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 »

Re2iffel Equalizer Skyscraper

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Teemu Holopainen, Tomi Jaskari, Tuomas Vuorinen, Simon Ornberg

Societies around the world call for equity. Political structures and values create base for land use and build environment which in turn should equilibrate the contradictions embodied to democracy. Goal of development can no longer be based on economic values alone. Continuing growth by numbers (GDP,ROI,FAR etc.) is ecologically impossible and has already started to diminish wellbeing of man. Growth of culture is needed instead of growth of capital. Can high rise contribute for equity of culture in society? Originally high rise building was just a building on the block with more floors. Relationship with the city was organic and the door, the lobby, of the high rise was part of the public street life between buildings. With the modern movement and zoning via traffic planning for the goals of industrial capitalism, high rise isolated from the city. 20th century high rise lacked to provide more public city life but instead it strengthened the negative effects of the privatization of space. High rise architects ended up being like fashion designers trying to dress the body with trendy clothes to make just another sexy model for portfolio shoots. Relationship between the world outside and the high rise inside was only “traffical”. This arrogant ignorance and denial of the public realm has made a 20th century high rise a symbol for decadence/triumph of capitalism of time. Future society calls for openness for public space in internet and in physical city to enhance proximity to produce culture of dignity and caring as much as concrete innovations and business for better world. From this perspective 21th century high rise building should be universal and permanent construction for multiple uses. It is more about concept of construction than the concept of use. It is more about architecture.


Re²iffel seeks the concept of structure, the body, not the concept of functions, for high rise to fulfill equity goals while providing comfort and shelter for future threats of climate change where extreme ends of whether conditions will vary more and more often. The concept is based on traditional combination of load bearing facade and rigid elevator shaft which together in a form of thin-shell structure in the shape of tent creates very stable and enduring skeleton for high rise use. This kind of primary structure contributes the image of the city and landscape with landmark effect while, from near, forms human scale environment. At the same time it allows functional flexibility and openness of public space to flow through it. The greater the volume of the public space the greater the privately used floor space on the very same place. Scaled enough the structure can work also as a bandage which repair the accessibility of pedestrians or cyclists. Foot of structure can be treated same way as a giant Eiffel tower pad, which spreads the “tent” over the existing infrastructure to form pedestrian access. The surface of the facade can be dressed with the newest ubiquity intelligence finish to provide electricity out of sun (photovoltaics) and wind (piezoelectric). Tent shaped facade creates optimal angle for both zenith sun and polar sun in positions of different latitude and compass point. Inner partition walls form the tertiary structures which need to be flexible for changing use. Ground level with small scale buildings creates facilitations for events with public space as a venue around. The whole contributes the urban sustainability and history of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Diffused Boundaries Skyscraper

By: admin | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Satavee Kijsanayotin, Ben Novacinski, Hannah Mayer, Haydar Baydoun, Mingxi Ye, Zhifei Chen
Thailand, United States

One’s identity within the city is determined by a relationship to public and private space. Where a person can go, what they can see, and what experiences a person has access to shapes the identity of the individual. Architectural language plays a crucial role in this identity. Diffused Boundaries aims to break down previously known thresholds in the city and affect change in the way people perceive, use, and experience space.

Hong Kong, like many metropolitan cities of the world, experiences the rapid rise in urban population in limited build-able land, creating a need for the city to grow vertically.  This method of architectural urbanization have humans pushing the boundaries of our existence into the sky. Yet the existing model for vertical existence have produced an urban landscape of tall, monotonous, and isolating structures that pushes the population to become socially disconnected.

The rigid separation of the programmatic functions between the public and private realm shapes and limits human social interaction.  As cities continue to grow skyward, leaving behind the socially and culturally rich public functions that exists at street level for the private realm higher up, the more private and isolated our lives becomes. Thus, as we look skyward, the question that Diffused Boundaries seeks to answer is not only how do we begin to blur the boundaries that create separations between public and private spaces, but also how to bring the rich civic and communal lifestyle that currently exits on the ground up into the sky.

The twenty-four-block site chosen for the project exists within the main concentration of the commercial district of Sham Shui Po.  Made of up nearly identical buildings,the shop house typology dominates. Public/Semi-public use of each building exists on street level, while the next couple floors up serves as residences.  More recently, however, towers of residential living and / or commercial use have been situated atop the shop house typology, creating an ever-distant relationship between ground and sky, public and private.  
The concept of Diffused Boundaries ,then, seek to blur this rigid division between the public and private programmatic function that exists due to the existing architectural language in all three axis of urbanization through the vertical and horizontal diffusion and dispersion gradient of form and functions.

Each building block of shop-houses are diffused vertically to redefine both its public and private space.  By opening up each floor, there create more opportunities for not only more available commercial space, but also an opportunity to extend the rich street life from the ground up into the air.  The void space that are created as a result of this strategy create allows for a mixed used circulation design that acts as both modes of navigation through the structure, but also public spaces and the lively street life style that initially inspires the project.

Vertical cores provide direct point A to point B routes and horizontal planes provide lateral circulation within a new dissolved reality. Large public spaces with storefronts allow street life and public life to merge in the sky. Vertically aligned public spaces offer more space for gathering, talking, and moving through spaces. Public and private functions exist within and without each other in a new dissolved way. This system of circulation, program separation, and public space, creates a new type of community where the experience of those passing through, working, or living within it becomes integrated. Social interaction increases as a result of dissolving the public and private. The experience of Sham Shui Po no longer exists solely in black or white, but also tones of gray. Read the rest of this entry »