Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Anna Kosmala, Anita Tupikowska, Aleksandra Moś
Poland

Recent events from around the world have clearly shown the devastating effects of human activity to date. In response to the fires that consumed vast areas of the Amazon forest and the Australian bush, we have designed a high-rise building to prevent similar ecological disasters in the future. It is intended both to prevent fires, through fast fire detection and immediate intervention, as well as compensate for losses through reforestation and help the affected people and animals.

The shape of the high-rise building was inspired by the cone and the tree. We wanted it to fit into the surroundings and at the same time draw on the idea of sowing seeds – new plants grow around the high-rise building (planted by residents).

We understand that it takes time to put up such a construction, so we propose a system of smaller buildings, which due to prefabricated elements could be built in less than a day. The structure of smaller residential units and the high-rise building consists of capsules attached to a centrally located main communication core, made of reinforced concrete. The skeleton of the capsules is made of prefabricated beams and columns with recycled plastic inside covered with concrete and geo-textile stretched on it. We decided on such construction to avoid littering the environment with plastics and because of their high resistance to damage. In less demanding climates, it would be possible to replace the geo-textile with glass. All installations run under the floor of the capsule and then through the inside of the main core. The capsules are anchored to the core by means of a hanger fixing system. The construction works on burnt-out areas would start with smaller residential units. Some of the residents would be involved in the construction of the central unit, while the rest would repair the damage on the burnt-out area.

Several/several dozen high-rise buildings would be placed on the burnt-out areas together with the surrounding residential units.

The upper floors of the high-rise building serve as a center for receiving signals from smoke detectors located on trees and fir commanding drones and tanks used for extinguishing the fires. Below there are hospital floors, both for people and animals, and a school, both for children of residents settled and hired for the purposes of forestation and natives. The lowest floors are intended for food production. In the underground part, there are warehouses.

The residential function is located in smaller units. They would be inhabited by volunteers brought to the burnt-out areas and willing natives. This would enable mutual education and cooperation.

Photovoltaic panels are placed on the roofs of each capsule. They supply individual residential units, the high-rise building, as well as drones and fire-fighting tanks. If more power is produced by smaller buildings, the surplus is sent to the central unit. The energy is also produced by the turbines placed in the inter-floor space in the main core of the high-rise building. Water is drawn from underground springs, or an underground river – as is possible with the Amazon and the Hamza River. Wastewater is discharged into the fermentation tanks of the biogas plant, where it will produce methane, used as another source of electricity. Fermentation sludge from the tanks of the biogas plant and biodegradable waste, after prior drying and composting, will be used for fertilization.

The construction of the residential units is designed in such a way that, after completing its task, i.e. soil re-cultivation and reforestation, they can be quickly disassembled, leaving only the central unit, for further patrolling of the area and possible intervention in case of fire.

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