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Honorable Mention
2011 Skyscraper Competition

Anna-Maria Simatou, Marianthe Dendrou
Greece

The Living Mountain is a city-like skyscraper for one of the Earth’s harshest environments: the desert. Fertile land is gradually being transformed into deserts due to global warming. This project is located in one of those regions, the desert of Taklamakan, in the northwestern region of China.

This high-rise conglomerate, in conjunction with man-made lakes, could gradually transform the desert into a habitable environment. The Living Mountain would extract water from the regions substrate and through its smart use, treatment, circulation, and controlled evaporation, could create a microclimate inside the structure.

The housing areas are envisioned as “living pods” of 2,000 square-feet with easy access to all the facilities. Rainwater is collected and circulated on top of the super-structure and freely cascades to the atrium while filtering the air and promoting the growth of indoor vegetation.

Vertical communication is achieved by elevator shafts placed between clusters of ‘living pods.’ Communication with the outside world is secured via a highway at ground level; a cable car system, that will eventually link multiple ‘living mountains’, a helipad and a runway.

Local materials will be used throughout the construction. Due to the shifting sands, the foundation will be on reinforced concrete piles. The rest of the superstructure will be made of steel and reinforced concrete. The “pods” will be locally prefabricated of light translucent material.

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