Wang Jingyi, Shao Xutao
China

0126-0

Urban air pollution has been a long-standing problem in China. Solutions have been drafted many times, but in such urban status, simply increasing green areas is infeasible due to the high cost of land. Oxygen produced by plants will be diluted by the huge urban fabric. Thus, the concept CITY LUNG –providing air cleaning devices to each individual building emerges in such a background. It uses flexible material to build exterior and structure, blows fresh air into buildings by expanding the membranes. The variable shape will benefit the scenery of the city simultaneously. Thus, it builds a genuine green utopia in the firm, gray and rules-based urban concrete forest.

Inspired by the structure of Chlorella cells, double-layer structure formed two coats of space within the building, as the two steps in CITY LUNG’s air purification. The principle is as the alveolar structure inside the lung. Arrange a variety of plants within the ball to make the building a vertical forest. The main body consist of tensed member, which is different from the supporting structure of traditional architecture.

The internal structure uses tensed members as the main body, hangs spherical glass bulbs in the air. The prototypes are plant fruits and microbial cells. Moreover, the component itself create interesting space and rich light effect at the same time.

Due to the impact of construction technology, traditional buildings are always somehow bulky. CITY LUNG can be built in unique non-linear structure with the help of new materials and constructing ways.

Regarding space created by flexible structure, traditional elements like corridors and elevators cannot meet the complex requirements of organization. So, the traffic within the building uses tensed structure, connecting different space by bridges and telphers, to meet the complex traffic demands.

To meet the function of breathing, CITY LUNG uses flexible membrane, which has contraction ability, to build exterior maintenance structure. This type of material has developed rapidly in recent years, owning not only high strength, but can also expand and contract within the change of temperature or current.

Meanwhile, the elastic membrane structure can control the access of air easily. Spherical space is hold by steel cable and net structure. Since each bubble is independent in the system, it is possible to create a different internal environment of them. Each small glass bubble forms a self-sufficient ecosphere by allocating animal and plant species, and using independent climate regulating device in the closed space.

Every part of the CITY LUNG is filled with excitement. In the rule-based concrete forest, it is like a freedom fighter, breaking the oppression. The translucent exterior structure attracts people’s attention, forming a sharp contrast with surroundings. Read the rest of this entry »

Slimmest Minimalist Titanium Pen

By:  | September - 22 - 2017

Ti-writing

Los Angeles design studio ensso unveils the titanium edition of  their minimalist UNO pen– a writing instrument with a simple and refined aesthetic with the utmost attention to detail. The design has been stripped down of all unnecessary components and with only 5mm in diameter it is one of the slimmest pens ever manufactured. Yet, it is amazingly comfortable to use because its grip section which doubles as a twisting cap is wider, like a traditional wooden pencil. The innovative cap moves up and down to protect or expose the pen tip. UNO accepts standard D-1 ink refills, which are widely available worldwide from many different manufacturers. It comes equipped with a super smooth 0.4mm black gel ink cartridge.

The aluminum edition of UNO was unveiled in 2016 to critical acclaim and was included in the permanent collection of design museums worldwide. The titanium edition has been re-engineered according to the new material properties with the intention to last a lifetime. This edition is exclusive to Kickstarter and won’t be available at retail.

Established in 2014, ensso has received the Red Dot Award, the Good Design Award, and the ICFF Studio Award.

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Nanomatrix Skyscraper

By:  | September - 22 - 2017

Shahar Polachek, Noy Ilan, Ben Kahana
Israel

0121-0

Our world changes constantly. Changes in recent years are equivalent to changes that took decades in the last century. Technology is evolving and its use intensifies in every aspect of our lives. Society and culture are changing at the speed of light. But this process seems to skip the field of architecture.

One hundred years ago, we used to communicate with letters and Morse. Nowadays, trillions of gigabytes of information flow every second between distant locations on our planet, without any complications. In contrast, architecture remains almost the same – a constant skeleton on which systems are tacked. When one wishes to make a difference in architecture or urban fabric, a significant problem emerges – the amount of waste produced in the demolition of one building is huge (27,000 tons on average in New York) and no more than 60% of this waste can be recycled. Any changes will involve great amounts of waste and an enormous amount of power. The current system makes it barely possible to manipulate and match architecture to other fields in people’s lives.

In 2017’s Manhattan, about half of the buildings are more than a hundred years old. If we wanted to keep the city relevant for today’s needs and habits, the waste that cannot be recycled from the ruins of these buildings would cover about 33% of Manhattan. Another problem is the very crowded urban fabric which makes it difficult with to cope with change and urban renewal.

The use of Nanotechnology in architecture will open new possibilities. We would be able to choose spaces which will provide any unexpected need at any specific time, and to provide a solution which changes and evolve over time according to the needs of the evolving population. The bureaucratic way of planning and the dependency on architects and constructors would disappear and a new, free age of architecture will arise. Read the rest of this entry »

Waterfall Skyscraper

By:  | September - 15 - 2017

Chen Cao
China

0117-0

Around the world, waterfalls are found commonly. Many waterfalls have enormous gravitational potential energy. To convert the gravitational potential of waterfalls to work, as a sustainable energy source, is a key concept of my design. I experiment a completely new concept to utilize a precisely designed structure as a medium of energy flow and a bridge connecting people and natural. It is also an attempt to establish a self-sustained structure on extreme terrain.

Background
The over dependence on coal and petroleum has made globe environmental issues, such as acid rain and greenhouse gases. They destroyed natural environment. The use of nuclear energy is associated with high cost and general concerns of public. Radioactive isotopes as main fuel of nuclear reactor is also unsustainable. While population is blooming, usable land is constant deceasing. The idea of Waterfall Tower could be a solution.

Location
Waterfall Tower could be located on the Iguassu Falls cross the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguassu Falls is the biggest one in southern America, and it is also the widest in world. Its width is about 4 kilometers. The difference in height is ranged between 60 and 82 meter. The flow rate is 1756 CUMEC. The ideal locations to build Water Tower are water falls such as, the Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls. Read the rest of this entry »

Shinjuku Escapist’s Skyscraper

By:  | August - 29 - 2017

Yi-Yun Lin, Jing Guo, Narek Mirzaei, Dung Minh Le
United States

0112-0

The representation of architecture in a city is the representation of its people. A tightly packed formation of buildings illustrated a system of human networks. Such cluster of networks illustrates the efficiency of the society, but it can also be cruel. As at times pure functionality is what a city becomes.

In many districts inside Tokyo Metropolis, one can notice formalities, traditions, selflessness for the greater good, and obedience to the strict societal norms remained persistent as the age long guiding principles in society that many citizens seemingly have no escape of. These guiding principles had made the society into an invisible beast, dominating over the general population. Individuals who cannot function to a certain standards will be shunned upon by the peers, by family, and by society. The daily burden of doing the best you could only to fit into the surrounding environment builds up within the individual. Traversing through the streets, the expression-less pedestrians, the cold concrete jungles and the formality of large building facades only sets a reminder that there are limited options for self-expression and obstacles for true human connection. The true connection an individual can really embrace are from people in the similar situation, people who also seek escapism, a temporary escape to a world that is kind, connective, and understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

Tokyo Forest Skyscraper

By:  | August - 7 - 2017

Silvia Angeli, Sophie Angrilli
Italy

0096-0

The project is located in the southern part of Tokyo, Japan. The area is adjacent to Hamarikyu Gardens where the Skyscraper wants to stand out against the adjoining buildings. The project’s goal is to show and help the huge problem of high suicide’s rate among young people (6-24) in the city of Tokyo. This problem is affecting Japanese’s population for many decades; the origin of this vast problematic, according to our analysis, lies in the society itself. Individualistic culture, lack of people’s care and strong competition inside the educational system are driving young people to develop strong feelings of anxiety and pressure to stand out in order to gain a position in the world of work. The fear of failure is not challenged with the support of family and friends but, on the contrary, is repressed until becoming fatal. Indeed the day with the highest number of suicides is the first day of school. Moreover, Japanese’s culture has not a concept of soul as is known in occidental culture, so that suicide is seen as a solution and preferred to failure. That’s why the location of the building has also been chosen according to the distance with the main schools. Read the rest of this entry »

Bin Yan, Jiahui Guo
United States

0090-0

This skyscraper project intends to propose and experiment a new folding prototype of informal urbanization in one of the largest and most complicated metropolitan cities in the world—Beijing.

We are inspired from a provocative science fiction novel named “Folding Beijing” by a Chinese writer Ms. Hao Jingfang. This fiction depicts a serious whereas unsurprising future of Beijing, when the city sustain more than ten times of its current population, that different groups of people are segregated spatially and chronologically. In fact, this fiction might not be as surrealistic as it might suggest, according our investigation, there are more than 3.2 million people in Beijing who have to live and work during the night. They, together with their families, contribute to the urban metabolism such as street cleaning, facility maintenance, logistics, etc. They sacrifice their biological clock to minimize the impact of their works for the city’s majority, however, their contribution, as well as their weakness of life are always ignored, they are losing their homes, the shanty neighborhoods, which are gradually encroached and erased under the capital-driven urban sprawl. Read the rest of this entry »

Honeycomb Refugee Skyscraper

By:  | July - 26 - 2017

2017 Skyscraper Competition
Editors’ Choice

Nael Badr, Noel Maestro, Hagar Elahmar
Qatar

0080-0

LOCATION

Jordan’s Za’atari, the first official refugee camp that opened in July 2012, gets the most news coverage because it is the destination for newly-arrived refugees. It is also the most concentrated settlement of refugees: Approximately 80,000 Syrians live in Za’atari, making it one of the country’s largest cities. This location was convenient for the project as the refugees will avoid the need to face death at sea for trying to cross to Europe, will be familiar with the climate, language and there’s already a huge settlement with a need for further expansion.

REFUGEE CRISIS

Syria’s civil war has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.  Families are struggling to survive inside Syria, or make a new home in neighboring countries. Others are risking their lives on the way to Europe, hoping to find acceptance and opportunity. And harsh winters and hot summers make life as a refugee even more difficult. At times, the effects of the conflict can seem overwhelming.

CONCEPT

By looking at the current Syrian Refugee Crisis, there is a need for architects to interfere and research innovative solutions, these solutions can be used in any like crisis that may occur. The project approach is to find a solution not only to resolve the current Syrian Refugee Crisis but also to plan ahead for rebuilding the country after the current situation hopefully gets resolved. Read the rest of this entry »

Taming The Thames

By:  | July - 11 - 2017

2017 Skyscraper Competition
Editors’ Choice

Guan Wong
United Kingdom

0025-0

The Living Thames Barrier and The Pursuit of Perpetual Power

This project tackles some of London’s polemic issues – the underdeveloped city and infrastructure of East London, the preparation of the estuary airport and the need for a new flood defence barrier. The current Thames barrier is under large stress due to the rising sea level and unexpected North Sea surges, a new Thames barrier is required to protect London from flooding. The Living Thames Barrier challenges the typology of a conventional barrier where enormous investments are solely spent on a defence system. Instead, the intention of the project is to enquire into the possibility of using the area over the river to create a new barrier city with renewable energy that can sustain or possibly payback these large scale defence investments. There is currently a heated debate surrounding the possibility of relocating Heathrow airport to a new airport terminal in the Thames estuary. The Living Thames Barrier would alleviate people’s concerns by providing the necessary transport, flood defence and workforce infrastructure required as a stepping stone to potentially make a new Thames estuary airport viable.

This scheme would provide cheap and renewable energy for the working and living environments of the corporations that would inhabit this barrier. The Living Thames Barrier be a vital catalyst for the economic development of East London. This is due to the new area after the barrier that is protected within the flood insurance scheme as well as the attraction of large corporations and their associated workforces. In summary, the Living Thames Barrier will provide an elegant and integrated solution to the issues that are currently seen as unrelated. It relates these issues with one another by: developing East London, a defence barrier, a stepping stone to a viable airport as well as a way of living with completely renewable and sustainable energy. Read the rest of this entry »