Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Chuwei Tan

Ghat, a term used in the India subcontinent, could refer to the series of steps leading down to a body of water or wharf. There are numerous ghats along the Ganges, and people who live on the steps are also called ghats.

In India, monsoon waterlogging was commonplace, but this was a frighteningly different sight. The whole city was gradually sinking, everything was drowning. It produced a sense of being choked and trapped.

Dying Water – Pollution & Gag
From the urban perspective, the mighty flood could easily break through the most elaborate and calculated control system in the world, paralyze a well-organized city in operation and left a nightmare mess.

Rivers and streams have borne the brunt of the recent urban explosion in India, a nation whose population has nearly doubled in the last 40 years to 1.35 billion. Unplanned growth has led to the use of water bodies as dumping grounds for sewage and industrial effluent.

In addition, riverbanks, wetlands, and floodplains have been claimed over time by infrastructure, slums, offices, and housing developments – all of which have narrowed natural river channels and distorted flow, greatly reducing the ability of India’s rivers to buffer flooding. It also has taken a toll on biodiversity.

The field research focuses on Chotte Lal Ghat – almost adjacent to Asia’s largest flower market – the Mullick ghat flower market. Businessmen, tourists, homeless, lots of different people streaming in and out, make this place one of the busiest ghat in Kolkata.

We recorded human activities on the ghat plaza for a whole daytime, in order to figure out the matrix of this multi-function ghat.

This project aims to provide a solution for the destruction of monsoon flood and environmental pollution caused by human activities, return the wetland, riverbank to nature.

  1. Escape Monsoon
    The new ghat slides flexibly with good movement rigidity, can escape from the flood in monsoon season, which is of great significance for avoiding catastrophic accidents and huge economic losses.  Meanwhile, the capsule lifts help to transport people and supplies.
  2. Water Circulation
    The pumping station on the ghat center pump water from the river and supply domestic water for ghat residents after filtration and purification. Then, the collected sewage will be filtered again and discharge back to river.
  3. Sociability
    Ghat, as urban Space of Sociability, is the portrayal of the city.  By reference to human daily life demand researched in Chotte Lal Ghat, more architectural elements could be brought to the new ghat, like amenities, bedding, factories, and water circulation system. Hence, the ghat society is able to keep itself running when sliding to the sky.

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Francis Cheung, Cheung Ka Wah Francis
Hong Kong

Breaking Flat Floor Plates
By rethinking the arrangement of floor plates, this project challenges conventional office skyscrapers in terms of spatial experience, structural system, and circulation. The project started with developing a design prototype regardless of the site. This allowed me to raise the most fundamental question, “how should a skyscraper be?” What a typical skyscraper, a type of vertical building, lacks most is vertical connections. Thus, by using paper as a testing medium due to its flexibility and fluidity, I aimed at redesigning an internal arrangement that promotes interconnections within a skyscraper.

Folding The Prototype
After several modular testings, I came up with this modular shell system. By folding 4 pieces of paper, a module that consists of different floor levels is created. Stacking up the modules results in the first prototype of my skyscraper.

Structural Experiment
Initial structural testing was performed to ensure the structure could stand. Opposite shell quarters reinforce each other – the upper part takes the tension force while the lower part is under compression. This model also suggests room of spatial variations. The in-between spaces of the adjacent shell quarters could be transformed into different types of connections or separations between slabs.

Spatial Experiment
The modular shell system was metamorphosed with the addition of intermediate slabs. Different combinations of slabs were tested. The spatial transformation brings about a variety of working conditions and programs. The richness of spaces complies with an activity-based working environment that suggests users could work anywhere in the office that suits his current activity. Spatial fluidity and human mobility are promoted. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Surendar Jayachandran, Jayashree, Achshaya Ramooji

Man has been one of the root causes of the deterioration of the globe. The glorious 21 st century has not only paved its way into unimaginable human inventions but has also seen some of the unbearable threats and calamities all over the world. One of the most horrendous events was the 2019-2020 Australian bush fires. Out of the 50,000 many fires, the latest were the most vigorous and deadliest of them all. It took over tens and millions of lives of animals and few human lives as well. It has also forced the evacuation of entire communities.

The ultimate aim of “The ARK” will be focused on to the protection, shelter, restoration, and enrichment of the “flora and fauna” of the flaming fire lands of Australia, or be it any other “fire endangered” forests. Through this scrapper design, there wouldn’t be any more drastic loss of lives, extinction, trauma or tragedy. The ARK is designed to be a self-sustained adaptive being of the jungle. They behave like a native of their space that hosts their mates at times of need and danger. They are so designed to resemble the tall local mountain ash trees (Eucalyptus) of Australia, who happen to possess a tallest growth record of about 80 m. Our ARK stands to a majestic 100 m high with various other nurturing features to the traumatized creatures. In short, this design is an attempt to physically create Mother Nature and her so many qualities as a sky scrapper to the harmless creatures of the woods.

With basic instincts of creation, the animals first run to a place of safety in search of protection. Some survive the run, some injured and many died in this span within the course of which human help arrives which also isn’t practically capable of saving tons and millions stuck, suffering and dead already. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Ziyu Luo, Xiantong Wu, Jingzhe Fan, Peiyu Fu

India’s poverty population accounts for about 40% of the world’s. A large number of poor people has left 24% of India’s urban population living in slums. Meanwhile, 1% of the richest Indians own more than half of India’s wealth. Under the extremely unbalanced development of this contradictory society, it can still maintain a long-term “super stable” state relying on the shackles of the caste system and the support of religious culture. However, most of the low castes stagnate in the solidified social status and make a hard living in the slums, which becomes an unavoidable scar in India.

India ranked second in the 2019 Global Retail Development Index and was on the verge of becoming the world’s fifth-largest luxury market. At the same time, as the second-largest labor market except for agriculture, the textile industry played an important role in the sustainable development of the Indian fashion industry, and the survival of textile workers is still the key issue of India’s development.

Relying on the background of Mumbai’s cotton textile industry center, combining with the small-scale handicraft industry workshop foundation in Dharavi and the surrounding financial center’s urban environment, we will build a luxury goods processing and sales building in this largest slum in Asia. Taking the textile industry as the medium, the construction will excavate new and high-end customers for the precious wealth of India’s handmade textile technology, to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, and drive the economic development of Dharavi region. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Masaaki Matsuoka, Yuuki Murakami, Fumito Tamamura, Ryo Watada, Hiroki Kanto

1. Three-dimensionalization of parks
The 21st Century. As cities become exposed to sophisticated computerization and diversification, they are becoming more complex, in both physical and non-physical aspects. No matter how communication technology may improve, the innovation born of people meeting face to face will be all the more needed. Under these circumstances, the concept of “public” will undergo significant change. The park, which can be seen as a symbol of this, is not just a place of rest for citizens but is also a place of production that provides values to cities in preparation for even greater climate change, food crises, disasters, and other risks that cities face. As a new symbol of such parks, and taking a cue from the obelisks once found around the world, we propose a model for a new public high-rise structure that brings independence and redundancy to cities: the Smart Obelisque. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Anna Kosmala, Anita Tupikowska, Aleksandra Moś

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

German Sandoval Garduño, Ilse Guzmán Heredia

The Site for the proposed is a natural basin near Glaciar Torre; on the South of Chile, is a point of convergence between the continents with the most biodiversity loss, of intermediate logistics connection between America, Africa, and Oceania. The site is currently a beautiful snowy mountain landscape ready to house a project of this magnitude and with the ideal temperature for its requirements.

Aim of the project
The aim of the project is to reschedule, protect, and restart animal life to save the design of creation in case of catastrophes or wars. Through preservation techniques, assisted reproduction methods with the support of advanced technologies to reprogram the biodiversity as a reserve over the next several decades. Read the rest of this entry »


By:  | May - 15 - 2020

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Walter R. Hughes
United States

We are faced with a need to implement adequate strategies along the architectural-technological process that include precepts of sustainability to reverse damages infringed upon the environment. In addition to energy performance, the reduction of energy requirements and the introduction of renewable energy, it’s extremely important to reach a zero-energy level.

This proposal is located within a strategic area of the City of Chicago, the birthplace of skyscrapers. At the entrance of the Chicago River and at the head of the Outer Driver Bridge, three mixed-use glass towers, a vertical village of sorts, face Lake Michigan and offer outstanding downtown views. They integrate into the current skyline linking itself to a continuous linear park along Chicago’s waterfront. A pedestrian-friendly promenade at its base with shops, retail, and marina play into Chicago’s dynamic downtown. Its main components are a hotel, office space and residential units served by a multimodal transportation system anchored by a futuristic landing port for autonomous electric flying vehicles, Evtols, which will serve the project and areas nearby. This skyport can handle over 150 landings and take-offs per hour. Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Jitendra Shrawan Farkade

Flux Haus is a parasitic housing scheme, that would engulf five towers in Hong Kong with single-person pods. The grid structure covered in moving single-occupancy pods is designed to be a “more dignified” alternative to cage homes – tiny dwellings enclosed by a gridded metal walls and large enough for only one bunk bed. It would be built on another building that would contain support facilities, in this case, a housing complex in the Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong. Given current socio-economic conditions and how they spill into Hong Kong’s housing disparity, it offers a futuristic response to inadequate and undignified living conditions.

The proposal is based in Sham Shui Po, a district in Hong Kong with a high cost of living that forces locals to settle in substandard dwellings such as cage houses. A look into Hong Kong’s cage homes gives us a glimpse of how bad the problem of land scarcity is already. Hong Kong has been ranked the least affordable city nine years in a row.

This project is an attempt to use AI and technology to solve the problem of space scarcity. This combination of intelligent machines and humans is an adaptive and evolutionary way of living. As people change, so do their houses. The house understands the inhabitant and provides for their needs. So you won’t own a specific pod. You can board any pod and that pod will adapt according to your needs.

Each pod would be suspended from the grid that would encompass the five towers in the Green Harbour Tower complex. This structure is envisaged as a grid of metal rails. As part of the proposal, the existing building will be adapted to contain all the communal spaces, including bathrooms and kitchens. The pods will then be programmed to take occupants to these spaces when required. Robotic arms would allow for a self-constructing system through an ever-growing rail system that adapts to the population of the housing complex. As a result, the grid structure would autonomously expand over time. Along with this, Flux House’s AI system would also determine the movements of the pods, finding free spaces to dock them and arrange the pods to create communal spaces. This system would create an ever-changing environment adapting to varying conditions and requirements.  Read the rest of this entry »

Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Anjan Mondal, Chaitanya Goyal, Chinmay Chowdhary, Dewesh Agrawal, Kartik Misra

‘All war is a symptom of the failure of man as a thinking animal.’

The Anthropocene has witnessed prolonged periods marred with plagues and calamities. But none has been of the magnitude caused by expansionist conflicts, and identity politics.

The turmoil caused by wars is unparalleled. Millions have lost their lives and millions have been forced to migrate and dwell in disarray. The world now possesses enough firepower to annihilate itself.

Upcycling fire
The proposal envisions a world order that is free from armed conflicts and the fear of the tendency to self-annihilate itself. It calls for complete demilitarization and destruction of military equipment throughout the world, with the subsequent upcycling of embodied materials and energy in the form of the peace-scraper. Major constituents such as steel and aluminum would be used to form the structure and the living pods. The weapons-grade nuclear material will be the source of clean nuclear energy.

The peace-scraper is envisaged as a vertical mixed-use development in regions most affected by wars. The community of the state-less migrants, torn apart by the exploits of wars, will populate the tower. It will stand as the emancipator of millions, created, ironically, from the very means that orphaned them of their land. The program includes a nuclear reactor to cater to the energy needs, skill development center, school, and higher education facilities and markets. The ground will be developed for sports activities. Read the rest of this entry »