The conceptual design for Lexicon Shanghai is a theoretical exercise in thematic processes, an investigation into architectural language as a lexical device governed by thematic parameters and syntactical structures. The lexicon is rather a series of architectural devices and tectonics composed as an interface for a subject and object experiencer. These tectonics thread through an arrangement of digital art and light sculptures as a syntax of meaning and definition to the overarching architecture. The correlation between lexical properties and syntactic structures are modes of operation in which the architecture emerges. Meaning and experience are not limited by surface and material association; but when art and technology are introduced, the system of thematic structure becomes visible in its lexical and syntax relationship. The art work in the form of digital projection, light sculpture, and diverse mediums perform as aspectual properties, unlike the thematic tectonic shapes and form. They become interface entities; these entities are mediators between spaces and the architectural body. The subject experiencer correlates the differences in the art and tectonic expression, but the event in which these entities project are undefined allowing emergence in activity to develop and operate. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour

Emaar Properties, the global developer, today announced the successful completion of advanced wind tunnel tests to confirm the structural strength and durability of the iconic new tower in Dubai Creek Harbour, which will define a brand-new skyline for the city.

This marks another milestone in the development of The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, and located in the heart of the 6 sq km master-planned community set by the historic Dubai Creek and only 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.

The smart city of the future is also next-door to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention and home to over 67 species of water birds, thus defining a unique residential destination that offers unprecedented and long-term value.

Leveraging its unmatched expertise in high-rise development, Emaar Properties had commissioned a comprehensive array of never-before wind tunnel tests for The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, which will feature world-class observation decks, luxury accommodation and retail attractions. With wind being a major challenge in the development of high-rises, especially at very high altitudes, these tests are crucial in defining the final height and design aspects. Read the rest of this entry »


eVolo Magazine is pleased to invite architects, students, engineers, designers, and artists from around the globe to take part in the 2017 Skyscraper Competition. Established in 2006, the annual Skyscraper Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious awards for high-rise architecture. It recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. It is a forum that examines the relationship between the skyscraper and the natural world, the skyscraper and the community, and the skyscraper and the city.

The participants should take into consideration the advances in technology, the exploration of sustainable systems, and the establishment of new urban and architectural methods to solve economic, social, and cultural problems of the contemporary city including the scarcity of natural resources and infrastructure and the exponential increase of inhabitants, pollution, economic division, and unplanned urban sprawl.

The competition is an investigation on the public and private space and the role of the individual and the collective in the creation of a dynamic and adaptive vertical community. It is also a response to the exploration and adaptation of new habitats and territories based on a dynamic equilibrium between man and nature – a new kind of responsive and adaptive design capable of intelligent growth through the self-regulation of its own systems.

There are no restrictions in regards to site, program or size. The objective is to provide maximum freedom to the participants to engage the project without constraints in the most creative way. What is a skyscraper in the 21st century? What are the historical, contextual, social, urban, and environmental responsibilities of these mega-structures?

eVolo Magazine is committed to continue stimulating the imagination of designers around the world – thinkers that initiate a new architectural discourse of economic, environmental, intellectual, and perceptual responsibility that could ultimately modify what we understand as a contemporary skyscraper, its impact on urban planning and on the improvement of our way of life.


Architects, students, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in the competition. We encourage you to have multidisciplinary teams.

  • Participants must register by January 24, 2017.
  • Early Registration: USD $95 until November 15, 2016.
  • Late Registration: USD $135 from November 16, 2016 to January 24, 2017.
  • One registration = One project
  • Participants may submit various projects, but must register each entry.
  • There is no limit as to the number of participants per team. Individual entries are accepted.
  • After your registration has been approved eVolo will send the registration number (within 24 hours), which will be necessary for submission boards.



  • August 1, 2016 – Competition announcement and registration opens.
  • November 15, 2016 – Early registration deadline
  • January 24, 2017 – Late registration deadline
  • February 7, 2017 – Project submission deadline (23:59 hours US Eastern Time)
  • April 4, 2017 – Winners’ announcement


This is a digital competition and no hardcopies are necessary. Entrants must submit their proposal no later than February 7, 2017 (23:59 hours US Eastern Time) via email to skyscraper2017@evolo.us.

The project submission must contain the following files:

  1. Two boards with the project information including plans, sections, and perspectives. Participants are encouraged to submit all the information they consider necessary to explain their proposal. These boards should be 24″(h) X 48″(w) in HORIZONTAL format. The resolution of the boards must be 150 dpi, RGB mode and saved as JPG files. The upper right corner of each board must contain the participation number. There should not be any marks or any other form of identification. The files must be named after the registration number followed by the board number. For example: 0101-1.jpg and 0101-2.jpg.
  2. A DOC file containing the project statement (600 words max). This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “statement”. For example: 0101-statement.doc.
  3. A DOC file containing the entrants’ personal information, including name, profession, address, and email. This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “info”. For example: 0101-info.doc.
    All the files must be placed in a ZIP folder named after your registration number. For example: 0101.zip


Eric Bunge [principal nArchitects]
Erick van Egeraat [principal Erick van Egeraat]
Manuelle Gautrand [principal Manuelle Gautrand Architecture]
Ferda Kolatan [founding director su11]
Andrea Morgante [principal Shiro Studio]
Marcos Novak [professor and director at transLAB]
Yitan Sun [winner 2016 Skyscraper Competition]
Nanako Umemoto [principal Reiser + Umemoto]
Boštjan Vuga [principal Sadar+Vuga]
Jianshi Wu [winner 2016 Skyscraper Competition]


  1. This is an anonymous competition and the registration number is the only means of identification.
  2. The official language of the competition is English.
  3. The registration fee is non-refundable.
  4. Contacting the Jury is prohibited.
  5. eVolo Magazine, as the competition organizer, reserves the right to modify the competition schedule if deemed necessary.
  6. Entrants will be disqualified if any of the competition rules are not considered.
  7. Participation assumes acceptance of the regulations.


1st place – US $5000 + press distribution by v2com newswire
2nd place – US $2000
3rd place – US $1000

Winners and special mentions will be published by eVolo and several international print publications. In addition, the results are covered by the most important online architecture and design publications and general media such as the Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Previous winners have been featured in the following print publications:

ABC Magazine – Czech Republic, About:Blank Magazine – Portugal, Aeroflot – Russia, Architect Builder – India, Architecture and Culture – South Korea, Architecture Design Art – Pakistan, Architektura Murator – Poland, AT Architecture Technique – China, Archiworld – South Korea, AWM – The Netherlands, Azure – Canada, B-1 – Thailand, Bauwelt – Germany, Blueprint – United Kingdom, BusinessWeek– USA, C3 – South Korea, CAAOH – Ukraine, Casamica – Italy, Casas y Mas – Mexico, Concept – South Korea, Courier Mail – Australia, Discover Magazine – USA, Donga – South Korea, Enlace – Mexico, Focus – Canada/Italy, Future Arquitecturas – Spain, Geolino Extra – Germany, Grazia Casa – Italy, Kijk – The Netherlands, L’Installatore Italiano – Italy, L’Arca – Italy, L’Uomo Vogue – Italy, La Razon – Spain, Le Courier de l’ Architecte – France, Le Fourquet – Mexico, Mark Magazine – The Netherlands, Maxim – USA, Mercedes Benz Magazine – Germany, Mladina – Slovenia, Modulo – Italy, Modulor – Switzerland, NAN – Spain, Natur + Kosmos – Germany, New Scientist – United Kingdom, Oculus – USA, Of Arch – Italy, Pasajes de Arquitectura – Spain, Peak Magazine – Singapore, Popular Mechanics – USA/Russia, Popular Science – USA, Puls Biznesu – Poland, Quo– China/Spain, Rogue Magazine – Philippines, RUM – Sweden, Salt Magazine – The Netherlands, Science et Vie – France, Sciences et Avenir– France, Shanghai Morning Post – China, Space – South Korea, Spade – Canada, Spazio Casa – Italy, Specifier Magazine – Australia, SMW Magazine – Taiwan, Stafette – Germany, Tall Buildings – Russia, Tatlin – Russia, The Broker – The Netherlands, The Outlook Magazine – China, The New York Times – USA, The Wall Street Journal – USA, Time Style and Design – USA, Travel and Leisure – USA, Vida Simples Magazine – Brazil, Vogue – Australia/USA, Vox Design – Poland, Wettbewerbe Aktuell – Germany, Wired – USA/Italy, Woongjin – South Korea, World Architecture – China


Who can participate in the competition?
Everyone is invited to participate, including students and professionals from any country worldwide.

Can we submit more than one entry?
Yes, but each project must be registered individually.

Can we submit printed boards?
No, this is a digital competition and all submissions must be in digital format as outlined in the competition brief.

Is there a specific height requirement for the skyscraper?
There is no specific height requirement.

Is there a specific program requirement?
No, participants have complete freedom to establish their own program, site and conceptual agenda.



As seen in great historical London typologies such as the Gentlemen’s Club, or Josef Paxton’s Great Stove of Chatsworth, the city and culture of London has been a main thoroughfare of new programs and typological imaginations based on highly specific cultural desires and current needs of public space. These highly particular, explicit and most often bizarre desires, have also only been able to be realized through different shifts and improvements in technologies – technologies which have allowed phenomenally spanning glass seen in the Great Stove or even the industrial production and repetition of the structure in the Crystal Palace.

This work leverages the specificities of London itself, historical precedence, typological reference, highly specific subcultures, and site to generate a public sphere accessible to the greater public of the city.

The Electric Garden is a greenhouse nightclub designed by Zack Mathhews at Harvard GSD. It is a place where nature and artifice collide – a place to get lost in the infinite. It is a place that brings an immersive purity to Brick Lane, a re-generating landscape famous for its cultural life, yet still a fringe suffocating from its past self.

A primary source of design research was instigated through the investigation of the “Health Goth” subculture which originated in Portland, Oregon, but has since grown intimate ties with the built environment of London. Health Goth is a subculture that has materialized through high tech clothing, multiple technical layers of “armour”, advanced materiality, and weaponry. These people are exemplars of the pristine – a discontent with the impurity of the surrounding world has led to a desire to generate overly-constructed scenes of clothing and artificial interior atmospheres.

Upon analyzing material culture, fashion, activities, and behaviors of the Health Goths, the first part of this project focused on generating a destination of interior atmospheres which supported the need to self-immerse in extremely “pure” and infinite space. As the sub-culture has only existed through making imagery and portraying oneself only through digital representation, the first task of the public space was to provide an armature solely for these people to exist – backdrops that alluded to the infinite, high contrast lighting, monochromatic material, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

The Slumber Hotel

By:  | July - 14 - 2016


This hotel designed by Zahra Safaverdi at Harvard Graduate School of Design is a mixture of an exclusive entertainment club and a bizarre hotel, curates an amplified manipulated atmosphere for sleeping, harvests the dream data via MRI scanners, and mix and manipulates the collected dreams for further projection as a new form of spectacle to inspire the members and to plant new dreams.

Tucked away from the public access in a private courtyard, the Slumber hotel doesn’t completely hide from the eyes of the spectators. Although the fantastical world of sleeping is concealed in a banal cladding,and hides behind multiple layers, words of the happening inside gets around. The hotel is completely unassuming from the outside and that makes the bizarre world of the interior more shocking. The project functions based on juxtaposition of distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant, the stronger the effect will be.

Slumber hotel’s atmosphere is inherently immersive and is Excessive in nature. Continues surfaces eliminate the perception of corners, ground, walls, roof, and coming together of it all. The sleeping, zone where the sleeping pods are located, is a maze like space where circulation become occupy-able and layering plays an important role in the orchestrated reading of places. The perpetual state of twilight eliminates the sense of time and the whimsical atmosphere does not let the individual to be bored for a second. This public space is the manifestation of strange new species, extreme new UMWelt, and an experimental typology. The Slumber Hotel creates objects of value that belong to the collective imaginations and comments on social issues in a playful manner.

ZahraSafaverdi2 ZahraSafaverdi3 ZahraSafaverdi4 ZahraSafaverdi5 ZahraSafaverdi6 ZahraSafaverdi7 ZahraSafaverdi8 ZahraSafaverdi9 ZahraSafaverdi10 ZahraSafaverdi11 ZahraSafaverdi12


Pen Uno is an all aluminum pen for the Hi-Tec C Coleto ink cartridge that also transforms into a mechanical pencil by switching two components.

Pen Uno and Pencil Uno, designed by ENSSO in Los Angeles are perhaps the most minimal writing instruments in the market. Their design aims to be elegant and discreet focusing on the details and essential components. They are machined out of space-grade aluminum anodized in five distinct colors: gold, rose gold, red, black, and space grey.

When a pen it uses the amazing Hi-Tec C Coleto gel ink cartridge, which is widely available, inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors and lineweights. As a mechanical pencil it uses regular 0.5 mm leads.

Pen Uno and Pencil Uno are currently available on Kickstarter.







Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Phuchong Yamchomsuan, Boonjira Phaisitwanichkul, Warut Duangkaewkart


Most of architecture we design is for humanity. What if the design can support both humanity and wildlife? What if we give back the ground to nature? Hence, the design purpose is to increase spaces for not only humanity but also wildlife simultaneously.

The design scheme is inspired by Banyan tree, the king of forests. As we’ve known, Banyan tree is the great murderer killing most trees in forests, yet it is the great giver providing habitat and food to most animals. Even though Banyan tree is categorized as a parasite plant, it is peculiarly special. After it slowly leeches and consumes all nourishment from another tree, the tree will be killed and then create interior space that’s covered up with Banyan tree’s limbs and roots as structure. This space will become homes for little animals and its enormous branches will create shades and provide food to all creatures. ‘Contributing one life is worth lots of life.’

In this project, the Banyan tree’s growing process is adopted as the main concept proposing how human could develop our world and sustainably grow up into the futuristic era.

The new structure will be introduced as a special parasitic creature. When it’s attached to any existing buildings in any cities, people will slowly move to the upper space for better lives. The new urban fabric will expand, while the old buildings will be abandoned eventually. Afterwards, nature will gradually take back the Earth’s surface and animals will get their natural habitat back.

The design aims to increase both humanity and wildlife habitat at the same time. The proposed structure will be developed on the higher surfaces, above high-rise buildings. Its form should be light and low dense, in contrast with today’s high-rise, so that the ground level would not be decadent and finally died. There will be sunlight and fresh air for every creature. With the new structure, people will leave the ground floor to expand new lives on sky surface, while trees and animals live on Earth’s surface where belong to them. Should it be the time we give back the land to our mother nature.

To avoid using the Earth’s surface, horizontal, vertical and underground transportation tubes are introduced in order to connect between living units and communities, personal and public spaces. The existing buildings that are abandoned will be cut to create the opened space for public activities where human and animals may stay close to each other.

In addition, the deserted high-rise where humans evacuate from can be boundaries creating zones between wild animals and mankind. With the sense of living together but staying not too close to, the zoning will protect humans from wild animals and protect wild animals from humans. This could be the way how metropolitan people stay close to nature again, recalling the former times when people and animals were neighbours. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Dimo Ivanov


Inspired by professor Donald Sadoway’s notion of giant container sized liquid metal battery, ephemere highrise proposes the idea of a floating power station and liquid metal battery charging station.

Liquid metal battery
The team of professor sadoway – ambri aims to develop a giant battery that fits in a 40-foot shipping container for placement in the field. And this has a nameplate capacity of two megawatt-hours. That’s enough energy to meet the daily electrical needs of 200 households. Ambri’s cells are strung together within a thermal enclosure to form an ambri core. The ambri core is ‘self-heating’ when operated every couple of days, requiring no external heating to keep the batteries at temperature. The ambri system comprises multiple ambri cores that are strung together and connected to the grid with power electronics. The configuration of the ambri system is modular and can be customized to meet specific customer needs. 

Offshore wind, wave and tidal energy
Ephemere highrise uses 100% renewable energy sources for electricity production. Harnessing energy from offshore winds, waves, and tides holds great promise for our world’s clean energy future. Energy production is just one of the valuable resources our oceans and coastal ecosystems provide. We can successfully develop offshore renewable energy by ensuring that energy projects are sited, designed, and constructed in a manner that protects our fragile ocean ecosystems.

All-in-one concept
Ephemere highrise is a high tech structure that uses all available local renewable energy sources to generate electricity. However the electricity production is only one of many important functions: living space, education, resource management, energy storage, research and engineering. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Wong Tat Hon, Ening Liu Yee Ning
Hong Kong


The project is taking place at Hong Kong urban district. Hong Kong is very restricted with the hyper-density living condition. In fact, Hong Kong has been using the traditional method of residential development strategy for all the years. That is to push higher with taller skyscraper tower replacing lower tenement houses to fit in the rapidly increasing living population. Such strategy neglect urban planning but value living efficiency. Such restricted living condition generates an invisible boundary within the city. Citizen feels isolated and tedious with the repetitive urban context. My idea is to provide a healthier solution to counter the existing living condition in the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Jillian Blakey
United States


Disintegration of the brain in our increasingly aging population is addressed relentlessly in medical research but largely neglected in environmental experiment.  Our lifespan has been elongated due to a growing body of knowledge in health and medicine, and still a third of seniors will live with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.  Plaques and Tangles is driven by an investigation into the formal, spatial, and societal potential of extended memory care in the vertical environment.

Typical retirement communities and full time care facilities are developed as sprawling patterns in remote corners.  Within this proposed Manhattan context, the project gives dementia a physical urban presence and offers an opportunity for a dynamic community.  A programmatically rich and site sensitive armature is systematically populated by a flexible, structural unit. The aggregate’s inherently radial patterns produce a legible datum while formally reflecting the sponge-like quality of plaques and tangles common to an Alzheimer’s brain.

Two primary lobbies serve as cultural hubs for residents of the building and local community members alike.  They include space for theaters, galleries, restaurants, and commercial development.  One wing is reserved for outpatient care and further medical research into memory loss and recovery.  Residential units are designed as one or two person dwellings, however equal space is reserved for communal gathering and reflection.  Transportation systems in the building are exclusively elevators and escalators to maximize mobility of residents.

The structural unit is intended to multiply and mutate, as need rises and medical knowledge progresses. Plaques and Tangles seeks to create an architectural system that considers the complexities of overpopulation and maximizes prosperity in the final stage of life. Read the rest of this entry »