create an unprecedented tower. A tower with a slender ‘taille’. Isn’t that the classic definition of beauty?” Through this operation, an elegant, hour-glass figure emerged that responds to its surroundings by opening up views towards the Gasometers and the rest of the city. The design for the plaza around the tower becomes like a gigantic sundial, on which the shadow of the building delineates the passing of time.
The individually shaped floors of the building’s twist, each of which are unique in plan, offer generous outside spaces connected to one another by external stairs. In doing so, the twist helps to enliven the lower part of the tower, connecting it to the plaza below, and allowing for a degree of direct access which is rare in urban environments so often characterised by introverted tall buildings. This curving ‘waist’ also functions to siphon off fierce autumn winds, a frequent phenomenon in the Danube valley, diverting the wind away from the plaza and the metro station entrances and ensuring comfort in the public space beneath.