Innovation Station – The Big Bend

Innovation Station – The Big Bend

10th April 2017

A few weeks ago we published a fascinating article on the world’s tallest building to date following a trip to Dubai by one of our team members.  We found the article so interesting that we’ve decided to look for some more tall or unusual buildings to entertain our readers and include on our blogroll some regular Innovation Station articles.  We’ve come across plans for an incredible skyscraper which is still in the concept stage at present.  However, if this building does go ahead, it will be the longest building in the world.  I bet you’re thinking that the footprint of the building could stretch for miles but think again – this innovative building doesn’t so much take up ground space as air space!


The zoning laws in New York City present building designers with a particular set of challenges as developers attempt to maximise the height of buildings in order to pack as much punch into as little ground space as possible.  Architecture studio Oiio, based in New York and Athens has created a U-shaped skyscraper in order to get round New York’s strict zoning laws, breaking new ground in terms of both design and architecture.   


This amazing structure has been titled “The Big Bend” and would be built on 57th Street (aka Billionaires’ Row) in Manhattan, towering above The Big Apple like a giant, upside down horse shoe.  Oiio took a cutting edge and unheard of approach to the challenge of providing as much bang for buck as possible by thinking totally outside the box and designing a building that substitutes height with length and bending the building rather than the zoning laws of New York!  The result is the totally avant-garde Big Bend, the longest building on the planet at an incredible 4,000 ft.  In contrast, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (which is currently the world’s tallest building) reaches a mere 2.722 ft. into the sky.

As you can imagine, navigating a U-shaped building presents its own unique set of challenges and Oiio has addressed this potential problem by including an elevator system that’s specifically designed to travel vertically, horizontally and in loops. The elevator system would operate on a track changing system which allows for the horizontal connection of two elevator shafts on the top of the building and below ground in order to provide a continuous loop elevator to enable easy access to all parts of the building.

While the Big Bend is still at the proposal stage, the founder of Oiio, Greek born Ioannis Oikonomou is on the lookout for investors who will help bring his brainchild to life.  After graduation from Aristoteleio University in Thessaloniki, Oikonomou completed his Master’s degree in Athens’s Metsovio University and moved to New York in 2011 following some “interesting and peculiar hotel renovations in Crete” as the Greek economic crisis resulted in a dearth of building activity in his homeland. 

Many thanks to Ioannis Oikonomou and Oiio for kind permission to use the images in this article.

We’ll be on the lookout for more interesting and innovative buildings for our Innovation Station series and if you know of any that you’d like us to cover, please let us know by getting in touch on our Facebook Page or Twitter profile.