Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Dimo Ivanov


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

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

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

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

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Wong Tat Hon, Ening Liu Yee Ning
Hong Kong


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

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Jillian Blakey
United States


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

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

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

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

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Sergej Pogorelov, Siarhei Kuratski, Andrei Mikhalenko, Anastasiya Neumiarzhytskaya, Dimitri Kiselev


The cities everyone wants to live in should be clean and safe, possess efficient public services, provide cultural stimulation and dynamic economy. These are not the cities we live in. We imagined what a clean and safe city would look like concretely and what functions it will carry. In modern urban environment, ‘growth’ is a more complicated term than simple replacement of what existed before. Our vision embraces past and present, old and new, bounding the city and its vertical continuation. The principle is in creating a fully integrated system, where every part has a place in an overall design.

The idea of alternative city landscape solves the problems of the present and past by acting as an independent set of neighbourhoods. The net provides spaces for buildings, green zones and its own transport network, therefore serving as a foundation for construction. Flexible and open for everybody, the structural grid offers variability in zoning the spaces across the surface, depending on the city typology and layout. The system balances the environment, both created and polluted by the city below, with its self-regulatory and intelligent systems.

City analysis and further investigation into cultural, social and economical issues revealed the most common and relevant points of concern within the population. In order to confront them, we took into consideration not only predictions of the future urban development stages, but also what the consequences of these moves will be. As such, one of the predictions stated, that an enormous increase of inhabitants will require more vertical living than exists and therefore, the structures will be built over without any respect to the past and the future. Porosity of the territory can be stated as sacral in terms of human mind being claustrophobic within endless city walls, lack of green areas and polluted air, excessive use of electricity in order to maintain the light level, overcrowded pedestrian lanes and streets. Nothing makes a distinction look more precise than comparison between lifeless city and the one with such qualities as functionality and emotions.

The aim of alternative landscape is to provide people with a lively sustainable city with welcoming environment. Such quality as ‘lively’ stands for varied and complex city life, where recreational and social activities are mixed with transit areas. The layout of programmes as such includes offices, parks, residential blocks and parking spaces.

In order to use the space efficiently, the decision to combine green and living areas is incorporated into structures with changed orientation upside down. This move allows the growth of trees to be efficient and trees to be feeded naturally by sun and rain. Serving as lungs for the lower city, the green roofs create a landscape that covers the area as a forest.

Environmental qualities of the alternative city are increased by novel technologies and programmatic forces, leading to solution of several city issues, such as lack of light on the back streets. To balance the light penetration into the lower city levels and to enrich this, our net consists of pipe solar collectors that diffuse light in the directions of both dark and inhabited areas.

The communication between zones and local buildings is carried out by suspended train stations and tube routes. This also deals with the transportation between two cities on different levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Santiago Hector Raul Miret, Federico Eduardo Menichetti, Melisa Brieva, Gaston Horacio Hermida


There are spaces in the city that are of great importance. Historical places, but also popular ones. Spaces where you can work but also pray. This places sometimes coexists in one single surface. But how can one surface respond to different activities in a coherent way? How can a place be used to massively protest and also be a calm and peaceful recreational area?

The “Plaza de Mayo” of Buenos Aires City is a multi-activity surface. Historically that square was the witness of commercial activities and important political events. In 1580 Buenos Aires founder Juan de Garay planted there the symbol of justice. In 1816 the Argentinean Independence was declare in that same place 6 years after the revolution that was developed there too (on May 25, from where it obtains its name). Every president was welcomed and farewell there.

The project presents a journey from a generic, undifferentiated model (the “Plaza de Mayo” actual scheme) to a series of differentiated surfaces that develop the five more important collective activities that are carried out in the square. This differentiation diagrams are activated according to contextual conditions present in the surroundings and inside the square. The five differentiated squares respond to:

  1. The work square. But the “Plaza de Mayo” is also a place for work. People with notebooks or just books sit there every day just to relax and work in a green environment. This square is connected directly with the most important financial and commercial offices all around.
  2. The government square. We´ve already mention the political relevance of “Plaza de Mayo”. This is engaged because of the presence of the nation´s governmental house called “Casa Rosada”. This is the epicenter of all political events, protests and celebrations.
  3. The religious square. The “Catedral de Buenos Aires” it´s a very important and historical place for Christianity in Argentina, that´s why we are using its importance to affect this third surface. Nevertheless, this is not a square intended just for Christianity, but for religion itself. A square for the faith.
  4. The popular square. “Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo” is a group of grandmothers that lost their grandsons during the Military government that stroke Argentina from 1976 to 1983. This is a very important popular and social achievement that helps people remember the dark background of the nation.
  5. The transport square. “Plaza de Mayo” is the connectivity node of three metro lines and several bus stations. In this sense the surface must react to this environment in order to produce a surface that allows the 30.000 passengers, that go through it every day, get to their destinies in a proper way.

The Emergent Activities. The relationships between each surface will generate the emergence of proliferated surfaces of subsidiary programs. This programs are secondary activities that relay on the primary functions of each square, producing an Skyscraper of primary activities surrounded by secondary or support activities, consolidating a complex vertical scenario.

All things considered, “The Multilayered Square” is an active multi-surface that responds to a variety of different programs and activities not only of the Plaza de Mayo specifically, but also of squares all around the world. We can consider “The Yokohama Port Terminal” as a transport square, or the “Mecca” as the religious square by excellence. But also we can find governmental squares such as Piazza del Campidoglio, or popular ones like Piazza Navona. In this sense, “The Multilayered Square” does not pretend to replicate them, but to differentiate the generic scheme of the square producing subsidiary and new activities as an emergence of the project´s process. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Yungi Jung, Jeong Gwang Hwang
South Korea


With the rapid growth of world population over the last century, man-made deserts have ever expanded worldwide. Our continuous overuse of available land for intensive farming, feeding livestock, and logging trees has caused severe degradation of soil that turns once-fertile lands into barren deserts.

The consequences are detrimental. Each year, 12 million hectares of land are lost, cutting down global food production and aggravating poverty in rural areas. In the deserts of China—which is the primary site of the Desertscraper—dust storms blow eastward polluting the air of the cities of China and of neighboring countries like Korea and Japan. They even affect the West Coast of the US across the Pacific. The increased carbon emissions, moreover, are precipitating global warming.

As the world population is expected to increase up to 10 billion in just 50 years, restoring healthy soil and vegetation to reverse desertification is a matter of utmost urgency.

The Desertscraper is a solar-powered mobile skyscraper that restores healthy vegetation in man-made deserts and facilitates long-term growth of green areas. The skyscraper counteracts the ever-growing threat of desertification through two major operations: transplanting greenery and enhancing the general quality of the degraded soil.

First and foremost, the Desertscraper operates as a gigantic, regional transplanter that transplants greenery as it rolls along the skirts of a desert. The plants are grown in the adjacent in-house farm, and are prepared in the form of “plant pot modules,” filled with compost and equipped with water supply system. Assembled along the internal circulation of the skyscraper, the modules are planted into the soil as the external belt comes in direct contact with the ground.

Additional features of the Desertscraper are designed to enhance the general quality of the soil. Specifically, they are modeled after a series of natural effects produced by wild herds, whose short-term trampling, grazing, and dunging of an area are proven to boost the fertility of the soil, constituting a natural part of dryland ecosystems. Because they continuously migrate to new areas and do not return until their dung and urine have been absorbed, the effect spreads quickly and the land is given ample time to rest.

Similarly, the front of the Desertscraper prunes and ingests existing dead vegetation, clearing the ground for newly planted greenery. This also prevents oxidation that emits CO2 into the air. At the same time, the bumps (or the “Hooves”) of the outer belt “tramples” and breaks hardened soil crusts that cause erosion and moisture loss. Inside, the waste materials from the land, from the in-house farm, and from the human occupants of the skyscraper are amassed and recycled for compost. Rich with nutrients just like the animal manure, the compost is then supplied to the ground as part of the modular plant pots as well as via the discharger at the rear.

The Desertscraper comprises total six sets of operational gears and five adjoining farms in-between, amplifying its coverage laterally. Constantly moving and programmed to return at the optimal time of the year, the traveling Desertscraper maximizes the efficiency as well as the effect of restoration. Read the rest of this entry »


AA Visiting School Slovenia is a two-week, experimental architecture course organized in Slovenia as a part of the Visiting School programme at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London.

This is the third version of the programme following the success of the past two years at the same location in Vitanje. It will also be the final course at this location, concluding the trilogy of extensive research and production of nanotourist strategies in Vitanje. Continuing the previous years’ agenda of nanotourist strategies developed for Vitanje and KSEVT, we will think about, design and make diverse accommodation and experience modules for a newly set-up concept of a diffused hotel for Vitanje.

The summer school will take place at the new, highly specific building KSEVT, Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies, a bold landmark in the tiny Slovenian village of Vitanje of 800 residents that has welcomed over 25,000 visitors in its first year of activity. KSEVT has a public significance and generates social, cultural, and scientific activities, with fixed and temporary exhibitions, conferences and club/study activities. There is an open need and an exposed potential of Vitanje to become a case study of developing an extreme set of bottom up strategies or prototypes to challenge the conventional notion of tourism. The natural condition of Slovenia as a fragile but diverse landscape and the local phenomenon of obsessive individualism provide principal conditions for nanotourism – a creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of conventional tourism, defined as a participatory, locally oriented, bottom-up alternative.

when: two weeks, Friday 8 – Friday 22 July 2016
where: Vitanje, Slovenia
venue: KSEVT – Cultural Centre of EU Space Technologies (www.ksevt.eu)
how: creative group work

programme website: www.slovenia.aaschool.ac.uk
application: www.aaschool.ac.uk/STUDY/ONLINEAPPLICATION
facebook: www.facebook.com/aavsslovenia
nanotourism: www.nanotourism.org

01__DONT PANIC - photo Rok Dezelak 8



03__PLAYGROUND KSEVT round foto Ajda Schmidt 13


Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Zhu Lan


Plan A of Maracaibo is a plan for treating lake water. In the base, there is thunder, lightning and storms. However, the skyscraper has a huge sail that may generate power through wind forces. In the mean time, current flows towards the conductor screen on the roof of the building to form a magnetic field, through which lightning is constantly attracted. Collected lightning passes through an inverter device inside the skyscraper and is thus transformed into alternating current. Some current is transmitted to cities through submarine cables, while some is used as electricity for the skyscraper itself. In the lower part of the skyscraper, there is a device for purifying and desalinizing the lake water. Collected current makes energy available for desalinizing water of the lake by electrodialysis, while pumped the lake water is continuously purified. Plan A intends to reduce the extent to which petroleum is extracted from the bottom of the lake and pollution with the energy gathered from lightning. Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

GuoChao Deng, Jiong Lin, You Zhou, Yang Li, GuoFu Wang, XiaoLong Liu


In the process of urbanization in Nigeria, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening gradually, which makes a large number of homeless people gathered in Gamma cocoa community and turned this community into a slum on the sea. It is a very extreme case in the process of urbanization in Africa. There is no traditional road, no land as well as modern architecture, but it has developed into a slum of about 200000 people. Surrounded by foul smelling of the sea, creaky wooden houses are everywhere, and each wooden house are crammed six to ten people who are completely ignored by the government. In the official map, Nigeria along the coast is uninhabited, including Gamma cocoa community.

Now the Gamma cocoa community may become the real unmanned area at any time. It’s possible that the region be swallowed up by the sea thanks to the rise of sea level caused by Global warming. Faced with such a situation, the government only adopts a measure of demolitions. There are no resettlement measures as well as subsidies, as a result, a great quantity of people became homeless and are scattered on various parts of Africa.

According to the present situation of the Gamma cocoa community, we put forward a proposal; we try to improve the dilemma by architecture. We will centralize the original tiled slums in high-rise buildings, which can not only solve the waste and pollution problems of the sea caused by traditional flat sea slum but also create a better, more secure and healthier living environment for the poor in the slum.

We also hope to unite all of us and construct a “desperate slum” into a “hopeful slum” by our hand. At the same time, we also hope to make propaganda to the world through our efforts,“ Nigeria along the coast are not uninhabited, we live here, we are not rubbish, we are as equal as you are, and we need to be respected by the government” Read the rest of this entry »

Editor’s Choice
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Wei Ke Li, Sheng Jiang, Xing Chun Zhi Zhang

Nowadays, there is a group of people who are out of the society, because of living in remote areas but transportation is not convenient. So they are gradually isolated from the world. Poor medical and traffic standards result in the reduction of local population. Located in the central area of North Guangxi Rongshui County, the area is 50 kilometers long and 30-35 km wide, with general height of 1500 meters. The Mount Yuanbaoshan is 2081meters above sea level and it is the third highest mountain in Guangxi province. In this valley, people who live in poverty are difficult to communicate with the outside world. In recent years, natural disasters have become worse, and it takes too long time to escape from the town. So when the nature disaster come or the people get sick, they are sentenced to death , so we have to solve the problem.

There is a river flows through the valley, the river is the source of the water for the local people. Usually, the amount of water is relatively stable, but the water tends to rise when the rainfall becomes large. If it keeps rainning, the water level will become higher and higher, resulting in floods , landslides and other natural disasters. Many villagers have lost their life for this reason. We thought of making a‘master asembling station’ . When natural disasters occur, every household can reach the station by the device of the refugees which prepared for every houses quickly. The “station” has many small units for people to live in.I n this way we can avoid life’s loss in a better way. In the small container, we provide a place for the villagers to rest and reside in. Even when there is no disaster, the villagers also can go to any places where has medical treatment or other facilities by the devices we designed. The behavior of station looks like dandelion, so we call it ’dandelion vessel’. We made it possible to combine these villages and to transport the people from the bottom to the master station, which can transfer the people who are in emergency while contacting with the outside environment very well. So that people can adapt to nature better, rather than to reform the natural.

The master station’ is made by menbrane and tensile, every house will given a rescues unit which can rise to the station when they need. And the surface of the ‘master station’ is made of strings and tensile, and the menbrane will be inflated to a inflation balloon units which can link to rescue units to get away form station. Read the rest of this entry »