Traditional support systems, like upright columns and load-bearing frames, are a thing of the past. In contemporary designs, support systems are angled, turned, or thinned-out, transforming them into sculptural elements. In some designs, these dynamic supports lift entire buildings off the ground, while in others, supports span multiple stories to hold up a heavy cantilever. Check out our collection of the most innovative new support systems that seem to make contemporary buildings defy gravity.
When Kohn Pedersen Fox renovated this formerly ordinary office building, they added a bold cantilevered addition to the rooftop to breathe new life into the drab structure. An asymmetrical tree-like column offers support and acts as a focal point.
This futuristic office building features slim, angled piers that stretch from the ground up through two sculptural forms, creating the illusion that the top volume is hovering.
Six thick columns in a hexagonal shape support a projecting section of this streamlined community and exhibition space in Singapore.
Like a lunar module, this home features an innovative lightweight construction and a thin support system that lifts the structure off the ground—a fitting design for an out-of-this-world name.
In the center of the Langgata district of Sandnes, this glass-clad pavilion revitalizes the town square. Four groups of massive 150x150mm oak columns with steel joints hold up the sculptural roof.
To create a distinct icon in the warehouse district of Rotterdam, JHK Architecten designed this daring addition to the roof of an existing factory. Four columns slant towards the roof, creating a support system that seems to defy gravity.
To leave space at ground level for a future shop, Kimihiko Okada lifted this sculptural home off the street via a series of steel posts, taking inspiration from a bird's nest.
This design for a school dormitory sought to expose the structure's timber and steel construction. On the façade, a rotating inclined timber column system supports the cantilevered, weather-protective roof.