Honorable Mention
2012 Skyscraper Competition

Xiaoliang Lu, Yikai Lin
United States

On the borders of two regions at war, those who suffer the greatest are the citizens who simply want peace for their nation. Often, warring regions build great walls between them, but do such walls truly solve conflict? They don’t, say the designers of the “District 3 – Skyscraper of Liberation” project – instead, walls obstruct mutual understanding and intensify the discrepancy.

This project is imagined for the border of Israel and Palestine, which is defined by three districts: an Israeli district, a Palestinian district and a third, which is a zone where the borders are separated by a wall. This wall will be removed and replaced with a skyscraper, transforming the isolated and hate-filled area with one that is shared and fosters reconciliation. The skyscraper can only be entered by Palestinians and Israelis who are non-violent and seek peace and cooperation, and is administered by the United Nations.

The skyscraper will have many programs inside to foster cultural and social exchanges between the two countries. These programs include a farmer’s market, a soccer stadium, a museum, a school, performing arts and assembly spaces, a zoo, a hotel, shopping and business spaces, and farmland at the very top. Residential complexes are connected to the skyscraper peripherally.

These activities are designed to celebrate the cultures of both nations, as “destroying others culture is the strategy of diminution of the enemy’s forces,” say the designers. This skyscraper instead promotes fun and educational activities that distract attention away from conflict. “The District 3 is an assembly where Israeli and Palestinian can negotiate, cooperate with each other and represent themselves.”

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