2012 Skyscraper Competition
Ying Xiao, Shengchen Yang
Moved by the economic disparity in the United States brought to light by the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, the designers of the Occupy Skyscraper propose creating a building that can further empower protesters and accelerate the Occupy movement. The temporary Occupy skyscraper can be erected on any protest site to provide shelter and meeting spaces for dissenters. By providing a means for protesters to take their movement from a horizontal plane to a 3-D vertical reality, the Occupy skyscraper strengthens and bolsters the event as a whole, but amazingly, it does so only using hemp rope and canvas.
The skyscraper’s construction begins as soon as a protest takes place: Ropes are woven into a vertical web by attaching to and climbing nearby buildings. The webs are woven thicker and thicker until they form nets that can support weight. At this stage, the “building” can be used for climbing, hanging flags and supporting sleeping bags in the vertical spaces, and can be used for gatherings on the horizontal plane. Canvas is then attached to create solid paneling to segregate space uses within the building. The designers envision several designated areas: orientation spaces, and other spots for recreation, sleeping, workshops, conferences, rallies and large meetings.
As the movement gains in strength and more people join, the masses will continue to build out the skyscraper, adding space as needed. The height of the skyscraper reaches its peak, however, when the heights of the surrounding buildings that are supporting the ropes are met. As the protest dies down the building is deconstructed, and after its over, its remains can be removed completely, restoring the urban fabric to what it was before the event.