Honorable Mention
2013 Skyscraper Competition

Yeonkyu Park, Kwon Han, Haeyeon Kwon, Hojeong Lim
United States

Located in the Republic of Chile, Atacama Desert is one of the oldest and driest places on Earth. This desert is fenced by the Andes Mountains on one side and the Chilean Coast Range on the other. The moisture which comes from the Pacific Ocean cannot get through either side and creates a “rain shadow effect.” Due to this geographic situation, Atacama Desert is constantly dry even though it is located near the Pacific Ocean. People living in Atacama are at risk and degradation is spreading rapidly. However, a dense fog known as “Camanchaca” could potentially end desertification in the Atacama Desert. Sourced from the Pacific Ocean, this fog has the potential to nourish plants and other living organisms. Read the rest of this entry »

“Every day, 77,000 carbon-emitting vehicles fly past the Congress Parkway interchange, polluting the air. This project creates a gateway over the corridor that filters air and fuels a new breed of car for its residents.”

In attempt to cut down on Chicago’s CO2 emissions produced from cars in the Eisenhower Expressway, Danny Mui & Benjamin Sahagun propose the splitting of the Congress Gateway Towers, using a system of carbon scrubbers and filtration devices that clean carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. Aimed to increase public awareness and improve of Chicago’s public health, the CO2ngress Gateway Towers absorb the CO2 emissions from passing cars and is then fed to algae grown in the building. The algae then helps with the processing of biofuels which will supply the building residents’ eco-friendly cars. Read the rest of this entry »

Adhering to the rising trend of skybridges and twin tower design in the Yongsan district, Asymptote Architecture‘s design for the Velo Towers creates social environments through the stacking of a series of rotated oblong volumes.  Uniquely oriented to views of the Han River and the adjacent Yongsan park, residents of the eight residential units can access public housing amenities and green roof spaces through light filled atrium spaces and two bridge structures. The base of the towers offer a communal landscape over a raised plinth, and a Skybridge soars thirty stories to provide access to cafes, pools, lounges, recreational centers, housing fitness, and a sky garden with spectacular views of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Situated along a wetland in Yellow River, the Yinchuan Art Center by We Architech Anonymous is derived from its modern geology, preserving its cultural identity and symbol as ‘the cradle of Chinese civilization.’ The center will be constructed in a new eco city in Yinchuan, Ningxia and be the central focus in a pedestrian friendly, parkland city center.

With an estimated population of 500,000 inhabitants, its proximity to a frequently flooding Yellow River is crucial to shaping the architecture of new settlements. In the past millenia, studies have shown the river’s violent character and ever changing location, depositing large sediment and debris over various locations around the city. A study on Yinchuan’s geomorphology led to understanding the relationship between water erosion and mountain formation in the area, known as pressure release. Large volumes of rock cause rocks beneath and below the surface to expand, fracture, and are carried along the surface, causing a natural phenomenon called “unloading.” Rocks above the surface often hold high pressure beneath them due to its heaviness, releasing pressure slowly, allowing for underlying rock to push towards the surface. Read the rest of this entry »

IwamotoScott‘s design for the Edgar Street Towers in Lower Manhattan responds to its urban context and establishes a historical vision for a new hybrid of architecture, infrastructure and public space. The towers would reconnect Greenwich and Washington streets, acting as an east-west public way aligned with the primary north Manhattan street grid which is directly on the 5th Avenue axis. Double entrance lobbies located on the sides of the passageway open to the public. Twisting upwards, the passageway soars and pinches at the middle to allow for larger floor plates, settling at a civic space and rooftop sky lobby. Read the rest of this entry »

The proposal for the RTV Headquarters in Zurich by Oliver Dibrova (Asymptote) is an exercise on minimal surfaces and their porous qualities. Inspired by liquid crystals, these surfaces behave as spatial elements for programmatic interweaving, creating highly differentiated spaces. Various conditions of “soap” films are created as the surface changes from states of solid to liquid at different temperatures, dividing the program into administrative areas, TV studios, radio studios, an open public zone, and internal working spaces. An aggregation of generated components allowed for various iterations of spatial interweaving patterns which were ultimately woven at different scales into a hybrid program to achieve maximum communication and selective visual connections. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Flow’ is a self sustaining public lamp operating on the concept of a vertical wind turbine developed by Alberto Vasquez. The lamp’s main purpose is to solve the problem of poor public lighting in coasts where the energy grid cannot be transmitted. Using bamboo as a natural resource, these lights could transform often abandoned and thus dangerous shores into safe destinations.
The lamp is mostly biodegradable and can be easily manufactured by even the most unskilled worker.  LED lights are located at the ends of the wind blades, which can either create a continuous lighting surface or waving movements, depending on the speed of rotation. Its unique helix structure helps it withstand ocean winds from all directions. Read the rest of this entry »

Marc Fornes / Theverymany’s latest Double Agent White is a continuous surface composed of an intersection of 9 unique spheres, achieving a maximum degree of morphological freedom with a minimum amount of components. This forms as part of a series of prototypical architectures (Centre Pompidous, FRAC Centre, Art Basel Miami to name a few) and uses Object Oriented computing to generate developable parts for fabrication of double curved surfaces. Continuous double curvature is defined around the Double Agent White surface for material rigidity and optimal use of nesting storage for larger decomposable units. In this way, the piece achieves structural continuity, visual interplay, and logistical efficiency.

This project is the first of a new series of fabricated projects to investigate a double agent system. Two parallel but divergent sets of distributed agents describe the surface condition. The first is a controlled macro set that generates the overall geometry with the minimum number of elements able to be cut within specified flat sheets of aluminum. The second involves a much more expressive set of higher resolution and morphologies that crafts aperture as ornament. The two sets then inform each other simultaneously, following the logic of assembly mobility. The resulting structure adheres to a myriad of formal and technical constraints that provide a dynamic structure of spatial nuance.



NAU‘s proposal (finalist) for the 2007 New National Library of Czech Republic Competition stands as a symbolic representation of the Czech culture; its past, present, and future. The focus of the project revolves around the dichotomy of two main spaces–the National Archive and the Universal Collection–which are wrapped by an exterior membrane. At the bedrock, the monolithic tower containing the National Archive twists into a lifting gesture towards the city center. Anchoring the tower on the opposite end is a two-story Universal Collection, horizontally floating above the ground. The external skin creates a continuous void of public spaces above and below. Transparent and permeable properties are available in this envelope, offering an array of climatic and acoustic functions including: complete transparency at the top, perforations for skylights in reading rooms, windows in office spaces, and permeable openings in the ground floor. Read the rest of this entry »


Biothing‘s design for Europan 2011 competition focuses on the integration of local architecture and physics through a highly developed architectural fabric consisting of urban furniture, synthetic “weather” and dispersed energy production.

In Climath, Croatia’s Old City stone pavements and network of courtyards and gardens are replicated through a tilling pattern generated by the 5 colored Cellular Automata algorithm, which results in an even distribution of infrastructural cells which designate areas of benches, planters, and spaces for lights. These different seating elements are programmed in the surface as well as programmable spaces for different densities of light. A popular destination for hot sunny afternoons, the top layer of the plaza synthesizes an arena of mist among a field of aromatic planters. The design proposes to store solar energy through the absorption of the plaza’s daily sun exposure created by distributed arrays embedded in the pavement. Read the rest of this entry »