Third Place
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Valeria Mercuri, Marco Merletti

Data is proliferating: every transaction, entry, emails, and even every mouse click is stored in a server. Annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2 zettabytes per year by 2019. Considering this, a problem in the near future will be to find a place to store this information.

A data center is the physical location hosting different servers used by many types of companies, it is used to store and process all the information we generate every day.

Today data centers consume a lot of energy and have a large carbon footprint: servers absorb a lot of electrical power and they need to be constantly cooled down to avoid overheating problems.

The solution for the future is hosting data centers where the power is clean and the costs are low. For this reason some companies have been started to think about Iceland. Iceland is a strategic location for data centers for 3 reasons:

• Location: its placement between Europe and the U.S. means that companies can run their web services for both continents in one location;

• Renewable energy sources: Iceland can offer data center services powered by 100% clean energy (hydropower and geothermal) for the same price or less than web services powered by fossil fuel-based grids in other locations;

• Climate: Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle allows exploiting cold temperatures and a fresh natural breeze that could be used to cool down the servers avoiding the costs of a traditional cooling system.

Our project is a vision of how could it be a future green data center located in Iceland. A data center is often a large industrial building without a significant architectural connotation, a big anonymous container. The main issue of our project is to investigate a new morphological solution that could represent both the complexity and the importance of the building into which we keep our data. Above all, we conceive the data center’s configuration in order to maximize the use of the available renewable energies and also to allow the re-use in a sustainable way.

The tower is conceived as a giant 3D motherboard with a cylindrical shape. On the external façade are fastened all the hardware components, otherwise the internal part is empty. This void is a technical space with a double function: first, it is the main air duct of the cooling system, and second it is a space where the pods can be moved to the ground floor, during the maintenance and the upgrade phases. As well as in a computer case, a huge cooling fan on the top of the tower activates a natural chimney effect, thanks to which each pod takes the natural fresh air from outside and releases the warm air inside. A part of this air is expelled from the top of the tower, another part is re-used to heat the laboratories and the greenhouses situated in the basement. During the winter the warm air released by the server could be also used to heat the houses in the surrounding neighborhood.

The modern data center is a particular building in continuous evolution: as well as in a motherboard, where the components are always replaced and updated, also the façade of the tower is adaptable and in continuous evolution; in fact, depending on necessity, the density and the position of the pods can freely change increasing the height of the tower. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Chen Linag, Jia Tongyu, Sun Bo, Wang Qun, Zhang Kai, Choi Minhye

The medical and health organization of a country includes the country’s security and improves the health of the people, the treatment of diseases and injuries of persons, organizations, systems and processes. The hospital plays a very important role in the system. However, the world is generally encountered in the case of lack of hospitals to serve the patients, at the same time, the chaos of the hospital streamline is not convenient for patients to use.

A space and tectonic responsive hospital is easy to assemble and reflects the society. It shows the BMI from the morphology of itself. Morphological changes can be suitable for various terrain environments, at the same time according to the functional requirements to change in morphology.

The medical building tries to solve the medical problems, so that the building can reflect the urban living conditions of the urban human settlements directly. The building collected within 10 km radius of the residents’ health data, which is reflected from the building surfaces directly, and the internal function (inpatient, emergency treatment, medical technology, and the outpatient which contains 50 departments) consistently.

Patients arrive at the hospital, and enter the core tube directly to the emergency treatment and the outpatient departments directly. The patients who need the in-patient treatment will transfer to the wards. The idea of the hospital is that the patient does not have to move by himself, according to the motion track, the wards can move to where it should go to, like the outpatient space for further consultation with a doctor instead. However, if there are not too many patients of any department, the space for the outpatient and in-patient will be folded to form a therapy garden space.

The whole building is divided into a frame, a core tube structure, a large assembled body, which is an independent department module, and a small mobile body which is a medical cubic module inside the large assembled body.

The small medical cubic module could move on the track in and among the large assembled bodies to form the body of the independent department.

Driving device
It is the mechanism that drives the actuator to move, according to the command signal sent by the control system, the module moves with the aid of the power element. It is the input of the electrical signal, the output of the line and the angular displacement.

Detecting device
It is a real-time detection of movement and work, according to the need to feed back to the control system, and sets the information after the comparison, the implementation of the organization to adjust, to ensure that the action is in accordance with the requirements of the scheduled.

Control system
One is centralized control, which is the total mechanical control by a microcomputer to complete. The other is decentralized (level) control, which uses multiple computers to share the control. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Jayong Shim, Dailong Ma, Tai Feng
United States


New York City is a city of large high-density buildings that sets a trend for people’s life and goals. A lot of people are still trying to come to the city with a utopian dream. However, at same time, people are running out of town because of they struggle with urban life causing little social diversity. There are countless skyscrapers in NYC but people cannot recognize existence of the places because the buildings don’t have specific features.

A definition of a place is a particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent. However, in the building, the space is not limited by the fundamental dimensions of “place”. The place is a space people can feel the existence and specific emotion. The morphosis design of organic creature integrates diverse experience that blurs the boundary between spatial relationships. The space uses the city’s landscape as a background, and façade as an experimental symbol, which is stunning the society and evoking people thought to explore more value of the community. Spatial atmosphere also creates an opportunity to experience some special interior phenomenon and moment which people may get inspired and surprised. It can be considered as a chance to provoke people’s passion about aesthetic urban life and turn those passions into a diverse way of thinking.

In the façade, morphosis design of organic creature makes many different diffuse light qualities, which can produce various interior atmospheres. When people experience the space, the bright light lead and gather people who are losing way from dark area, then the dark zone attracts people who are holding a strong curiosity. The contrast of small-scale rooms and large-scale atriums gives people various spatial inspirations on the difference of urban scale.

The entire project does not only synthesize the fundamental function with morphology of the building design, but also consider large-scale urban environment as an experimental field to explore and provoke people’s diversity. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Changsoo Park, Sizhe Chen
United States

Air-Stalagmite is a high-rise designed to emerge in the most polluted areas in the world. This project recognized the environmental problems originated after the Industrial and Technological Revolutions – two centuries of a very high consumption of natural resources around the globe.

This skyscraper serves two functions. First as a beacon that acknowledges an extremely high pollution problem. Second, it is designed to filter contaminated air and capture suspended air particles. A gigantic vacuum placed at the bottom of the building sucks polluted air to be cleaned by a series of air filters located on the higher levels. The particles are then accumulated and used as building material to further construct the skyscraper. Each filament on the building’s façade represents a year – a similar concept to tree trunk rings. Read the rest of this entry »

Cloud Craft: Rainmaking Skyscraper

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Michael Militello, Amar Shah
United States

Droughts are a recurring feature of California’s climate, and the current four-year period starting from the fall of 2011 has been the driest in history since recordkeeping began in 1895. California is in fact the world’s fifth-largest supplier of food and most of the farming depends on irrigation, which usually accounts for about 80% of the state’s human water use. In 2014 growers lost about 6.6 million acre-feet of surface water and 2.2 billion dollars because of the drought.

California, much like the rest of the planet, is in dire need of immediate rain and snowfall; long-term water conservation and storage strategies for the future; and responsible architectural designs that incorporate innovative technologies to help preserve the earth’s environment, before it is too late.

Looking to the sky can be a solution. Cloud seeding has been around for many decades and used throughout the world in various strategies. China used cloud seeding in Beijing just before the 2008 Olympic Games in order to clear the air of pollution. Farmers in the midwestern United States shoot flares of silver iodide out of planes to help spur rainfall in that region. It is more and more becoming a popular weather modification tool to help combat drought, famine, pollution, solar radiation, etc.

Clouds contain super-cooled liquid water vapor. A rainstorm happens after moisture collects around naturally occurring particles in the air, causing the air to reach a level of saturation at which point it can no longer hold in that moisture. The process of cloud seeding essentially provides additional “nuclei” around which water vapor molecules condense in the cloud. These nuclei can be salts, dry ice, or silver iodide, which are all effective because their crystalline structural forms are similar to that of ice. The water vapor molecules combine with the added crystals to induce freezing nucleation, resulting in larger heavier water droplets and eventual precipitation.

The architectural concept imagines a future earth where cloud seeding has become the standard process to modify and manipulate the weather. Cloud seeding can result in many positive environmental outcomes including temperature control, flooding prevention, decreasing pollution, dispersing fog, and deflecting solar radiation. But for the purposes of California, it is mainly used for irrigation and rainfall to combat droughts and famine.

Towers are erected near the coast so as the lower marine layer clouds pass overhead, they can be seeded at different times and intervals, causing precipitation to occur in as little as 10 minutes. After years of practice, scientists have been able to pinpoint the exact amount and timing of release of chemical mixtures in order to manipulate the path of a cloud after seeding and predict where the rainfall will occur. Thus, rainfall is dispersed or “doled out” to cities and towns further inland that are suffering from drought.

The towers themselves take on the aesthetics of a tree. Great limbs stretch to the sky; cloud farms grow like fungi off these limbs. The upper levels of the tower act as a self-sustaining community – the cloud seeders jettison the salt + iodide mixture into the air forcing the clouds to precipitate. The cable netting catches the rainfall and syphons it down to irrigate the farms. And the farms in turn provide food for the community. Residential flats line the cloud pythons, housing the farmers and workers of the tower. Read the rest of this entry »

Return To Nature Skyscraper

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Nathakit Sae-Tan, Prapatsorn Sukkaset

This is an imaginary future, where resources of nature have been used and reclaimed exhaustively by the greed of man to the point of irreversible damage. Spanning across the landscape by human intervention, until there is no more nature left for the upcoming generations to see. In those days where the impermanence of concrete can not withstand the true forces of nature, the solid ground is soon to be covered by earth, minerals and eventually the green, growing on top are the woods that would stem deep and span miles and miles, beyond the imagination of mankind. We build these super structures that would spread throughout the city, as if they were grains of seeds that would uncontrollably grow, taking back what was once theirs.

When the forces of nature is too strong for men to resist, we would have to learn how to cope with nature in order to co-exist with the earth, occupying less surface on ground as much as possible, tall vertical super structure is the proposed solution. The Babel skyscraper can accommodate food security and living space for both nature and human. To achieve this, the architecture is designed with a concept of the emergence twisting parametric mountain, seamlessly flow with the geometric skyscraper. The building is designed with only floors to provide the vertical spaces; with open plan and inside void, providing ventilation.

The Babel skyscraper is located in many sites around Bangkok. People visiting and living there will once again experience the natural habitat; bringing back the intimate bond we once have being so close to nature. The homogenizing of concrete landscape had us forgotten our relationship with nature. This future is to re-imagine these connections and visualize them. This connection would also form a more intimate symbiotic relationship between nature and humans.

During the first phases, the architecture only contains the mountain-shaped base and vertical columns, which would eventually grow into an Eden, a relaxing park and food bank, for the organic vegetables and rice. The architecture itself is time-based and would change dramatically through the years. And in the times where human can no longer walk the earth, this skyscraper is where humans can depend on as inhabitants, traveling up and down by drones, a technology of the future, which we foresee.

We’ve planned many possible locations for this this skyscraper in order to spread the green effectively throughout Bangkok, Thailand. Neglecting the living of man and let nature flow through every street and avenue of the city, eating up the main vessel and eventually the heart of the what we see as places, until there is nothing left for man to stand and looking back at what we’ve done to the earth.

This set of skyscrapers would be a symbol for the cruelty we’ve done to nature, and what we have to pay back; including how human should adapt in order to survive.

The design is something that may or may not have happened in a world beyond our imagination, and the architecture not as we recognize today, but as seeds that that takes us back to the past where nature rule the earth and where man are but just another creature that walk the planet. Nature here plays a crucial role in the establishment of the architecture, unlike the ones we see nowadays, being changed and adapted, according to the use of man.

Here, we design skyscrapers, with nature as the main user and human as parasites of the planet, struggling to survive and camouflage, living towards the very end of the race. Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainable Skyscraper Enclosure

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Soomin Kim, Seo-Hyun Oh
South Korea

Modern cities have faced extreme changes due to developments of the Industrial Revolution and the urban sprawl caused by population increase. Artificial environment, cities, offered diversity of opportunities and new lifestyles which humans comforted with. However, this benefit jeopardized the balance and harmony of natural environment. Capitalism, while making possible these megacities, also brought severe side effects such as economic polarization and social imbalance. Once expected to guarantee prosperity of human lives, technics and systems, are now even considered as threats to the coexistence between human and natural environment, and human communities.

Architecture of the past reflected the overheated technologies in competition of developments and selfish gain of capital. However, as the question of coexistence and balance is brought to the surface nowadays, how will the generation’s idea change this selfish gain and what kind of form will modern architecture will take as its phenotype? Today, 54% of the world population live urban based lives, megacities of population over 10 million keep increasing. Skyscrapers were born from the necessity to disperse dense complexity of horizontal cities by vertically expanding and reconstructing, in order to make a more effective use of scarce land. Moreover, many cities passionately competed in building more skyscrapers since they were often taken as outcomes of their economic success.

State of the art technology and highly concentrated capital turned New York into city of skyscrapers. The Empire State, completed in 1930 becoming the world’s highest man-made structure, was imprinted into the mind of people as the symbol of prosperity and a great leap towards success. This piece of architecture visualized the harsh competing nature of capitalism itself, which is the driving force of the idea. Simultaneously, making scenery that even shows the severe polarization of capital, shabby slum streets of the city in contrast to the world’s tallest building.

The urban areas in earth, which just account for just 1% of the Earth surface, uses 75% of the total energy, and responsible for 80% of green gas emission. It was found that NYC, which developed into the first megacity to have population more than 10 million in 1950, uses the most excessive energy and resources amongst all the megacities. UN predicts that by 2050, the world population will go over 9 billion. Cities will be overcrowded in due to accept this change in population, which makes experts believe that demand for skyscrapers will continue to increase. However, these demands are in contradiction with the social and environmental problems that could be caused if the megacities like NYC continue to spend energy and resources at this rate. Thus, to satisfy these demands, we need to have a sustainable model for a skyscraper.

If skyscrapers in the 20th Century followed the logic of development and growth, the new model should be following the law of recovery and coexistence. Currently most of the NYC’s areas are already in use, and it would take a great deal of energy and resources to try starting over entirely. The model will use conventional buildings as resources, and it will find a new usage for them and give them purposes for the future using only the slightest efforts on building acts. The newly born buildings will use and self-produce eco-friendly energy in sustainable cycle, so that they can co-exist with the environment instead of opposing it. With the model, the capitals will have a new frontier in front of them as they implement shared values within the public, and the skyscrapers, once a symbol of polarization of capital and public, will make a transition to a symbol of co-existence. Read the rest of this entry »

The Valley Of Giants

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Eric Randall Morris, Galo Canizares
United States

Located north of Tindouf, Algeria, the Valley of the Giants is the largest oasis in Northern Africa. However, this was not always the case. In the early 21st century, the area was mostly dust. Water was scarce, and the only inhabitants were nomadic tribes like the Tuareg people. As global conflicts grew and their impact rippled over several continents, demand for refugee housing and temporary settlements increased in the area. Frustrated, the country’s government decided that they needed to build something; a permanent solution to the temporal problems which kept piling up. They needed something that addressed the influx of immigrants, the desertification of the area, and changing cultural diversity; something beyond a quick-fix.

Architecture was the solution. But not a contingency plan; rather, a catalyst. The proposal was not to build temporary shelters or redesign a city from scratch, but instead to use infrastructure and ecology to jumpstart and augment already existing environmental and cultural systems. The concept was simple: a series of towers that would (1) house plant-spores, (2) produce, collect, and treat water, and (3) pollinate the surrounding landscape, catalyzing the production of an oasis in the region. The structures themselves had to be of an immense scale in order to effect significant change; thus they were designed as 1km tall, thin, cylinders. In addition to their independent functions, a new network of underground pipes was implemented to facilitate the creation of pools and wells. Within 20 years, the area would drastically transform from a barren landscape into the Valley of the Giants.

Today it is home to both permanent residents and traveling nomads. The oasis extends far to the base of the Anti Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and south to the city of Tindouf. The new urban development is a mixture of traditional Tuareg tents, permanent clay huts, and contemporary dwellings. Politics and social life have their ups and downs, but there hasn’t been a major conflict in the area since the time before the Giants. The structures themselves are still functional. They tower over the villages like keepers of the land. Some communities have even invented their own stories of how the Giants came, suggesting a new mythology and awareness of these mysterious structures. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Cooling Skyscraper

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Paolo Venturella, Cosimo Scotucci

Our planet is going through the irreversible process of global warming, and even if various strategies have been planned to solve the problem, none of them provided a solution. This is causing natural disasters all over the planet. The temperature all around the planet is increasing making the ice in the pole melt. Only a “global strategy” can be adopted.

To cool down the temperature a huge greenhouse is placed in between the sun and us. This works according the same principle of the “solar tower”. Thanks to the accumulation of heat in the glazed structure, air flows naturally from hot to cold generating rapid and strong flows. These flows bring hot air far from the Earth cooling down the temperature of the whole globe. The airflows restore better climate conditions and moreover generate renewable energies by wind turbines placed inside the structures. The structure acts either on climate conditions or on energy production.

Furthermore this structure creates an amazing and surprising effect. Since it has to solve a problem for the entire planet, its dimension is over scaled. It has to be a unique and continuous structure, placed in a single point, and cantilever on both sides. It results as a tangent object on the planet. It touches the ground in a unique point, and for this reason it is perceived in different ways from different parts of the world. On the Equator it looks a horizontal element while from the poles it looks a vertical one. The impressive structure allows solving a critical question and works maintaining perfect climate conditions and providing clean energy for all. Read the rest of this entry »

Tower Of New Arcadia

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Joseph Konrad Kosmas Schneider, Vincent Johann Moller

The 22nd Century – Humankind succeeded in avoiding the dangers of the 21st century’s Technological Singularity. Through great efforts and extensive preparation the crucial moment of the awakening of a self-improving Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) could be predicted and controlled. Mankind was able to stay the most powerful yet not the most intelligent species on the planet while ASI became its god-like slave – forever bound to serve humanity in its needs.

Induced by ASI, unimaginable, all-embracing progress throughout the entire research was achieved, lifting the human state of knowledge to uncharted heights.

Step by step the human biological body was technically modified. Biological evolution merged with technology. Human communication changed into the medium of electromagnetic radiation, eventually the human mind was transcended into technical units and merged with ASI. A total integration happened. The human body was, through the immortality of its digital mind, eventually made redundant. Although physical reality is the basis of everything, being in it became obsolete. The shift of human reality from the physical to the digital world was completed.

The appearance of this digital world is beyond our current understanding of time and space – its only dimension is the speed of communication, the speed of data transfer. Cartesian locations loose their importance. The digital world is not a world of movement – it is a world of calling up.

Since being in this digital world differs entirely from human’s former nature, a new desire towards the physical reality arose at a certain point. Just like humanist artists used to depict the ideal ancient landscape of Arcadia in their paintings, mankind made the physical world into their world of NEW ARCADIA. For reasons of nostalgia human minds would then materialize into a favored biological body to experience this physical world`s truth.

The Tower of New Arcadia situates everything that used to constitute human life. It defines a place where people can meet and enjoy the beauty of physical world’s sensations.

A place of touch, sight, sound, smell and taste.

A place of pristine human interaction and feeling.

To stroll our so called Real World.

Read the rest of this entry »