Liquefactower: The Sinking City

By:  | March - 20 - 2014

Honorable Mention
2014 Skyscraper Competition

Eric Nakajima
New Zealand

With bigger and worse natural disasters appearing on the news with no signs of slowing down, we need to rethink how cities should rebuild. When a city is destroyed, it is a sign that the city’s infrastructure is not suitable for the environmental conditions of that particular location. With so much variation of inherent environmental properties around the globe, why do we globalize a singular infrastructural system?

Christchurch, New Zealand is one city that has recently been devastated by an earthquake. With citywide liquefaction destroying infrastructure, it is clear that the typical method of construction is not suited for such soil condition. The immediate response by the city is to artificially condition the soil for better building surface, but this method of forcing nature to take form of an ideal environment to perpetuate the same construction technique seems time consuming and wasteful.

The proposal is a system that adapts into the current environmental conditions without the need for tweaking, alteration or correction. For the new city, unstable soil becomes a necessity and not a burden as the structure buries and sinks into the ground by exploiting the phenomenon of liquefaction. This project becomes an example of rethinking adaptation by responding to the nature of site without being constrained by traditional methods.

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