By:  | May - 8 - 2023

Honorable Mention
2023 Skyscraper Competition

Yuxin Meng, Xiang Li, HaoYi Cui, Wenxi Yu, YiJing Zhang, Weilin Xin, ZiJian Liu

Fiji is a tourist-driven island nation in the heart of the South Pacific. Due to tropical cyclones and other natural disasters, Fiji has a shrinking land area where people suffer from inundation, food shortages, employment difficulties, and other problems. “Origami-Scraper”, a place to shelter from tropical cyclones, supply employment, conduct meteorological observation, and even be equipped with habitats for birds, will appear on the sea of Fiji. Under normal circumstances, it will be flat for agriculture and fishery development. Once tropical cyclones appear, it will fold itself for protecting people, birds, and ships from them.

When it comes to the reasons why we chose to shelter from tropical cyclones as our design direction, we noticed that hurricane Ian in 2022 hit Florida causing significant economic losses. Actually, many coastal regions are attacked by hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones and lose a lot of human, material, and financial resources. Especially small islands located in the South Pacific are hit by tropical cyclones almost every year.

But it doesn’t mean being a monotonous project, we gave this idea more functionality. According to Fiji’s popularity in tourism, we chose to build it for Fiji. Fiji is an island nation of approximately 7, 100 square miles in the South Pacific, northeast of New Zealand, and east of Australia, which is affected by severe natural hazards every year. Fiji’s economy is relatively fragile, and its main income comes from tourism. It was hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which directly led to a rise in unemployment. In addition, Fiji’s net migration rate in the past 50 years has been mostly negative because of rising sea levels and political instability.

Fiji has had approximately one tropical cyclone every year since humans recorded it in about the 1860s. Tropical cyclones have brought huge economic losses to Fiji, sweeping away people’s houses and damaging their fishing boats. Among them, even a significant number, are tropical cyclones above category 3(Aus scale).

After the option of the site, we will increase the living units because of the sea level rise, so more residents will have more opportunities to live. The number of farmlands will increase to make the residents self-sufficient. Additionally, we will learn about the local FishFAD techniques and apply them to fishery production.

We plan to make our Origami-Scraper away from storms by folding. When there is no tropical cyclone, the building will unfold normally. When the tropical cyclone hits, it will be folded into a form similar to a lighthouse to remind people that the storm is coming. Meanwhile, it will become stronger for people to escape from the tropical cyclone. Our building has many functional systems that not only provide shelter for people who are devastated by tropical cyclones but also use natural resources such as solar energy to convert to energy, reducing the cost of operating the system.

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