Tower within a Tower by Kwong von Glinow is a conceptual housing design
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Kwong von Glinow designs Hong Kong high-rises containing multi-storey homes

Apartments are made up of rooms stacked on top of one another in this extreme vertical housing proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow, which is the latest video in our Dezeen x MINI Living series.

Titled Tower within a Tower, the scheme tries to solve an issue that is typical in traditional "pancake stacks" of apartments – the lack of opportunity for neighbourly activity.

Tower Within a Tower is a proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow to build blocks formed of vertical apartments with rooms stacked on top of each other
Kwong Von Glinow proposed the conceptual Tower Within a Tower as a solution for Hong Kong

Kwong Von Glinow's proposal, which won a challenge to create new housing typologies for Hong Kong, reimagines the apartment unit as a collection of spaces stacked on top of each other vertically rather than arranged on a horizontal plane.

Each customisable apartment would be assembled off-site from a selection of modules, chosen according to the needs of future inhabitants.

Tower Within a Tower is a proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow to build blocks formed of vertical apartments with rooms stacked on top of each other
The scheme reimagines apartments as vertical homes with rooms stacked on top of each other

These units would then be brought to the site and stacked on top of each other to form an apartment building.

Each successive floor of every unit would have a smaller footprint, causing the vertical apartments to take on a pyramid-like appearance and opening up space between the upper floors of the homes.

Tower Within a Tower is a proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow to build blocks formed of vertical apartments with rooms stacked on top of each other
The pyramid-like form of the apartments is intended to open up communal space between the homes

Alison Von Glinow, co-founder of the studio alongside Lap Chi Kwong, emphasises that the spaces between units have been opened up to foster community amongst the building's residents.

"We realised that corridors are often an unused space," she said. "In Tower within a Tower, means of access double as a space for communal activity."

Tower Within a Tower is a proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow to build blocks formed of vertical apartments with rooms stacked on top of each other
The aim is to create opportunities for neighbourly activity

The pyramid-like arrangement of rooms in each living unit would create an internal network of corridors and landings between the homes.

"Sometimes these spaces could be used as private balconies for owners of the tower units, or they could be be used communally as gardens, or places where people can hang their laundry between units," explained Von Glinow.

"People in Hong Kong love to sit outdoors and they love their balconies," she continued. "These buildings will have places where people can just sit and enjoy themselves with their neighbours."

Tower Within a Tower is a proposal by Chicago studio Kwong von Glinow to build blocks formed of vertical apartments with rooms stacked on top of each other
The modular proposal would allow residents to customise their homes

The modular proposal has been designed to offer residents of the buildings flexibility in the design of their homes.

"The units would be assembled and brought to the site, and then more or less stacked on top of each other" Von Glinow said. "The interior could be manufactured level-by-level off site, almost like a custom kind of container box."

"The interiors are very simple fit-outs that allow the resident to customise their space in their own way."

This movie is part of Dezeen x MINI Living Initiative, a collaboration with MINI Living exploring how architecture and design can contribute to a brighter urban future through a series of videos and talks.