Honorable Mention
2019 Skyscraper Competition

Thomas Gössler
Austria

Problem
Today, one of humanity’s biggest problems is transportation. Every single day, many individuals spend hours in traffic congestion which does not only waste their time, but often pollutes the environment by emitting greenhouse gases and particulates. Another challenge is long distance traveling by airplane. Compared to other modes of transport traveling by air has a more harmful environmental impact per passenger-kilometre (see graph). However, the number of airplanes is increasing, and they are expected to fly more frequently. In a plausible scenario, total global carbon emissions in 2050 might be at similar levels as today which means we have to expect an increase in the average global temperature by 4° Celsius in the long run. This project aims to use high-rise architecture in order to address problems of modern transportation systems and to give an alternative to airplane traveling. Therefore, new technologies like hyperloop are incorporated into the project.

Society
According to reports by the United Nations, today’s world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030 and hit 9.8 billion in 2050, considerable proportion of which will live in megacities with more than ten million residents. There, most city dwellers will use public transportation while private vehicles will be automated and driverless. Affordable accommodation will be limited and people might be struggling with little social contact, especially in megacities.
The societal goal is to liberate the surface of big cities from transportation whilst improving infrastructure. Transportation should mainly take place either below or above street level. The tower is the center of a fully operational transportation network that reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and time consumption for passengers. This could result in greener streets with more space for walking, cycling and recreation in the city centers.
This project creates a space for social and professional activities. It generates affordable accommodation and, most importantly. a link between different transportation systems as the hyperloop concept is thought further and lifted into the sky.

Design
The impressive height or architecturally bold design of every skyscraper has to be combined with building functions that deliver diversity and density to the buildings’ inhabitants. For an exceptionally tall building to work, the social needs of residents must be considered. As cities become more densely populated, it is more and more important to create a sense of community.
The top and bottom levels are dedicated to transportation, the space in between has social functions with mixed use. There are 50m² and 75m² apartments, shopping centers, office spaces, gyms, theatres, cinemas and public facilities like schools.
The top floor is part of the hyperloop infrastructure. How does hyperloop work? The pods in the pipes move forwards, accelerating until they reach a speed where they lift up, and are guided by magnets. Hyperloop One says its 670mph system will be “automated by the most advanced systems in the world, allowing a safe and efficient journey that is never delayed or overbooked.” Hyperloop or conventional trains are usually bound to the ground. However, this presents big challenges, especially in mountainous countries and densely populated areas. Therefore, the network is floating in the sky by gas-filled pillows referencing an airship. This can be achieved sustainably by using the methane produced by farm cows or even pump greenhouse gases from the atmosphere into the loop. Approximately 1000m³ of gas are needed in order to lift a metric-ton, so the construction has to be very lightweight.

-> ESCALA: Scale-Ruler + Fountain Pen. For Architects and Designers.

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