‘U-Shaped Skyscraper’ Design Unveiled For New York City

New York City is known for its iconic skyline. And now a design studio has created a new, “U-shaped skyscraper” that would throw a curve—literally—into the city’s silhouette.

Design studio oiio calls it the Big Bend, a building that would actually curve over in the shape of a U. Rather than relying upon a building’s height to make it stand out, oiio is looking to build the “longest building in the world” instead of the tallest.


But, why the innovative new design? Other than looking gravity-defying and spectacular, there is a more practical reason for the unusual architecture.

Skyscraper oiio
oiio studio

The Big Bend designers worked to tackle a growing problem in New York City: zoning laws.

“New York city’s zoning laws have created a peculiar set of tricks through which developers try to maximize their property’s height in order to infuse it with the prestige of a high rise structure,” according to oiio’s official website. “But what if we substituted height with length? What if our buildings were long instead of tall?”

u-shaped skyscraper
oiio studio

Bending A Building In Half?

To accomplish a “long building,” oiio decided to literally bend its design in half. In other words, a 4,000-foot-tall building would only take up the same space as a traditional skyscraper. Yet, it would double the amount of available usable space in the same property footprint.

With its 4,000 feet, the Big Bend would surpass the tallest buildings in the world in measurement, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and China’s Shanghai Tower.

“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,” oiio said on its website. “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.”

While there’s no word on whether this design, proposed for a space in midtown Manhattan not far from Central Park, will come to fruition—but it sure is cool to consider.

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Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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