Honorable Mention 
2022 Skyscraper Competition

Sacha Cudré-Mauroux, Nils Hayoz, Bart Oosterhoff, Thomas Wenzel

The problem

Loss of Earth’s surface
With more than one hundred open-pit mines in the world, a large area of the earth’s surface is unusable after closing.

The loss of a city’s identity
Our skyscraper was designed for the pit mine of the Australian city of Kalgoorlie. This nineteenth-century city was created and shaped by gold mining and to this day the entire economy and identity operate on the mining of gold and nickel. When the mine is exhausted, and it is no longer profitable to continue the mining process, Kalgoorlie will have no future and will lose its identity.

The solution
We want to transform the former wasteland into the center of a vibrant city providing housing, public institutions, green space, and agricultural areas like an oasis in the desert. The unique properties of the given topography open opportunities for a new and sustainable way of living. We use the thermal mass of the benches to provide thermal comfort to buildings and use different soil layers for multiple functions such as living, recreation, and agriculture while giving space to the people, increasing biodiversity, and restoring the natural water cycle.

Our new typology of skyscrapers serves as a vertical street connecting the different layers of benches in the mine. At the same time, it houses public institutions and services. The building serves as the main tool for effective daylight management. The steep walls of the mine resulted in unique shadow effects during the day. Our skyscraper functions as a light guidance system providing the over-shadowed area with natural daylight when needed, protecting the over-heated areas from direct sunlight, and using this as a sustainable energy source in the summer months. The core of the skyscraper functions as a passive ventilation system for the whole community.

Climate control systems
Between the structural panels and the bridges, an active mirror solar system is located with different functions. During the colder and darker months, the mirrors reflect the daylight to the over-shadowed areas to create a comfortable environment. In the summer period, when overheating is a real problem, our skyscraper functions as a light guidance system to reflect the light to the top of the tower. Electricity is generated when the concentrated light is converted to heat, which drives a heat engine connected to an electrical power generator. The concentrated solar power generates enough energy to provide for the whole community.

A passive ventilation process provides the mine of external fresh air using the pressure differences arising from natural forces. This wind-driven force is created in the upper part of the skyscraper using the design resulting in an airflow. The polluted and heated air is extracted and is sucked through the empty core of the tower without using energy.

Thermal comfort
During the summer, the shading device blocks direct sunlight and creates a comfortable thermal climate for the city under the structure while the sunlight is producing energy. In winter, the shading design changes its orientation and functions as a reflective blanket that warms the city with the sunlight.

The future of the city
The city was born and shaped by the mining industry, but one day in the future this golden generator will stop working. The mine will close and there will be no more income for the city. The designed skyscraper will revive the city of Kalgoorlie by the use of the unique structure that creates an oasis in the Australian desert. Agriculture and tourism will function as the main industry running the city. The skyscraper will create an environmental climate with possibilities for agriculture and human activities.

Comments are closed.