eVolo Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Skyscraper Competition. The Jury selected 3 winners and 27 honorable mentions from 526 projects received. The annual award established in 2006 recognizes visionary ideas- projects that through the novel novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

The FIRST PLACE was awarded to Skyshelter.zip designed by Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk from Poland. The project is a foldable skyscraper inspired by origami that could be easily transported and deployed in disaster zones.

Jinja: Shinto Shrine Skyscraper designed by Tony Leung  from Hong Kong received the SECOND PLACE. The project aims to restore the traditional interactions between a Shinto Shrine and the local people- an urban building for rice farming, spiritual meditation, and community development.

The recipient of the THIRD PLACE is Claudio C. Araya Arias from Chile for the project Waria Lemuy: Fire Prevention Skyscraper. This proposal envisions a new prototype for vertical housing in areas damaged by wild fires in Chile. The project makes use of passive systems to mitigate wind and disperse water to prevent new fires.

The honorable mentions include Sandscrapers that prevent desertification, floating skyscrapers that transform ocean water into fresh water, towers that collect fog in arid regions, 3-D printed buildings, and volcano skyscrapers among other visionary proposals.

First Place
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, Piotr Pańczyk


More and more natural disasters happen annually across the world. When dealing with forces so powerful, standard means of crisis-management often prove to be inefficient. Whether certain region is struck by earthquake, flood or hurricane – help needs to arrive quickly. This is often easier to be said than done, as damages to transportation infrastructure or remote localization can make it extremely difficult. The Skyshelter.zip tries to address these issues by proposing structure that while offering large floor surface is compact, easy to transport anywhere and can be deployed with minimum amount of time and manpower requirements. It is meant to serve as multi-purpose hub for any relief operation.

The Skyshelter.zip is extremely easy to move due to its unique qualities. The entire structure is foldable in a manner that resembles origami or accordion. This means it can be neatly packaged into single relatively small box with minimum height and base dimensions reduced to building’s footprint. Then such a package can be moved anywhere with help of helicopters commonly used by rescue teams and military in the event of a natural disasters. Because elements do not have to be transported in batches by trucks, it is easier and faster to reach zones cut off from the transportation network.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of stacking vertically all functions required in zone affected by natural disaster is reducing the area that is being occupied by them. Skyshelter.zip’s footprint is on average over 30 times smaller than area required to host typically used tents or containers. This means that much less cleanup work is required prior to setting up the camp. This is especially important in densely populated areas but elsewhere means that it is going to be possible to set up those temporary shelters closer to victims original homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Second Place
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Tony Leung
Hong Kong


The objective of this proposal is to restore the traditional interactions between Jinja (Japanese Shinto Shrine) and local people by reterritorizing a busy urban corner in Ginza, Tokyo with a vertically organized Jinja cum rice-farming complex.

In the past, Jinja and rice farming were the center of Japanese economy.

The paddy field and Jinja complex also served as centers of everyday interaction. Many local Jinja not only housed the relevant Kami (deities) but also served as a warehouse for harvests.  Also, the biggest communal festival, Matsuri, happened during spring seeding and autumn harvesting.

As cities expand, both rice farming and Jinja remains in the shadow of urban livings. Jinja complex is overshadowed by modern skyscrapers. However, more than two centuries ago, according to some ancient manuscripts, Izumo Shrine was said to be reaching 96m high above ground i.e. a historical origin of skyscraping Jinja. Read the rest of this entry »

Third Place
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Claudio C. Araya Arias


Forest fires are one of the greatest agents of degradation of ecosystems in the world. Although fire is part of the natural dynamics of some habitats, large disturbances cause a deterioration of their functionalities. Fire modifies biogeochemical cycles, produces changes in vegetation, soil, fauna, hydrological and geomorphological processes, water quality and even changes in the composition of the atmosphere. Each of these elements puts at risk not only the existing geography, but also directly threatens population centers, putting at risk the lives of people, their goods, infrastructure, among other things.

The 2016-2017 season of forest fires left a record of destruction never before recorded in the south-central zone of Chile. The consequences of the above were 5,244 fires with an impact of 569,989 hectares, 2,500 homes. The most serious case was the one in the town of Santa Olga, where the destruction exceeds 1,000 homes, destroying the entire city. Reconstruction is an indisputable subject, but the existing model of growth by expansion left a clear vulnerability within the territory.

The degraded soils, and the decrease of the vegetation among other variables produced by this settlement model, were part of the factors that modified the natural conditions, leaving the sector vulnerable. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Kaiyu Xi, Fan Wu
United States


Broadway in downtown Los Angeles was one of the most famous street in United States and had the highest concentration of cinemas in the world by 1930s. The ornamental baroque style theaters witnessed the prosperity of Broadway in the past. However, with the decline of downtown and the migration of entertainment industry to Hollywood, Broadway became an abandoned area in downtown and is perceived as a dangerous location at night. This proposal is aimed to revitalize the Broadway theater district and explore a universal strategy to preserve and renovate the historic downtown area.

The decay of downtown is an inevitable problem for most U.S big cities.  The crowded street, outdated infrastructure, poor building condition, lack of public space and messed environment all become the reason to push people away from these areas, where finally became the shelter for filth and crimes. To overthrow this vicious circle, besides preserving historic buildings, we must inject new programs and create more public space to make these areas dynamic again.

“Levitated Broadway” is a plan to create a new Broadway floating on the top of existing buildings and parking lots. Instead of demolishing the historic building, we can find more space in the between and on the top of existing buildings, which provides us enough space to insert new programs and create more public space in an already high-density community. The design uses lightweight steel truss grid to fill in the negative space of existing buildings and extend the concrete core of these buildings to support the whole structure system. The open structure allows light and wind to penetrate the whole building and creates a dynamic vertical street space. Along the sky street facing Broadway, we insert boutiques, café, restaurants, bars and a large amount of activity and green space. On the backside, we create a new performing arts complex including large theater, music hall, cinema, rehearsal rooms, live-house and outdoor music stage on a pervious parking lot. The performing arts complex will be the center of future Broadway and revive the cultural activities of this area. It’s said that Broadway is the hidden gem to Los Angeles. The design is aimed to find this jewellery back and polish it to make it even brighter than before. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Jiangchen Hu, Yining Bei, Xiayu Zhao, Mingwen Zhang


The “Sand Dam”, built in the edge of Cairo, Egypt that border the desert, is a wall which blocks the blowing sand or even the sandstorms. In addition to alleviating the land desertification and the inconvenience of  people’s life caused by the blowing sand and the Khamsīn, the “Sand Dam” can also slow down the urban expansion due to the overpopulation of Cairo. Khamsīn , more commonly known in Egypt as khamaseen, is a dry, hot, sandy local wind, blowing from the south, in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The“Sand Dam”is a high-rise which can move regularly because of the tank track at the bottom of the huge racks and walls. The huge dam can be called as an anti-desertification wall, as it can increase the city area as well as the cultivated area by moving outwards until the soil inside the wall reaches steady state. With this process happens periodically, people can make use of the sandstorm and the Khamsīn in Egypt to get the wind power. Moreover, a cement factory built in the middle of the “Sand Dam” can also take advantage of the local materials, which may solve the employment problem in the slum area. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Ryan Gormley
United Kingdom


The beginning of the Timber Age
Can high rise architecture act as a mechanism to manifest low carbon materials and environmental design principles allowing our cities to breathe?

In recent years, the scarcity of natural resources tied with a push for greener construction methodologies has started to change perceptions of mass timber construction systems. Global Government and industry led initiatives into improving the sustainability and Carbon efficiencies of construction partnered with technological advancements in timber technologies will result in a rise of tall timber structures. The project explores the possibilities of using timber for the creation of high rise architecture by carefully considering material sourcing, structural performance, environment, digital design and off site fabrication issues. Implementing prefabricated timber systems not only reduces carbon emissions when compared with steel and concrete, but instead captures embodied carbon within the timber itself. The rule of thumb is that an average 1m3 of timber can store 1 ton of co2. This means that architectural interventions within the built environment can act as Carbon sinks thus improving the sustainability of our cities. Read the rest of this entry »

Saltscraper in India

By:  | April - 16 - 2018

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Kartik Misra, Krishan Sharma, Dewesh Agrawal, Kritika Kharbanda


This is a skyscraper that aims to rejuvenate the indigenous salt farming community of the great Rann in Gujarat, India, namely, the Agariyas. The project seeks to become an architectural epitome that caters to the future and ambitions of the region by utilizing the abundant salt as the building block of the community’s macrocosm.An ecological and social renaissance for the people of the cursed land has been sought for by providing them a structure which endeavours to achieve better opportunities for the people.

The vast expanse of the salt marsh is characterized by myriad salt pans disseminated with makeshift shacks. Inter societal islands arise due to isolated pattern of settlement. An absolute absence of social and physical infrastructure is observed which renders the community incapable of mutual learning. Deteriorating health because of long exposure to immense salt and solar concentration further intensifies it. The salt marsh betrays the community every monsoon, because the fields become completely submerged in water, making annual migration necessary.

The project induces community interaction and interdependence, coupled with efficient service delivery. Standard, systematic and non-intermittent salt production throughout the year due to juxtaposed functions which provide ease in the output cycle. Integration of vacuum evaporation plant with the building gives rise to an effortless method of production. Forging a resilient, permanent and sustainable setup with increased dependence of solar power creates a heterogeneous yet admissible ecosystem for the community. An increment in the efficiency of salt production from solar evaporation through introduction of novel methodology, machinery and community training boosts the comprehensive output. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Dimo Ivanov


Civilization 0.000 is a high tech structure, placed at Cape Horn in Southern Chile, that uses locally available renewable energy sources to generate electricity. Making use of the ample wind, wave, and tidal energy of this region, the structure would utilize a combination of 19 wind turbines, 4 wave power plants, and 6 tidal power turbines to create 100 million kWh of renewable energy each year. However the electricity production is only one of many important functions such as living space, education, resource management, energy storage, research and engineering.

Cape Horn – The first 0.000 unit
The first ever designed 0.000 unit will be placed at Cape Horn, the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile. This unit will be specialized in generating electricity. If we take a look on the global energy maps, we’ll recognize the enormous amount of wind-, wave-, and tidal energy concentrated in this area. The choice to design the first 0.000 unit there is almost self-explanatory.

Form follows force – There are three main forces, that define the whole structure – wind, wave & tidal energy. Through a series of different experiments and optimizations according its aqua- and aerodynamic features, the building is composed of three main structural and functional areas – tower, platform & tidal power station. Read the rest of this entry »

Manhattan of the Desert

By:  | April - 16 - 2018

Honorable Mention
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Estelle Filliat, Charlotte Ferreux, Duc Truong, Elias Vogel


Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. The armed conflicts raging for several months are deteriorating an already critical situation. In addition to causing terrible human suffering, these attacks are destroying Yemen’s unique cultural heritage, which is the repository of people’s identity. Yemen has architectural masterpieces. Shibam is probably the most emblematic example of them. The 16th-century Walled City of Shibam remains the oldest metropolis in the world to use vertical construction, this construction is called « tower houses». The mud-brick high-rises, which stretch up to seven stories high, were constructed from the fertile soil surrounding the city. One of Unesco’s experts, Jacques Heyman, stresses the urgency of the situation : «Today almost nothing has been done to stop the ruin of this city, which is accelerating. If Shibalm is not restored immediately there won’t be much left to restore in 10 years’ time ». It seemed essential to put a spotlight on this threatened city. We must reverse the situation !

The idea is not to resolve an international conflict but to project into a peaceful future. The idea is to propose a sustainable extension of the city of Shibam. The development of the city is both constrained by its ramparts and by the constructive boundary of the mud-brick. The extension of the city is limited both horizontally and vertically. The only possible solution is in the ground itself. The idea is to dig the existing streets. The new Shibam, a natural extension of tower houses, are all roots that directly use the richness of the ground : the heat of the depths, the water of the groundwater, the thermal inertia of the ground, the mud as material and the depths as architecture. The tower is extended from a tower-house to a true skyscraper. Using existing resources under the city, Shibam steers clear from Yemen’s extreme import dependence. Read the rest of this entry »