Arch Skyscraper

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Wenjia Li, Ran Huo, Jing Ju


Manhattan is a paradise of skyscrapers, which not only decorate the city’s skyline, but also provide more usable space for people living there. This design scheme starts from a most basic architectural component, an arch that undergoes transformations through the changes of light, human behavior, and other factors to form different spaces/units, which overlap one another vertically to form the final design.

Arch and hidden transportation
In both, Middle Ages cathedrals in Europe and ancient pagodas in China, we found that double-layer arches could create a mezzanine, which we cunningly combined with vertical transportation, which works exceptionally well to service spaces. This hidden space inspire us invent a new relationship between arch and transportation.

Arch and spatial transparency
Either in a Gothic cathedral or a Chinese Buddhist pagoda, lighting is altered by the height and span of arches. In this project, we reconsolidate the acknowledged form of the arch and tend to reinvent a new arch system that is defined by direction, dimension, and memorial distortion. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Zhonghan Huang, Wen Zhu
United States


Tracing back to two hundred years ago, urban growth came with the demolition of old buildings, which then were replaced with clusters of new larger and denser buildings. The original residents, in many cases, were forced to move out and were reimbursed for a monetary loss. Urbanization was based on this constant cycle.

Today, however, there is a new era that people have been waiting for but was not imagined. Contrary to demolishing old buildings to achieve urbanization, the early generation legislated a rule that all of new constructions cannot be built at the sacrifice of demolishing old ones. The past buildings remain in physical forms various mirrors to tell who we used to be and where we had been. As a return, the original residents of old buildings are able to stay, to hold high value of properties, and to enjoy the majestic view. In order to keep the past and to accommodate the future on limited land, every generation starts to construct new buildings from the bottom of existing ones. Consequently, older buildings constantly rest on top of newer blocks. They gradually, generation by generation, penetrate clouds and become memorials beyond the sky. Read the rest of this entry »

Pod Vending Machine Skyscraper

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Haseef Rafiei
United Kingdom


City’s Affinity for Automata
Tokyo has long been the leading city for robotics and manufacturing. The city’s fascination towards science and engineering has changed how society interact with machines. Its culture and social patterns have long revolved around its obsession with automation and its high regard for automated systems. The proliferation of vending machines in Tokyo is impossible to ignore. They are on nearly every block in Tokyo down alleyways, in front of convenience stores and almost in every neighbourhood. As a result, these machines have minimised the cost of human labour, eliminating the need for sales clerks. The Pod Vending Machine explores the possibility of converting the real estate industry into an automated vending system.

Building on Demand
Abandonment of construction projects remains a serious problem in the construction industry. It results in the wastage of materials and resources. It affects not only the immediate house buyers but also other project players and the general public. In some occasions, it also involves the use of public fund for the revival of abandoned projects. In response to the problem, the scheme proposes a building is constantly under construction: A tower that grows in parallel with the city’s housing demand. Borrowing the Japanese maxim Wabi-sabi, the building remains an ‘incomplete infrastructure’ that changes and adapts over time.

A skyscraper that functions as a home dispenser. It continuously grows according to the city’s housing demand. The building production method adopts an automated system. Ready-to-use pods are manufactured, plugged onto site and can be purchased instantly. A pod printer that 3D prints modular dwellings is installed above the building. The printer will dispense pods and will grow higher as the building grows. Inspired by a commonly used machine that dispenses nearly all of life’s necessities for the people of Tokyo, this vast framed structure aims to house a large number of pods equipped with basic amenities for residential and commercial use.

The design of the infrastructure suggests a dynamic environment where spaces for social interaction is established in several pockets throughout the building. The spatial structure of the building is designed to be flexible and mobile. Modules within the complex can move and regroup through mobile cranes and mechanical arms. The frame structure remains a constantly growing and developing spatial complex. The series of frames and individual pods are printed by 3D printer functions as the subsequent local consolidation and change.

The pods will be manufactured on-site creating an extremely efficient construction process. The pods are then transported below by cranes and plugged onto the megastructure. The positioning of the pods calculated by the building’s automated system. The 3D Printer which is constantly moving upwards receives materials that are pumped up by hydraulics on the sides of the building. Pods that are abandoned, after a certain period of time, will be dismantled and kept in storage or brought back to the printer – creating a closed loop.

The building creates a system that celebrates individuality as each pod can be customized differently according to user preference. The users are able to customize the pods based on their needs. They can do so by choosing from an array of ready-to-use sub-pods which are divided into basic amenities. For example, a user that does not require a kitchen, can choose to exclude it from the selection. When a family expands, they can choose to purchase an additional pod and reconfigure existing sub-pods which can be connected instantly. Aside from rental pods, the megastructure will also house small offices for start-up businesses and commercial centers that will grow within the structure. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Luca Beltrame, Saba Nabavi Tafreshi
Italy, Iran


Extract from the scientists report.
Planet Earth, March 16th 2039.

The world is a safe place again.
We went through the time when the complex patterns representing the world were doomed to collapse, climate was changing at a rate exceeding most scientific forecasts; oceans warming, air pollution and climate change were caught in a discernible self-boosting loop. Global warming was becoming catastrophic and irreversible. Thereupon, we grasped the urge to take action.

Carbon dioxide – the abundant greenhouse gas and primary driver of global warming – levels in Antarctica raised to an unprecedented number in 4 million years. “The far southern hemisphere was the last place on the earth where Carbon dioxide had not yet reached this mark”, Peter Tans, lead scientist, NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network (June 2016).

Climate migration, was not a prospective hypothesis, but the harsh reality. According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, an annual average of 21.5 million people had been forcibly displaced by weather-related sudden onset hazards – such as floods, storms, wildfires, extreme temperature – each year since 2008. Thousands of others flee their homes in the context of slow-onset hazards, such as droughts or coastal erosion linked to sea level rise. Millions of people were foreseen to encounter migration movements and as a result, pursue habitat, expand the occupied territories and eventually spoil intact wild areas of the world.

But there was still hope.
Global collaboration and unity of nations targeting these worldwide aggravating circumstances by sharing technologies and knowledge, led to birth of project HEAL-BERG.

First HEAL-BERG unveiling ceremony: Antarctica May 27th 2022
Our vision for HEAL-BERG is to create independent complexes (in terms of energy and mobility), designed to cease, heal and reverse the process of climate change and its impacts on the earth. We went on a mission to collect some of the most recent innovative technology breakthroughs from all around the world, and combine them as elements of a greater embodiment operating as a whole to achieve a goal, survival. Our technologies are mainly functioning in four criteria, and have been proven possible in practice:

Cleansing and Purification
Converting carbon dioxide to oxygen by zapping it with laser (University of California, Davis)
Ocean water cooling

Energy Generation
Salinity Gradient Power: Generating electricity by two water streams with a salinity difference
Generating electricity from wind power: our specific aerodynamic design to channel the wind path through the turbines

Building Material
3D form of graphene (one of the strongest lightweight materials known) using extracted carbon from the process of converting CO2 to O2 (MIT)

Hyperloop: fast access and connectivity
Drones: mobility of residential units between different complexes

Utilization of so-called technologies is not only to face the current environmental issues – such as air and water pollution and temperature rise – but also to provide residency for victims of the late changes, given the fact that HEAL-BERG is a source of clean energy, sustainability and entirely exempt from pollutions.

Climate change is a global matter, as well as its impacts; by addressing the fundaments (decreasing CO2 levels and producing clean energy), using high-speed transportation systems (Drones and Hyperloop) and requiring the least of preconditions (brine and sea water), HEAL-BERG is a unique solution overlooking all the physical borders; however, with the impacts not distributed evenly on our planet, there are some critical spots based on CO2 concentration, temperature rise, level of pollution, etc. that could become first priority for our location proposal.

We can succeed at only one condition, we have to act now. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Adriann Jeevananthan
United Kingdom


Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, with a population of 4.5 million, with the city’s stable and high economic growth of 6.5% per annum over the last decade, it has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Due to large amounts of investments being injected into the construction, communication and mining sectors, Dar es Salaam is now prioritising infrastructural and commercial developments throughout the city. For this reason, many informal settlements are being destroyed for development, displacing hundreds and thousands of people, getting further and further away from the city’s infrastructure.

Due to Dar es Salaam’s huge shift in economy, the poverty rate has declined to approximately 28%. However, one in six people still live below the national poverty line, almost unchanged due to the high population rate.  While the city is growing, it is also rapidly urbanizing, but countless cannot afford to live within the city which leads to falling into informal settlements. 80% of informal settlements are overcrowded, lack clean water and adequate sanitary and are surrounded by garbage and toxic materials. With the expanding population, these problems will only escalate, putting more people’s livelihoods at risk.

The proposal seeks to address these problems by adapting and reconfiguring an alternative solution for slum-dwellers, by the means of a ‘Vertical Village’. This vertical village aims to provide a higher quality of life to the inhabitants, eliminating rough and unsanitary conditions for a cleaner and safer environment. The design also recognises the key factors associates with slum communities – autonomy, flexibility and a strong sense of community. This offers dwellers the opportunity to develop in synchronisation with the rest Dar es Salaam.

The boundaries of dwelling, work/office spaces, education and childcare, healthcare, leisure in one building have been blurred by diffusing the programmes, rather than isolating them within different sections, creates a distributed resilience, a rich and interactive environment which echoes atmospheres of slum communities. Additionally, each type of function is assigned a colour inspired by the highly saturated Tingatinga painting style, native to Dar es Salaam.

A vast amount of high-rise buildings in hot climates mimic western models with sealed facades, reliant on air-conditioning and have little solar shading. This proposal intends to protect inhabitants and take advance of the weather conditions of Dar es Salaam. The building provides a naturally ventilated, perforated, indoor-outdoor and shaded model to suite the tropical climate.

The project is modeled by slum-dwellers autonomous lives, by being self-sufficient, in mimicking nature’s closed loop system. The Vertical Village is constructed above an unused swamp, which will take advantage of the water by the means of agriculture and aquaculture. Small pods are used to create nested ecologies, broadening the variety of vegetation grown in Dar es Salaam and Tanzania, offering people a more nutritious diet.

A crucial part of the scheme is to teach occupants about safer and cleaner living, so they can share the knowledge and skills they have been offered to other communities. Small hubs of work stations, dwellings, leisure, childcare and healthcare facilities will be erect in and around the city and further, creating translocal, transnational and transglobal civic networks between poor communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Mountain Skyscraper in Yosemite

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Ryan Ibarra
United States


The Mountain is a skyscraper located in California at Yosemite National Park. The structure reaches almost 3,000 feet in the year and is conceptualized to exist congruously with the existing environment.

The illusion of separation between man and nature continues to be perpetuated in the zeitgeist of a culture where forward thinking and technological advancement come at the expense of our environment. A relationship constrictively defined as occupant (man) and habitat (nature), the general consensus is that one is recurrently intruding on the other. In the pursuit to reconcile this dichotomy, The Mountain generates a spacial and functional relationship between context and program. To cultivate a harmonious environment, the structure combines synthetic and natural resources that equilibrate the necessities of man and nature.

The Mountain takes the primitive idea of naturally cavernous space and combines it with the form of a modern skyscraper. Using a grid to establish a framework for the design, the mountain cliffside becomes the host for the spaces to be carved out of. These extrusions are negative spaces embedded in the towering natural structure of the earth. Individually, the habitats are able to occupy different programs varying in scale. When aggregated together the volumes form a monolithic skyscraper reaching thousands of feet into the the air.

Against the background of a natural environment, the project seeks to encourage observation, exploration, preservation, and research. As an Observatory and Conservatory, science becomes the foundation for the program to thrive. It can respect a sensitive natural landscape and support mankind’s curiosity for knowledge and discovery. The goal is to begin an architectural typology that exemplifies the potential for a balanced environment. The Mountain draws from a primitive design concept, but in doing so is able to achieve a built environment that is forward-thinking in a natural and technical way. Read the rest of this entry »

Giant Sequoia Skyscraper

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Ko Jinhyeuk, Cheong Changwon, Cho Kyuhyung, Choi Sunwoong
South Korea


Human desires are endless and incapable of coexisting with nature. Crying in agony, nature seems to fight back with worldwide natural disasters. Deforestation is one of the worse crimes on nature and also one of the main causes of natural disasters. Now it is the time to change, to stop exploiting nature and find equilibrium.

The Giant Sequoia in the United States, worshipped by the Native Americans, has been mercilessly destroyed by modernization. Global warming has increased the breeding rate of pests and has shortened the life span of these trees. Moreover, the Giant Sequoia with enormous volume and height does not grow deep roots. When the heartwood, or the structural backbone start to rot, they fall dead by its own weight.

This project attempts to show a new architectural approach to human coexistence with nature, in harmony with the nature’s temporality. The architecture quietly takes place in the empty void of trunks, without hindering the breathtaking landscape formed by the giants. It then becomes active as an artificial organ to replace the trunks rotten away. Only occupied in the void is the minimal gesture necessary for human occupation.

The project attempts to educate visitors about these natural wonders while feeling infinitely small among these giant creatures of 100 meters in height and of 27 centuries of history. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Kristina Rykova


Moscow can’t breathe anymore due to non-stopping traffic jams. The transportation system needs to be improved- radical solutions are needed. The analysis revealed the problem of the underground transportation system is that they lack connection to some metro branches, there are long intervals between trains, and problems with transfers between the stations are frequent. There is also the problem of inability to get from one periphery area to another without passing through the center, that is, the so-called pendulum movement “from the periphery-to the center-to the periphery”.

This problem can be solved by the formation of a new transportation system and the emergence of a new type of transport. To solve this problem has been created additional chords to the existing system on which the train will move. This is a string-rail system, located on poles, like a monorail, but is more environmentally friendly, low-cost, allowing to develop more speed and allow to set support poles wide apart.

Transportation chords will connect disjoint metro station and highway, at the intersection of which must be located multifunctional transport hub, including not only transferring from one type of transport to another, but also the social and cultural functions which are needed in this area. Also multifunctional object should become a new attraction point in the area. The location of the transport hub has been selected at the Vykhino metro station. This is the busiest station of the Moscow metro, because it is the intersection of railways and subways. Also monotonous types of buildings dominate this area and it does not have its point of attraction.

Artistic image

Growing out of the massive stepped foundation the project looks like a  needle aiming at a pain point and spreading its healing effect on the destroyed environment.

On the ground floor there is a train and metro platform from which people can either leave immediately or go to the other floors of the tower. The platform, on which comes monorail is on the 7th floor. In addition to public transport, transportion hub has mechanical tower parking.

Located on the first seven floors of the tower, but also there is a winter garden five floors height, located in the living tower. On the second floor there is a farmer’s market, small trade and cafes, as well as a small public garden in the open air. On the third floor there are sports facilities – swimming pool, climbing wall, outdoor tennis and basketball courts. The fourth and fifth floors are co-working area.

The living tower is located above the monorail platform. Tower structure allows having flats across species. For example, there are floors completely given over 1 apartment of 250m2, there are standard floors where there are 3 apartments, in addition, and there are two-level apartments with their own winter garden.

This object can solve the traffic problems on the city planning level, as well as to become a new point of attraction for the faceless areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Earth Port One

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Catherine He, Celia He


As the rate of space travel increases exponentially and off-Earth settlements multiply, the political and regulatory networks of the human species will likewise expand and diversify. From this growth emerges a new nexus of activity: Earth Port One.

Evolved from the electromagnetic propulsion technology first pioneered for space travel in the ancestral StarTram system, Earth Port One – or simply the Port – is the planet’s foremost spaceport for transporting mass volumes of people and goods between Earth and Deep Space destinations. Its Antarctic location, which allows for the most efficient access to polar orbits, by treaty, remains unclaimed by any single sovereign nation since its discovery. The Port is the result of the largest international joint venture in recorded history and is an icon of human collaboration and creation.

For these reasons, Earth Port One houses the Embassy: a singular Earth bound location which serves as neutral ground for the delegates of various extra-terrestrial agencies to assemble and interact. Whether it is to discuss off-world trade agreements, the establishment of new orbital communities, or the Interplanetary Olympic Games, the Port provides the means and space to host such conversations.

The spine of the Port is divided by elevation into two main volumes: public and private. The public domain begins with the Exchange, a single point of arrival and departure for everyone. From here, travelers may proceed to the spaceport, the airport, or enter the City proper. The first 500 levels of the Port spine are dedicated to a mixture of uses, including a 1600 acre park. The private domain is located beyond the 9km weather breakpoint, at an elevation where for half the year the sun never sets. Levels 501 and above, is home to agricultural facilities, research laboratories, and data centers dedicated to fueling the extra-terrestrial colonization effort.

The Port is many things to many people. To those who have never set foot on Earth, it is the first point of contact on foreign land. To those leaving Earth for another home, it is the last point of contact to familiar cultural and environmental conditions. To those who live and work on site, it provides the infrastructure and amenities of a self-sustaining city. Ultimately, to the citizens of this planet, whose collected efforts and curiosity brought Earth Port One into reality, this megastructure is Earth’s contribution and statement to the expanding intergalactic community. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Rebecca Nathalie Wennerstrand, Mayank Thammalla, Robert Haejun Park
New Zealand


Currently known as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, the on-going Syrian civil war has not only eroded the nation in its entirety but also defaced its cultural identity. Over 11 million people have been displaced in the last five years and 4.8 million refugees have been forced to seek protection in neighboring countries, resulting in a continental scale exodus. What was once a land with a rich history and diverse culture is now a war-torn nation reduced to rubble.

In response to the existing ruined city fabric and architecture, ‘The Silver Lining’ concept proposes a radical approach of process driven conversion of post-war debris into a myriad of raw building material. The proposed mega form line establishes a colossal yet sublime presence above the broken city, adjoining the crumbled fabric through extreme horizontality. The proposal extracts the debris from the city into the mega form 200m above ground level and then deposits it under a series of systematic processes from which the reformed material will be placed back onto ground zero for construction.

This procedure is distinct and isolated from the post war wreckage; to accentuate the creation of the new city typology from the old. The new city will rise above the debris of war to give the Syrian capital: Damascus a new beginning.

The materials used in the building industry and its associated solid wastes account for around half of the wastes generated worldwide. Furthermore, building materials have an environmental impact at every step of the building process; extraction of raw materials, processing, manufacturing, transportation, construction and disposal of material at the end of a building’s life. This project recognizes the immense reserves of building rubble as a result of the war activity and attempts to reprocess it into concrete and distribute it around the affected areas of the city. Current practices of concrete reprocessing involved uncomplicated and well-established crushing techniques which is adopted at a large scale in the proposed mega form.

Alongside the debris conversion, the mega form will in conjunction begin to re-establish a natural landscape by the collection and distribution of water and soil beginning from under its footprint. This secondary function is vital in reconstructing the Syrian agricultural industries thus, aiding the economy to become self-sustaining. The landscape footprint will gradually increase creating a public park for the people of Syria to use for daily activities, agriculture and extract additional building materials.

Future use
The primary purpose of the mega form will be complete once the convertible material has been depleted and recycled into usable building material for the city. The empty mega form can then be retrofitted to become an extension to the Damascus city fabric for various uses the city may be presented with.

The large spaces that were used in converting debris can be adaptively re-used into civic spaces, tertiary institutions, religious sanctuaries, accommodation or new work places. Becoming a usable and reusable typology, allows Syria to revitalize and support its future economy and livelihood.

With it’s restored urban identity, stretches of Damascan skies will be filled with streaks of silver; a beacon to the scattered Syrians to return back home. Read the rest of this entry »