Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Israel López Balan, Gabriel Mendoza Cruz, Ana Saraí Lombardini Hernández, Yayo Melgoza Acuautla

Neza York
Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl or more commonly Ciudad Neza, is a city and municipality of State of Mexico adjacent to the northeast corner of Mexico City. In the 20th Century, the land on which Ciudad Neza sits was under Lake Texcoco and uninhabited. Successful draining of the lake in the early 20th Century created new land, which the government eventually sold into private hands. Today Ciudad Neza is a sprawling city of over one million entirely with modern buildings.

Until the 2000s, most migrants from Mexico to the United States, especially to places like New York, were from poor rural areas. However, since the turn of the century, another wave of immigrants is coming from poor urban areas such as Ciudad Neza.

These immigrants tend to be younger and better educated than their rural counterparts, and tend also to keep separate from them. This is bringing into existence a new Mexican subculture called “Neza York” distinguished by dress, speech and the likelihood of learning English. Businesses with names like Tacos Neza and Neza Grocery have appeared in New York City.

As Mexico City continues to pull water from the aquifer below, its ground is sinking. The subsidence that results from groundwater extraction is a problem all over the world, but is especially dramatic in Mexico City. The aquifer has been under increasing pressure over the last several decades as the city’s population has skyrocketed.

While subsidence has been stabilized in the city center, many parts of the metropolitan area continue to sink. Some parts like Ciudad Neza have sunk more than 30 feet during the last century.

Vicious Circle
Mexico City puts a lot of effort to stop the sinking. In some locations it has caused the sewage lines to become slanted – resulting in the lines running backward. Consequently, the city struggles with flooding during the rainy season. Emergency pumping stations have been built to maintain extraction capacity, but a major solution is still needed.

The water difficulties have become a vicious circle: as the city grows, more water is pumped from the aquifer. As more is pumped, the city sinks further. The sinkage ruptures more underground water pipes, sending fresh water gushing into the sewers, aggravating the shortage, requiring more water to be pumped from the aquifer, and so on.

Design Concept
If Mexico City receives significant pluvial precipitation at a total rate of 215 m3/s, pluvial water is partly responsible for the urban flooding problem in rainy season, but rainwater harvesting could be part of the solution for people living in Ciudad Neza. Here, rainfall is heaviest, and the area is sufficient to collect and store water to reduce costs.

In the other hand, the total amount of wastewater treated by public wastewater treatment plants is 10 m3/s and all the treated wastewater is reused. At the present time, reused water is utilized to fill recreational lakes and canals (54%), to irrigate agricultural areas and parks over a total area of 6,500 ha (31%), cooling in industry (8%), diverse commercial activities (5%) and to recharge the aquifer (only 2%).

With all this in mind, the proposal is to replace gradually the network of small storm sewers in Ciudad Neza with a rainwater system collector that converge in recreational lakes on the surface, where towers emerge as large natural filters for rainwater storage; and treatment plants with absorption wells for underground injection. Following this system, floods will decrease because drainage system of the city will not be saturated in rainy season, and after treated water is injected directly into the aquifer, the sinking will stop. Read the rest of this entry »

Towards Unity: Suturing Cyprus

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Lin Rujia

Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean is a divided country between Greeks and Turks. Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and it’s the only city divided in two in the world since 1974.

The demographic composition of Nicosia consists of Turks who live in northern cities and Greeks who live in southern cities. There were lots of public spaces and facilities in the “UN Buffer Zone” before Cyprus was divided and people needed them. But at the same time, the “UN Buffer Zone” became a barrier between the two parts because of it’s a limit of height. Both Turks and Greeks in Nicosia are looking forward to a unified country.

This project changes the horizontal “UN Buffer Zone” and public spaces near it to a vertical direction. Both Turks and Greeks ordinary life will have an intersection in the new skyscrapers

There are three design points of the “Unify Monument” skyscrapers: 1) Looking at it for each time, people in Cyprus could remember those periods that Cyprus were split into two parts. 2) Water is one of the most important elements for people in Nicosia. Water in vertical “UN Buffer Zone” can make people know that we connected the two parts with “water”, and this is an important function of the skyscrapers. 3) These skyscrapers distribute in all the main areas of Cyprus, which are passed through by the “UN Buffer Zone”. So the whole Cyprus will be “sutured” by these skyscrapers because all the people will go into them for public spaces. All main cities in Cyprus will build one skyscraper like Nicosia and each one will set up a corresponding relationship with the part of “UN Buffer Zone” in each city, and then, the whole country will be sutured by these skyscrapers. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Fangshuo Liu, Xiaoyu Wu, Qianhui Liang, Jin Che, Shoda Tomoki, Pablo Mariano Bernar Fernández-Roca
China, Spain

The human activities’ byproducts, such as the piston effect of the metro and elevators and the stack effect of the dominating skyscrapers within the metropolis, are generally unexplored due to the ignorance of the severity of the environmental situation. Based on the fact that the smog problem within Chinese metropolis always concurs with the lack of airflow due to meteorological reasons, this design intends to utilize these passive energies as the source of urban airflow.

By a careful analysis of our site, Lujiazui, Shanghai, China and the discovery of the never-changing core structure system behind the ever-changing facades of the skyscrapers, our team arrived at the conclusion that designing a new core prototype could be of great value not just to the incorporation of these passive energies mentioned above into the great war against smog, but also to the education of the entire population.

Beside the traditional functions of a core such as the stairs, the, toilets, the shafts and the elevators, this new core prototype includes this very core urban issue of air. Passive airflows from subways, elevators, atriums and stacks are intentionally conducted through a serious of carefully designed spaces and devices, so that the dangerous pollutants in the atmosphere can be absorbed by the mature and energy efficient methods, including centrifuge, wet deposition, HEPA, phytoremediation, and low voltage adsorption. Meanwhile more public and green spaces are created along this process, so that everyone within and without this building can interact with it to get more awareness of the air situation.

With the smog becoming a national issue, the government and the citizens in China are forced to fight together. FAR policies can be adopted to encourage the developers to apply this new core prototype, which benefits the city, making such bold architectural adventure more sensible. Read the rest of this entry »

Hanoi Vertical Quarter

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

M Architects Ltd. 
Minh Phuc Nguyen, Linh Phuong Phan

Hanoi, a city inside the river, is a sanctuary and special city. It is not only the capital of Vietnam but also a place where histories throughout different eras have met, where all cultural and historical values have converged and which has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC.

Hanoi has evolved significantly from its core – The Old Quarter. This Quarter initially started with 36 streets with each street had its name reflected the business trading happening on the street. This is one of many unique points of Hanoi. Some of the streets currently still reflect that such as: Steel street, Silk street, Paper Craft street. Hanoian is very proud of the Old Quarter. Especially, families those have been living here for many generations, those who called the Old Quarter the cradle of culture.

Hanoi nowadays is a big capital and comparable to London, UK. However, the expansion has been done much faster than living conditions of people. This has caused tremendous problem of leaving a large area of new parts of Hanoi in very much poor conditions in terms of people’s lives as well as infrastructure. There have been a lot of new urban developments started to fill up the gaps and to reduce density from the City center since then. However, due to unready infrastructure conditions in the new expansion areas, people still pull themselves into the city center to trade, work, and live. This has become a serious fact for a thousand year old capital. Together with the urbanization, the Core of Hanoi has become more complex. The complexity could be described through population density, types of professions, building’s functions and infrastructure. The Old Quarter is still the most important Centre of the City attracting a lot of businesses and trades as well as tourists, famous for its street activities within a human scaled street covered by two rows of trees along both sides.

The Tower is stemmed from an idea of bringing the horizontal density of Hanoi to a vertical living space and still reflecting all beautiful aspects of an Old Quarter and a busy city center. The Tower is expected to be a Happy Tower where people will live their lives with full of joys, experience good facilities and where tourists could come and experience Hanoi’s History through different eras. The Tower is also an ambition of future architecture, which is integrated with potential technologies to provide an uplifting sustainable living condition.

The Tower is a combination of modules, which reflect Hanoi urban density in a better way. Two types of modules are created: Experience and Residential. The Experience is distributed along the Tower right from ground level to the Top. These are places of interests, where visitors come and experience History of Hanoi. They will find different atmosphere, different experiences starting from Prehistory, Early Dynastic Epoch, through to French invasion period till current status. Moreover, these are covered with solar fiber in order to self-collect solar energy. The Residential distribution reflects the density throughout historic periods.

A great Core in the center connects all modules. This Core is not only for vertical transportation; it is where technologies are integrated in order to transform energy collected from the Experience’s solar fiber and the residential cladded PV fibers. Besides, it could self-collect energy from the earth and ground water. In addition, modules also are connected by horizontal connections acting like pathways or water tubes. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Layton Reid, Adrian Jimenez Escarfullery, Sakib Hasan, Bryan Ruiz, Milot Pivera
United Kingdom

The prototypical site in China, Wuxi City, Jiansu Province, allows the exploration of issues of displacement and cultural identity as well as those of community and diversity as defined by architectural form.

The smart city leverages both passive and active technologies in its formation this includes the local, as a definition of connectivity, with off grid networks owned by the inhabitants. It is proposed that the physical and material qualities of this construct should manifest itself in a porus coral like form , these can either appear as slices joined together to form a more conventional urban grain or as in this instance become a stacked series of evolving circumstances defined by the consequence of the internal and external environment.

The banyan tree deposits additional downward branches to stabilize its imposed load much in the manner of this structure, Osteon city maximizes the potential of a small footprint, touching the earth lightly, whilst providing the maximum in amenity, at times appearing as a cumulo-nimbus cloud formation, and at others as a floating forest.

The proposition consider the nature of the skyscraper as a 210 floor community, where work , retail ,, hospitality , leisure and residential accommodation form an aerial community serviced horizontally by driverless cars and bicycles swegeways and pedestrian routes.

Structure and form
The diagrid is re purposed to a waffle format, much like a radiator, the interleaving structural elements , join together to form a self supporting yet extremely strong and flexible structure.The elements which make up the structure are porus lightweight and analogous to bone “ osteo, it is envisaged that the construction will make use of rapid prototyping techniques on an industrial scale with integrated services technology.

These elements are then horizontally braced with walkways and lift cores .

The three main elements of residential, leisure and work are located within the vertical elements of then tower , whilst retail sits within the landscape mounds which appear to rise and descend from the aerial parks .

Residential elements are disposed within the diagrid structure, cradled such that they can be interconnected to form more or less complex arrangements as required.

Aerial parks and landscape
These areas, provide respite and a sense of localism to the towers inhabitants, the voids allow light to penetrate deep into the structure, whose surfaces act as sun scoops illuminating the inner areas of the tower.

Vertical farms
Within the leisure zoned tower additional atria are created to house a range of agricultural activities thus making the aim of self sustainability an achievable goal when allied to the range of personal and communal garden solutions allowed by the proposal.

Sustainability, energy, microclimate
The aims of a building of this type are to act as an energy generator, hence the form mimicking that of radiator. The blade like surfaces of the structure house micro turbines and solar surfaces in the porous blade like structure these are used to drive local amenities, energy generated is stored and exchanged through the structure and surface of the building .at its highest levels temperature differentials, create precipitate, which can be encouraged, dissuaded used immediately, or stored for re use as directed by the control mechanisms contained within each zone.

The ground level structure defines a series of light filled plazas, whilst the upper levels show the range of spatial configurations, which include crescents and squares, roads and land bridges. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Yuta Sano, Eric Nakajima

It is apparent that throughout history, diversity fuels innovation and progress. Many studies show that multi-lingual individuals are better at problem solving, and multi-cultural societies spark new ideas and provoke critical thinking. Reversibly, lack of diversity and variation will stunt our imagination. This is also true with spatial environments, as lack of diverse spaces that we inhabit everyday will hinder our capabilities to be more imaginative and creative. Globalization is therefore a phenomenon that has indisputably aided the advancement of our civilization by cross-pollinating ideas, culture and tradition around the world, however, the benefits of globalization will foreseeably expire shortly if we are not careful with how we progress.

Today, in the midst of a housing crisis where 70% of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities by 2050, building high-density apartments to accommodate mass migration and population growth is a natural response to the demands our economy is facing. To solve this global crisis, we have banded together through free trade of goods and knowledge to provide efficient building solutions by standardizing construction materials, techniques and spatial configurations. Although it may be effective, as a result, repetitive and standardized apartments are being built all over the world irrespective of its location, and living spaces categorized into types to meet the image of modern living. No matter how idealistic this temporary solution may be, this type of ‘Global Modernization’ is a slow devolution of our race as it sets a standard of a unified cultural norm and irradiates diversity through socio-global expectations.

China is an extreme example of ‘Global Modernization’. Within a few decades, China has assimilated cities by rapidly building high-density apartments, and more often than not, by demolishing old towns and structures that are rich in local culture and tradition. This careless rapid urbanization is not only wiping out historical artifacts but also eliminating opportunity for diversity in the future. Local, cultural, and spatial diversity is a necessity for enlightenment and enriching progress, therefore we must ask ourselves “is global unification worth the extinction of local characteristics?” Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Skyscraper Competition is open for registration


eVolo Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Skyscraper Competition. The award was established in 2006 to recognize outstanding ideas for vertical living. Since then, the publication has received more than 6,000 projects that envision the future of building high. These ideas, through the novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

In 2015, the Jury, formed by leaders of the architecture and design fields selected 3 winners and 15 honorable mentions. eVolo Magazine received 480 projects from all continents. The winners were selected for their creativity, ingenuity, and understanding of dynamic and adaptive vertical communities.

The first place was awarded to BOMP (Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan, and Jakub Pudo) from Poland for their project Essence Skyscraper. The proposal is an urban mega-structure that contains diverse natural habitats. The skyscraper would serve as a place to briefly escape urban life  and stimulate diverse and complex experiences.

The recipients of the second place are Suraksha Bhatla and Sharan Sundar from India for their Shanty-Scaper. The project seeks to provide housing, work and recreational spaces to the inhabitants of Chennai city’s slum in India. The skyscraper is designed to reutilize the city’s post-construction debris including pipes, corrugated metal sheets, timber, etc.

The third place was awarded to Egor Orlov from Russia for the project Cybertopia which reimagines the city of the future as the combination of digital and physical worlds – a city that grows and morphs instantly according to our needs.

The 15 honorable mentions include skyscrapers designed for the arctic, structures that intend to reverse desertification, abandoned oil rigs transformed into bio-habitats, and atmosphere laboratories among others.

The members of the Jury are: Massimiliano Fuksas [principal Studio Fuksas], Michael Hansmeyer [CAAD group at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology], Richard Hassell [principal WOHA], Alvin Huang [principal Synthesis Design + Architecture], Yong Ju Lee [winner 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition], Wenchian Shi [project manager MVRDV], Wong Mun Summ [principal WOHA], and Benedetta Tagliabue [principal EMBT Miralles Tagliabue].

The 2015 Skyscraper Competition was made possible with the sponsorship of Autodesk, real5D, and v2com.

Essence Skyscraper

By:  | March - 26 - 2015

First Place
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan, Jakub Pudo

Away from everyday routines, in a dense city center, a secret garden that combines architecture and a nature is born. The main goal of this project is to position non-architectural phenomena in an urban fabric.  An inspiration rooted in nature allowed to form a representation of external worlds in the shape of a vertical structure. Overlapping landscapes like an ocean, a jungle, a cave or a waterfall will stimulate a diverse and complex range of visual, acoustic, thermal, olfactory, and kinesthetic experiences.

The main body of the building is divided into 11 natural landscapes. They are meant to form an environmentally justified sequence open to the public that includes extensive open floor plans that form spectacular spaces with water floors, fish tanks lifted up to 30 meters above ground, and jungle areas among others natural scenarios. The sequence landscapes might become a variable set of routes dedicated to different shades of adventure.


Invisible Perception: Shanty-Scaper

By:  | March - 26 - 2015

Second Place
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Suraksha Bhatla, Sharan Sundar

India’s Slum population is expected to surge to 104 million (9% of the national population) by 2017*. As the nation’s disparity between the rich and poor deepens, the number of people living below poverty line (<1$ per day) has doubled over the last decade. Chennai city’s Nochikuppam slum is home to 5,000 fishermen families living in less than 1,500 shanties making it the third largest slum dwelling amongst the Indian metropolises. The rise of city’s squatters over the past decade indicated the struggle to cope with rapid urbanisation and the lack of political will, resulting in the failure of the government to regularise and successfully build resettlement tenements. The government’s only indirect response to such slums has been the construction of large-scale resettlement colonies on the outskirts of the city rather than recognising improving residents’ access to services.

Pragmatically, building adequate amounts of resettlement housing to house all slum-dwellers will simply take too long, require vast amounts of land and cost the city 1 billion rupees. Moreover, many residents do not necessarily desire such housing: reports indicate that nearly 20 % of allotted homes are vacant and 50 per cent of the original beneficiaries are no longer living in them, subletting them instead. Clearly, this was due to the fact that slum dwellers were transplanted 30 kms away from city centre where they found no jobs and no social infrastructure and thus were forced to move back to the city.

A far more reasonable strategy would be to implement the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Act (1971) in the spirit that it was written, and start to recognise slums and improve them in situ. The sky-high rentals in Chennai’s downtown and the fight for survival in India’s slums such as Nochikuppam are increasingly blurring the lines between centre and periphery. Urban planners face escalating challenges as these slums will mostly proliferate in semi-rural and downtown areas, a consequence of scarcity of urban land and accelerating rural to urban shift across the nation.

Unrecognised slums have effectively become akin to an invisible Chennai, largely ignored by the service provision agencies. As urban planners and architects we must make a conscious decision to improve the quality of life of squatters (shelter, services & livelihood) by applying principles of sustainable urbanism. The need of the hour is a reimagination of the existing land parcels, growth and infrastructural burden squatters place on the city’s civic supplies. This begs the question – Will the cities of the future be filled with vertical slums? Informal settlements and the paucity of land parcels can no longer be ignored & the complexities of resettlement will force slum dwellers themselves to build higher using locally available, structurally sound, recyclable materials accommodating themselves into organised communities.

Shanty-Scraper aspires to provide a unique solution for the fishermen of Nochikuppam located at Marina bay beach. The vertical squatter structure predominately is comprised of post-construction debris such as pipes and reinforcement bars that crucially articulate the structural stability. Recycled corrugated metal sheets, regionally sourced timber & thatch mould the enclosure of each dwelling profile and lend to their vernacular language. The double height semi enclosures serve as utility yards & social gathering spaces. The vertical transportation is fragmented into multiple plank lifts that are constructed from a simple mechanically driven lever & pulley contraption. The rhythmic timber lattice membrane structure at the ground level, houses the public sea food market, & forms the first level of defence against future tsunamis. The high rise typology serves as a vantage point for the fishermen to gauge high risk waters & during emergencies. Read the rest of this entry »