Absolute Towers

January 28, 2013 /

Mississauga, Canada


Photo: Iwan Baan

Fondly dubbed the Marilyn Monroe towers by local residents, the Absolute Towers parallel the twisting fluidity or natural lines found in life.

This activation of flow forms an organic punctuation in the landscape and a desire for an urban acknowledgement of enthusiasm.

Like other suburbs in North America, Mississauga, near Toronto, has been quickly developing into an independent, urbanized area. Yet, the cityscape lacked a unique character. In response, MAD wanted to add something naturalistic, delicate and human in contrast to the backdrop of listless, boxy buildings.

Photo: Iwan Baan

Here, we thrive to challenge the sustenance of commonplace boxy skyscrapers. Our ambition was to provide each resident a unique experience of the city, a heterarchitical distribution. Continuous balconies widen individual viewing angles and promote community at the micro scale of a single floor.

At the macro, the cadence of the floors rising into the sky echo the modular rhythms of the human experience, yet emphasizes the movement of an adoring figure. We hope this building can wake up metropolitans' desires towards nature, such as sun and wind, and certainly, human bodies.

Photo: Iwan Baan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Eschewing the tradition of accentuated verticality in high-rises, the Absolute Towers choose not to emphasize vertical lines. Instead, the design features a smooth, unbroken balcony that wraps each floor of the building. In addition, at each successive level, the floor plate rotates in a range of one to eight degrees affording breathtaking panoramas of the Mississauga skyline concluding in reverence to the principle street intersection at its peak.

By maximizing the viewing potentials inside and out, creating a wonderful medium for social interaction throughout the balconies, and connecting the city dwellers with naturalistic design principles, Mississauga is infused with a new character.


Photo: Tom Arban


Photo courtesy MAD

The torsional form of the towers is underpinned with a surprisingly simply and inexpensive structural solution. The two residential towers are supported by a grid of concrete load bearing walls. The bearing walls extend and contract in response to the sectional fluctuation created by the rotation of the floors while the balconies consist of cantilevered concrete slabs. In order to ensure the elegant edge profiles are as thin as possible, there is a thermal break in the slabs at the exterior glazing such that the insulation need not wrap the entirety of the balconies.

Meanwhile, the dynamically fluid shaping of the towers, naturally aerodynamic, adeptly handles wind loading and ensures comfort throughout all the balconies. Besides providing every resident with a nice exterior place to enjoy views of Mississauga, the balconies naturally shade the interior from the summer sun while soaking in the winter sun, reducing air conditioning costs.


Drawing courtesy MAD

Site Plan

Drawing courtesy MAD

Floor Plan

MAD arcspace features

Facts about Absolute Towers

Site area:

4,090 m2           

Building Area:

95,000 m2     

Tower A:

45,000 m2

Tower B:

40,000 m2

Site area:

4,090 m2                                                  




 Fernbrook / Cityzen


MAD architects

Director in Charge: 

Ma Yansong

Yosuke Hayano

Dang Qun

Design Team:

Shen Jun

Robert Groessinger

Florian Pucher

Yi Wenzhen

Hao Yi

Yao Mengyao

Zhao Fan

Liu Yuan

Zhao Wei

Li Kunjuan

Yu Kui

Max Lonnqvist

Eric Spencer

Associate Architects:

Burka Architects INC.

Structural Engineer:

Sigmund, Soudack & Associates

Mechanical Engineer:

ECE Group

Electrical Engineer:

ECE Group

Landscape Architect:

NAK Design

Interior Designer:


Last updated: December 19, 2013

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