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Project Blue

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Yang Siqi, Zhan Beidi, Zhao Renbo, Zhang Tianshuo
China

China’s explosive economy has left the world in awe but the country is paying a big price as the “factory of the world” is getting polluted at an alarming speed. Chinese cities are now characterized by an unhealthy hazy weather as the result of large amounts of suspended particles in the air.

The purpose of Project Blue is to transform suspended particles into green energy by creating an enormous upside down cooling tower with a multi-tubular cyclic desulfurization system that produces nitrogen and sulfur. When both elements are combined with the atmospheres surplus of carbon monoxide the result is water coal that would later be transformed methane and used as green energy through a low-pressure reaction called low pressure efficient mathanation – a physical-chemical process to generate methane from a mixture of various gases out of biomass fermentation or thermo-chemical gasification. Read the rest of this entry »

Liquefactower: The Sinking City

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Eric Nakajima
New Zealand

With bigger and worse natural disasters appearing on the news with no signs of slowing down, we need to rethink how cities should rebuild. When a city is destroyed, it is a sign that the city’s infrastructure is not suitable for the environmental conditions of that particular location. With so much variation of inherent environmental properties around the globe, why do we globalize a singular infrastructural system?

Christchurch, New Zealand is one city that has recently been devastated by an earthquake. With citywide liquefaction destroying infrastructure, it is clear that the typical method of construction is not suited for such soil condition. The immediate response by the city is to artificially condition the soil for better building surface, but this method of forcing nature to take form of an ideal environment to perpetuate the same construction technique seems time consuming and wasteful.

The proposal is a system that adapts into the current environmental conditions without the need for tweaking, alteration or correction. For the new city, unstable soil becomes a necessity and not a burden as the structure buries and sinks into the ground by exploiting the phenomenon of liquefaction. This project becomes an example of rethinking adaptation by responding to the nature of site without being constrained by traditional methods. Read the rest of this entry »

Urban Alloy Tower

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Matt Bowles, Chad Kellogg
United States

The most dynamic cities of the 21st century, such as New York, are anthropomorphic alloys that act as engines for innovation and social cohesion. These cities, with their continually evolving demographics, will forge the dynamic societies of the future. With the rapid rise of near instantaneous communication, a city’s’ livability has gained prominence as an attractor for top minds. In order to secure its future as the leading global center, New York needs to continue to grow in smart ways. We see the opportunity to draw the energy of Manhattan out into the four other boroughs without disrupting existing land use. We propose a residential typology rooted in the remnant spaces surrounding the intersection of transportation infrastructure, such as elevated train lines and freeway interchanges. With the proposed design and specified materials, we aim to optimize a heterogeneous and highly linked set of living environments capturing the air rights above these systems.

The combination of escalating land prices and the acceleration of city migration have made urban renewal based modes of densification unfit for the contemporary city. Urban Alloy is the symbiotic repurposing of the air rights above transportation corridors in New York. Urban planners have long touted the benefits of greater housing density near public transportation hubs – Urban Alloy proposes the advancement of this idea by locating the system directly on the intersections between surface and elevated train lines. We have chosen the intersection of the LIRR and the 7 trains as a test case. The paradigm of one-size fits all is obsolete. Urban citizens want diverse living situations where they can work, play, eat and rest within a pedestrian zone. As technology creates the market desire and a conditioning for personalization, society is more willing to pay a premium for spaces that are tailored to their particular needs. The towers’ design facilitates a continuous blend of program and space types that are accommodated by a spectrum of floor heights and enclosure conditions.

The skin concept reflects a desire to optimize shading and day lighting performance on the surface of a complex volume. The surface of the towers transitions from a cylindrical to a triangular extrusion across its height in relation to the blend in floor heights. A composite or alloy of multiple flexible systems is required to optimize a skin in which every point has a unique environmental exposure. The system developed for this structure is deployed on a grid that follows the geometric directionality of the surface. At each intersection of the grid the normal of the surface is analyzed against its optimal solar shading and daylight transmitting requirements. An authored algorithm then generates vertical and horizontal fin profiles that blend with profiles at adjacent intersections. The result is an optimized system of decorative metal fins that are unique but fabricated with the logic and process described below.

The steel diagrid structural system can efficiently be constructed with each unique member cut by an automated system. GPS systems can handle the geometric complexity of the overall structure via locating each member during the erection process. Cantilevers benefit from a favorable strength to weight ratio allowing large cantilevers and small footprints. With a high-recycled content and positive life cycle analysis the unitized curtain wall system will also be fabricated with rapid automated manufacturing processes. Precision and slender structural profile that maximizes views and daylight skin the entire building. Read the rest of this entry »

Skyvillage For Los Angeles

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Ziwei Song
United States

Los Angeles freeway system segregates the city’s fabric restricting urban activities to single locations. Similarly, skyscrapers exacerbate this condition of segregation instead of encouraging urban integration. The envisioned vertical city would bridge over freeway interruptions and connect the four quadrants around 101 and 110 freeways as a single architectural organism while boosting cultural exchange, urban activities, and social interaction.

The interchange 101 and 110 breaks Los Angeles east urban fabric into four disconnected quadrants: Downtown, Chinatown, Echo Park, and Temple Beaudry. The four quadrants have distinct cultural and social differences, lacking a coherent urban tissue. Moreover, the leftover space around the freeways reaches over 27 acre. Skyvillage aims to reclaim this terrain vague and provide green filtering towers to clean the freeways and also articulate various programs to revitalize the disconnected urban fabric. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Tsang Aron Wai Chun
Hong Kong

The project is designed in the copper Ruashi mine in Lubumbashi, Congo which is predicted to stop production in 2020. The mine would then be abandoned and left as an enormous urban void surrounded by a rapidly expanding city.

The Here-After projects seeks to make use of the left over space, waste soil, and sulfuric acid from the mine drainage and former copper production. A machine will reuse the waste soil to neutralize the sulfuric acid, which in turn will be used to erode the land to be used as raw buildings blocks for the project.

As the machine operates, starting from the South end, the remaining structures from the neutralization process would be reconfigured as a university campus. Throughout the building process the contour, the campus, and the public spaces would continuously change their relationships and form. Read the rest of this entry »

The Blossom Tower

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

R. Anthony Fieldman, former Design Principal and Lead Project Designer for Perkins+Will
Perkins+Will, Architects of Record
United States

The Blossom Tower in Kuala Lumpur has created an opportunity for Malaysia to lead the world in defining the 21st Century tower – uniting social, commercial and environmental agendas in a new symbol for Malaysian cultural ambitions.

Kuala Lumpur has several icons, among them the KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers; each employs a well-known typology (a sky needle and twin gateway, respectively) that contributes a strong and defining silhouette to the skyline that adds to Malaysia’s assets. Yet, there is room for a third icon – one that builds on sustainable leadership, using one of Nature’s perfect engines as its highly functioning symbol. The Blossom Tower takes its form from Malaysia’s national flower, the Hibiscus, for a number of reasons. Expanding in size over its height, the tower announces its presence in the sky – not by poking it like its neighbors, but by reaching up, outstretched, to embrace and harness power. Like the crown of a flower, the top floor of the tower has 29% more area than its base, capturing maximum solar energy and water for use in the tower’s systems.

Blossom Tower is designed for people, profit and the planet, reflecting an emerging awareness that our buildings must deliver value beyond simple economics – that they must speak to the highest aspirations of society. In this context, Blossom Tower creates social value for a complex and varied people by allocating 2.5% of the tower toward public uses, including a sculpture park and outdoor performance spaces at the tower base; a new Museum of People inside the tower devoted to the guiding principles of the Rukun Negara; and a Sky Walk and cafe atop the crown; the latter two connected by a 20-story tall Hall of Hibiscuses – a vertical, living garden celebrating the National flower of Malaysia.

By inverting the form of the common tapered tower and providing 29% more commercial lease area and perimeter windows at the top, the Tower creates financial value for investors and tenant businesses where views, daylight and visibility are best. Additionally, the tower is designed around a ‘village’ concept, in which multiple-key tenants are provided exclusive drop-offs, entrances and branded sky-lobbies served by shuttle elevators, creating a feeling of multiple towers in one.

Crowning the tower, the innovative Blossom is an iconic and optimistic symbol that speaks to the aspirations of the tower’s environmental leadership agenda by performing several sustainable functions. Its petals spanning over a 75m radius, the Blossom collects the sun’s energy over 100% of its surfaces via solar hot water collection tubes. Paired with on-site desiccants, the petals capture enough heat energy to dehumidify the entire tower’s air supply. Additional PV panels are located on the east and west facades, where the yield is greater than 40 watts/sm. 10% additional shade is created by the undulation of the tower’s form in addition to the shade from the structure’s broad reaches that protect visitors to the Sky Walk (observation deck) and the tower roof itself, from the greatest daily energy loads. Lastly, storm water is transferred to a cistern 20 stories below to irrigate on-site landscape, including the Hall of Hibiscuses.

The ethos outlined above resonates well with Malaysia’s seminal social contract – the Rukun Negara – which describes a society that embraces the unity, democracy and inclusivity of its people; the equitable sharing of its economic and natural resources; and the advancement of its progressive, modern leadership for society as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »

Seawer: The Garbage-Seascraper

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Sung Jin Cho
South Korea

Globally, millions of tons of trash enter the ocean each year. Between 60 and 80 percent of it is land-based and the rest is from ocean-based operations. Due to ocean currents, this plastic waste collects in particular areas of our global ocean. Such a region of accumulated plastic debris is the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, where the prevailing ocean currents have created a large mass of tiny particles of plastics, which have resulted in a “plastic soup” commonly referred as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). GPGP is twice the size of Texas and contains six times more plastic than plankton biomass. As plastic does not biodegrade, it poses a threat to thousands of marine animals.

Seawer proposes to install a huge drainage hole 550 meters in diameter and 300 meters in depth in the middle of the GPGP. The project would engulf all kinds of floating trash filled with seawater. Seawer consists of five layers of baleen filters, which separate particles and fluids. The plastic particles collected from filters are taken to a recycling plant atop of the structure while seawater is filtered and stored in a large sedimentation tank at the bottom to be further cleaned and released into the ocean. Read the rest of this entry »

Infill Aquifer

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Jason Orbe-Smith
United States

The Infill Aquifer aims to reconnect the built world with the natural environment in order to create healthy and thriving urban ecosystems.

The project does this by re-establishing the ground plane as a vital component of urban building design. The Infill Aquifer is a floating mass, exposing the ground and soil to natural processes while accommodating the density required by growing cities and world populations. The Infill Aquifer is an optimistic proposal that humanity and nature can coexist and flourish.

Densely urban environments have many rich and positive qualities. The ability to gather together large populations generates great advantages in creativity and commerce, education, technology, and social interaction. However urban environments also often lack other features that enhance quality of life; features such as open space, recreation, green vegetation, a calm atmosphere, and the organic and inorganic processes of nature.

The project targets two main concerns facing us now and in the near future: the quality and quantity of new open space to build, live and work; and issues surrounding water usage and rights. The Infill Aquifer is designed as a regeneration and rehabilitation program for groundwater supplies within a city while maintaining its functionality as a usable building.

The Infill Aquifer is both a singular building design as well as an integral component of a larger ecological network. They are strategic pinpoints that can be located within a city as surface parking lots and underutilized pieces of land are redeveloped. With each new infill, the network in the region strengthens and grows, increasing the diversity of composition of the city and aiding in the health of the aquifer and hydrologic cycles. Cities that begin to implement infill aquifers can have the benefits of water security, increased green space, improved air quality and improved quality of life for the inhabitants.

The Infill Aquifer is as an achievable step in the conversion of our cities from static, sprawling monoliths towards active, vibrant and sensitive ecologies. Read the rest of this entry »

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Diego Espinosa Figueroa, Javiera Valenzuela Gonzalez
Chile

It is estimated that over 50% of the global population lives in an urban settlement. The growth of cities and their massive expansion brought great progress but major setbacks on the level of land use. The overloads of the soil through our urban developments have caused extinction of species, fertile land reduction, and poor distribution of biomass.

Realizing that the soil, its biomass, and what it conceives is a limited resource, gives us a glimpse of how we should live to preserve and improve our natural environment. Re-Silience Skyscraper looks for an answer by proposing a new organization and resources distribution of the soil and its biomass through the observation of natural forms such as honeycombs, coral reefs, and ant nests.

Our buildings today set a null relationship with its surroundings having no more than one or two interrelations in one place, Re-Silience allows to cross the threshold and reorganize this behavior through an optimal use of soil and biomass. Read the rest of this entry »

21st Century Neoclassical Skyscraper

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

John Houser, Parke MacDowell
United States

This project side-steps the common stylistic tendencies of computation-driven architecture, synthesizing our expanding digital toolset with the language of Classicism. At a time when these digital tools facilitate the generation of novel and varied architecture form, we embrace nostalgia and acknowledge the inherent, if indefinite, significance of the Classical elements, genera, and their organization, taxis. Classicism provides an established register against which architecture might be evaluated and understood. Thus, amid a preponderance of indeterminate architectural form, a new Mannerist Project emerges, augmenting and modifying the Classical kit-of-parts and rule set with computational methodologies.

Located at the site of the abandoned Chicago Spire, this project is motivated by the city’s history of tower-building and place-making. While the neoclassical style of the 1893 World’s Fair was not without detractors, none can deny the potency of its image. Its ordered civic grandeur inspired classically-styled architecture and city planning throughout the nation, legitimizing a rapidly evolving society via analogy to valorized ancient regimes.

This building understands classical form as an architectural means of codifying social structure. The parallels are overt: a configuration of discrete parts, governed by over-arching rules of proportion and order. With this in mind, the tower’s deep classical facade can be evaluated with respect to its deviation from the norms of the classical canon. Here, the genera are represented faithfully, the Doric, Giant Ionic, and Colossal Corinthian Orders rendered true to historic norms, but their organization is heretical. Hierarchy has been reconfigured in this thickened envelope of cascading classical thresholds. The primacy of greater Orders over lesser can no longer be taken for granted, sequence is fractured across multiple elevations, rhythm and symmetry emerge, then disappear. As such, the building reflects contemporary social structures, where diffuse and malleable networks have supplanted rigid hierarchical systems. Read the rest of this entry »