Favela Skyscraper

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Rodrigo Carranca Hernandez

Project Statement

Favelas, slums, hoovervilles or bidonvilles are informal settlements that lack property rights and provide below-average quality housing in agglomerations; they tend to lack basic infrastructure, urban services, social facilities and green areas. They are located in geographic areas with dangerous surroundings and / or extreme environments.

The existence of favelas has been known since the end of the XIX century; however, it was not until 1930 that they became an important part of the urbanization process in Brazil. Between 1941 and 1943, the country´s population grew significantly and the government did not know how to control this growth, they tried to develop various projects with urban purposes, but these never gave any results.

Steep streets, substandard housing, darkness, marginality, violence, insecurity, bad quality of life, disease, risk of being affected by natural disasters of all types and social and economic exclusion make its inhabitants seem like products creatures of the underworld. Overpopulation and exponential growth have created the perfect conditions to turn favelas into colonies of crime and drugs.

Project Purpose

Reinterpret the current concept of favelas inside a vertical city; control and plan the unmeasured growth of these settlements; provide a better quality of life for the inhabitants of favelas or of any similar informal settlement in the world by diminishing the risk of natural disasters, health and insecurity problems, violence and/or drug trafficking, by increasing access to better services and infrastructure and by eliminating existing economic and social contrasts.

Besides eliminating the existing contrasts, the main purpose of this project is to help inhabitants of favelas to be familiarized with the building and establish a relationship with it in which its functions and development adapt to the needs of the users, allowing them live in a space where their work, education, and health requirements are met. this project aims to increase the inhabitants’ economy, live up to the standards of any other city in brazil, offer public transportation and become a space where people can live freely and express their views without recurring to violence and/or crime.

The space where the favela was located will be reforested and used as a protected natural area.

Project Overview

An integral project with a parametric function based on a pattern from the theory of the “cellular automaton” by John Horton Conway in The Game of Life (1970), designed in three dimensions that can be expanded in a dynamic system based on the requirements, needs and number of users.

It is a self-sustainable building where climatic factors such as heat, humidity and rain are exploited to diminish the high costs of basic services. Thanks to the percentage of green areas located on the terraces and open spaces, water recollection is possible as well as harvesting produce for consumption or merchandising.

The project contemplates spaces for housing, health services, religious ceremonies or cults, public education, museums, forums, theatres and workshops for cultural activities, sport centers with the best equipment and a football stadium with great capacity, public and private offices, as well as large shopping centers, recreation sites, playgrounds and stores equipped with urban furniture. it has all the necessary facilities for energy and water to be stored and distributed for daily use.

The building is a conceptual proposal that works not only for favelas such as Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro, but that can be adapted to any similar vicinity, anywhere in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Water Skyscraper in Somalia

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Nurzhanat Kenenov

Water availability in Somalia is naturally climatic issue. With extremely low rainfall and much higher potential evaporation, the country is characterized as water-scarce. Only 30% of Somalis have access to safe water, leading to increased risk of food shortage, social conflict, stress to economic growth, and poor standards of living.

A stable supply of clean water can be achieved through implementation of engineering and architectural concepts. A self-sustaining network of aqueducts linking cities will solve issues arising from water scarcity. These aqueducts will supply clean water and create water bodies next to main cities, where water to be used by local families and businesses.

Somalia is located next to Indian Ocean, with its salt water not suitable for consumption. The high evaporation rate from the hot climate is a key factor to issue of water scarcity in Somalia, but it can also contribute to its solution. Salt water from the ocean can be evaporated, separating the clean water from salt and other minerals. Sunlight will be used as the main energy supply to evaporate salty water. An aqueduct network consisting of towers will help to clean water as well to produce energy needed for clean water flow. The first and tallest tower to be located at shore of the ocean, close to capital of Somalia city of Muqdisho. The structure of each tower will hold a large trussed ring comprising magnifiers, which direct sunlight onto the front reinforced concrete and insulated wall with iron pipes. Magnifiers being at high level will not be affected by ground dusty winds and will need less maintenance. Each magnifier will be unique as it to direct sunlight to given part of the pipe for continuous heating. The lower end of the pipes will sit in a water compartment where water flows from the ocean. The bulk of light from the magnifiers will need to be directed to the lower ends of the pipes to achieve the highest temperature for water heating and evaporation. Evaporated water will pass through turbine generators to produce energy. Vapor free of salt to reach uppermost of tower where it will be cooled to liquid state by strong winds above the surface layer common for Somalia. The cooling part of tower will be incorporated with turbines to produce energy. Cooled water will be treated with necessary minerals will flow by gravity down to aqueduct network, passing though generators producing energy. Energy from the three types of generators will be stored and used for pumping clean water at aqueducts due to difference of ground levels. Aqueduct to transport clean water from Muqdisho Tower to next city of Afgooye, where it will be stored as artificial water body. The Afgooye Tower will use same concept as the Muqdisho Tower to clean water of dirt and dust and to produce enough energy to transport the water through an aqueduct to the next tower. The last tower to be city of Xuddur which is the most affected by water scarcity.

Water bodies formed at the base of each tower will be used for agriculture and aquaculture. This will not only alleviate the problem of food supply to Somalia, but will also boost economy as food can be exported to neighboring countries. Each tower will create work places comprising of staff necessary for control of vapor process and water production, as well as staff necessary for food production around the water bodies. This will improve the social status of Somali citizens. The water bodies can be treated as parks, providing water necessary for green space which would improve health of local population. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Yike Peng, Fan Wu, Youyi Wang
Hong Kong

In a potential future, Manhattan will embrace a neo-level of urbanization process. Lots of skyscrapers with glorious memories will be replaced by New Super-Skyscrapers which has much higher FAR and density. Rather than demolishing the former skyscrapers, we believe centralized preserving these skyscrapers full of delirious memory would be approved as meaningful as protecting Pantheon in Rome. It is a kind of retroactive represent for the forgotten lifestyle and collective unconsciousness. Skyscrapers in project will be still in use and be beheld by people, just like the Central Park.

When people walk into the museum tower of Manhattan skyscrapers the entrance ramp will lead people to each skyscrapers foundation. We believe that skyscrapers should be considered as the antiquities artwork which could view from bottle. After viewing the foundation, office workers will get into each tower to start their work and tourists will take the Annulus Lifting Platform to the top sightseeing plaza where tourists can enjoy the top view of skyscrapers and central park. Read the rest of this entry »

The Habitable Obelisk

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Jun Hao Ong


Dating thousands of years ago, rock-cut architecture – the practice of creating a structure by carving it out of solid natural rock was used for many significant religious monuments, temples and tombs. The rock-hewn church of Lalibela in Ethopia, the 1,500-tonnes unfinished Obelisk of Aswan in Egypt and the elaborate sandstone-carved treasury of Petra in Jordan are some of the ancient wonders of rock-cut architecture still standing today. Why carve instead of build? The most fundamental and natural form of shelter to mankind is the cave, long been regarded as a place of sanctity. Hence, the sanctuary in religious structures, even free standing ones, retain the same cave-like feeling of sacredness, being small and dark with little natural light.

Blurring the lines between sculpture and architecture, stone age and new age, The Habitable Obelisk is a vertical shrine for new living and contemplating within a free-standing piece of rock-cut sandstone set in an urban environment.


The Habitable Obelisk cannot be constructed ad-hoc, but rather requires to chart several stages progressively to finally reach a habitable stage. The formation of obelisk begins with the sustainable cut of a 200-metre high red sandstone rock from a stratified sandstone butte using advanced rock cutters and tunnel-boring technologies. These giant machineries are coupled with fundamental understandings of low-tech ancient rock-cutting techniques. In order to move the megalith, a monster crawler-transporter is used, the type of vehicle developed by NASA to move 3000-tonne rockets, while being inched along on tanklike treads on a special road surface coated with fine river rock to reduce friction. This arduous yet ceremonial procession of the ‘living rock’ is celebrated as it crosses the threshold between nature and man-made to finally find its new footing in a city block.


Once set in its new grounds, the carving stage commences. Without the need to follow the principles of a traditional bottoms-up column-slab construction, the obelisk can adopt a unique rock-cutting principle to carve out its habitable spaces. Using the biologically-motivated method of the Reaction-Diffusion algorithm, a process in which two or more chemicals diffuse at unequal rates over a surface and react with one another to form stable patterns such as spots and stripes (on animal skins), a three-dimensional carving principle is generated.

The carving stage is a marriage of skilled rock-artisans, instead of builders, together with a battalion of 7-axis robotic-carvers that cut, carve, etch, smoothen and polish the towering rock into habitable and detailed spaces. The formation of a stone-quarry simultaneously occurs to harvest cut-out rock blocks for other uses. Programmatically, the fluid and conjoined nature of the carved-out spaces allows for new forms of living and social interactions in the city, while offering endless connectivity and adaptation for its occupants.


The Habitable Obelisk doesn’t only challenge the notion of contemporary rock-cut architecture but also the life-cycle of building materials in today’s construction world. The obelisk is itself a natural source, a quarry that never stops giving.

By being homogenous, the obelisk creates a more specialized industry involved in rock-cut architecture versus an industry that fabricates various building components, each with its own detriment to the environment. As an urban quarry, once the obelisk reaches an uninhabitable state, the abandoned tower can be broken down into blocks and silica which can then be used to construct future buildings and infrastructures. Read the rest of this entry »

High-Rise Waterfall

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Gigih Nalendra, Nadia Vashti Lasrindy, Reza Arya Pahlevi


Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is among the cities that have the highest average annual precipitation (average rainfall) in the world, the average is above 3000mm. Every year floods occur in Jakarta. Widespread flooding occurred in 1996, 2002, 2007, and the latest in 2012. Insufficient reservoir and lack of drainage is one of the causes that can cause flooding, therefore the city needs more of it to keep the excess water, but in reality, the cost of land is really high to make ground reservoir, especially in the city center where it is needed the most.


From all of those problems, we sought to turn it into an advantage. Our proposal is to use the top of a building as a top reservoir that can cover a large area for rain water catchment, and the fact that the building is tall; the potential energy is also higher due to its high position. Therefore, the energy from the amount of water that falls from the peak into waterfall can generates a massive hydropower to feed the energy needs of the building’s inhabitants.

Water Cycle

Hydropower regarded as the most efficient renewable energy, the existing technology of the hydropower has 90% efficiency, it can respond to quickly changing of the environment needs. Water cycle can be functioned as required by the occupants.

But then what can the building do if there is no rain?. Sun radiation in Indonesia and many countries lies in equator are intense and most of the times are overhead at the clear sky condition, therefore from harvesting the heat from the sun in the solar tube collector, the tube generates steam that can push back the fallen water up to the top reservoir.

The water cycle in the building also benefits the environment, irrigation and sanitary were flowed from top water reservoir to sky gardens, and in certain time the river can be purified, brought by natural pump (steam), river water pushed to top water reservoir and at the ends filtered and taken out to river.

Passive Sustainable Strategies

The building also has several passive sustainable strategies. Monsoon windows let the airflow through cantilevered floor even though rain showers the façade of the building. Single unit plan in the building with a large internal void were maintained to establish effective cross ventilation of airflow in the building. And due to intense solar heat at the equatorial area, the shape of the building resembled series of canopies that will help to maintain comfortable shades during the hottest time of the day. Read the rest of this entry »


By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Zhou Ping, Yang Dongqi, Xie Mingxuan, Chai Wenpu, Sun Wei, Yang Hui, Liu Chengming, Qi Shan, Deng Honghao

Strictly speaking, the blasting renewal of modern cities is not a scientific process but a experimental combination of technology and techniques. Modern theory still could not solve the problems in the blasting demolition like traffic dispersion, urban resource transportation and noise control. We need to summarize new rules from the massive blasting demolition practices, and try to explore new techniques.

With a reasonable imagination of modern demolition techniques and the possibilities 3d printing technology, we propose the possibility of future high-rises. The construction of new high-rises is based on the materials and location of the original buildings, and the memory of previous high-rises will be inherited.

The machine is fixed on the mobile stand gripping on the core tube for the stability during the demolition and printing process. The printing materials come from the recycle of the original high-rises. By collecting, separating and further processing the building debris from the cutter-head on the bottom of the machine, three basic printing materials are made: glass, concrete and metal. With different combination of these three materials, unlimited structure and architecture forms could be made to create more possibilities of the new high-rises on the top.

The nozzles on the top of the machine could cover the whole building plan area with radial movement and rotation. Based on the original structure of the core tube, the ratio and the structure forms of glass, concrete and metal are adjusted to reinforce the core tube for the structure stability of the new structure during the top-down printing process. Read the rest of this entry »

Termite Skyscraper

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Chong Wang, Mingwei Sun, Zhen Wang
China, United Kingdom

It might be overly idealistic to combine the eagerness for tall buildings with an impoverished region where is waiting to conquer the risk of famine and disease instead of an anticipation of the metropolitan image. However, tall buildings implies the efficient concentration of technologies, materials, productivities and spatial organizations, which, in our design, can be celebrated as the very zeitgeist whereby the poor domains abandoned by the classic urban fantasy can grasp the opportunity to creatively erase the incidence of innutrition in a vernacular, sustainable and optimistic way.

Nowadays, there are still some countries in Africa suffering the said problem. Take the needs of protein as an instance: according to the statistics of nutrients, people from the Republic of Central Africa (the sample case) hardly obtain sufficient protein from diet (46 g/person/day) which detrimentally falls behind some leading countries (e.g. Iceland (137 g/person/day), but ironically overwhelms at least 7 countries from the same continent. Because of the scarcity of capital and resources, these countries barely afford a decent agricultural infrastructure, not to mention the influence of the increasingly fragile ecosystem.

When the generic agriculture encounters flaws and limitations, the alternative is required, which is back to the tradition. In Africa, eating termites used to be a way of life when other sources of protein are scarce since termites generally consist of up to 38 percent protein and also rich in iron, calcium, essential fatty acids and amino acids. Our study finds that the annual reproduction of one queen equals to 30kg of beef, which could be impressively valuable in an African context. Although taking advantage of the rich nutritional quality of these insects sounds feasible, there are some restrictions: the tradition way to harvest termite can only happen in the beginning of the rainy season when winged termites appear; furthermore, breeding termites for daily consumption requires vast land area and abundant resource of plant fibre (for the symbiotic protozoa). Therefore, how to effectively control and breed termites with specific regards to the production and safety is the key of this proposal. In accordance with our concept, the proposed solution goes to an extension on the vertical direction as interpreted at beginning.

Our proposal explores the applicability of a tall building design in edible termite farming of Africa which supported by low-tech masonry work in order to encourage the involvement of local people and reduce the capital cost. With the help of cross arch, duplicable units, each of them contains a mound for a termite nest, can be stacked up to increase the plot ratio. As a result, multiple nests can be assembled within a relatively dense area by using the multiple porous structures whereby air-changing and shading protect not only termites but human workers. In this vertical protein farm, termites’ daily consumption of wood fibre is supported by human gatherer and mechanical proceeding work is involved to smash and reform plant fibre in order to ensure a rapid growth of termite population. Simultaneously, people can use strong light, smoke and spray with pheromone to harvest termites (workers and soldiers) which would become the ingredient of daily meals providing with abundant protein after dehydration and smash.

The life span of the queen can exceed 45 years (sometimes can be 100 years), once the queen has dead, the existing nest can be replaced by new mound waiting for new generations. The towering structure that holds those termite farms thereby can be maintained on the African savannah, casting its silhouette to continuously protect our offspring. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Jiaqi Sun, Chang Liu, Mingxuan Qin

The way we produce and use energy today is not sustainable. Our main fossil fuel sources – oil, coal and gas – are finite natural resources, and we are depleting them at a rapid rate. Furthermore they are the main contributors to climate change, and the race to the last ‘cheap’ fossil resources evokes disasters for the natural environment as seen in the case of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Switching to renewable energy is our only option to secure energy and avoid environmental catastrophe.

As a renewable source, wind energy has received more attention recent years. Wind power generation is the main form of utilizing the wind energy. The main disadvantage regarding wind power is down to the winds unreliability factor. Wind turbines generally produce allot less electricity than the average fossil fuelled power station.

High-altitude winds are one of the largest untapped renewable resources in the world. High-altitude winds are more consistent and average around twice the velocity, with five to eight times the power density, than those found near ground-level.

According to the analysis of global average wind power density by level, we can figure out that the highest wind power densities are found at altitudes between 8,000 and 10,000 m above ground, corresponding roughly to the height of the tropopause. At 10,000 m, the locations with the highest wind power densities are strongly correlated with the locations most frequently visited by the jet streams. The intermittency problem can be greatly reduced as well if a high-altitude technology were able to dynamically reach the optimal height.

With the great amount of wind power existing in the troposphere, we designed this wind power generation station, which would be the main power supply for the electricity system instead of fossil fuel in the future.

We conceive the skyscraper located near the Tropic of Capricorn/Cancer (mainly located at the east of North America and Asia, the Southern Ocean between Africa and Antarctica, north Africa, and the east of Australia).

This area not only contains the United States, China and Japan, which characterized for its prosperity of economy, large number of population and great demand of electricity, but also the Middle East, which is always involved in military conflicts caused by the energy crisis, as well as India, Africa and the Caribbean area, which has an undeveloped infrastructure and reliable electricity supply is not available there.

Therefore, the construction of this skyscraper could provide the developed area with clean, stable and sustainable electric energy. Meanwhile, it could solve the energy problems in the undeveloped area with convenient and economic electricity supply.

The height of these skyscrapers can be varied from 8,000 to 10,000m, depending on the optimal height of different places mentioned above.

The skyscraper can be divided into two parts from the appearance: the upper part is the generation and storage equipment: it generates electricity with great vertical axis rotor while the flow battery is in the axis. , in order to store energy to reduce the intermittency problem of wind power output.

The bottom half part consists of a four-axis rotors and laser power transmission system. The lower part is the laser transmission equipment, which could realize oriented transmission with the good directivity of laser. Meanwhile, a corresponded receiver is set up on the ground.

Additional functions like a meteorological monitor and a lab for atmosphere research are also built inside the building. Read the rest of this entry »

Land Liberator Skyscraper

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Ming Liu, Chen Chen, Chao Nie, Hua Deng, Yinhan Zhou

People living in Beijing now is suffering from breathing the air which contain more than 200 ug/m3 PM2.5 and spending more than 2 hours from home to work because the traffic jam caused by the excessive expansion( to the 5th ring road) of city. Land is occupied while city is expanding, thus the plants and animals living on it before are forced to disappear. The ecological cycle of nature is broken so that human has to face the negative results like extremely high urban density, serious air pollution, heavy traffic and so on.

The “Land Liberator” skyscraper is a series of skyscrapers located in Beijing in the future to absorb the high-rise buildings on land into the inner space of it and put the public buildings, streets, residents on the top of it, in order to free the land from human occupation thus the plants and animals will return to live on it. The generating of the inner space of the “Land Liberator” is an intelligent process by analyzing the Bigdata about following aspects: functions of high-rise buildings, preferences of buildings` users, location and so on.
The lower-zone of the “Land Liberator” has 2 parts. One is the supporting structure which has 6 legs standing on the land when another is the first part of inner space for buildings on land to regenerate in. Within the lower-zone, there are lots of platforms opening to air where we can plant trees on, which make this Skyscraper with better natural environment than the high-rise buildings nowadays.

The central-zone and upper-zone of the “Land Liberator” is similar to the lower-zone but much bigger and we can find public buildings on the platform located on the top of the upper-zone. Between each zone there are parking-lots for aerocrafts so that people can conveniently reach every part of the “Land Liberator”.
Beijing is the specific city we want to place the “Land Liberator” skyscrapers.The “a ring road set a ring road outward” city development process is from inside of the city to outside. On the contrary of it, the “Land Liberators” will be placed at the edge of Beijing city firstly and absorb the buildings on land blocks by blocks, from outside to inside. This process is just like nibbling. The city will not be absorbed clearly in a couple years, as it is a long and gentle journey. By finishing this process, the land of Beijing will be full of plants and animals, the nature will heal the land as the ecological cycle is rebuilt, the surface that people living on will be moving to sky, the inner space of the “Land Liberators” will be properly planned by using the analysis of Bigdata and creating an intelligent process. Soon after, Beijing will be reborn in a hyper-eco condition. Read the rest of this entry »


By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Juerg Burger, Ge Men, Qingchuan Yang, Yin Li, Wei Hou

Skyscrapers are controversial buildings. Conventional sksycrapers suffer from a series of programmatic and spatial problems including: homogeneous spaces, inefficient vertical/ horizontal connections, and isolation from urban fabric. Cloucity proposes a vertical city connected to the existing city at three different points. The void generated will serve as a recreational space for the city and will be  Read the rest of this entry »