Editors’ Choice
2020 Skyscraper Competition

Xie Xiaolu, Zhai Xuetong, Kong Haodong, Zhang Yiping

According to statistics from the United Nations, there will be 3 billion people live in slums with poor living conditions by 2030. They live in slums, sharing only 10% of urban wealth, facing hunger, disease, and death, without way and passion to change their fate. After the study of slums, we believe that simply improving the living environment of slums cannot fundamentally solve this problem, unless the social system and class solidification can be profoundly reformed.

Class solidification, people avoid but have to admit, it is inevitable in social development. Generally, people always think poverty is due to laziness, but in fact, poverty is a kind of misfortune. Forced to live, the poor have to choose to go to work earlier rather than to receive longer education; to consume the production than to accumulate capital; to search for places with low land prices, were gathering the poor and further limits their development, to make them lack the courage and endurance to change their status. These factors are reciprocal causation, making the class barrier like an invisible wall, isolating the communication between people of different classes.

Sao Bernardo Du Camp, a place in southeastern Brazil, South America, where the gap between rich and poor is among the widest in the world. Slums in Brazil are like “weeds” that grow on this “paradise on earth.” Wherever there is open space, there are they. A narrow street, between the mansion and the slum, completely separate the fate of the two sides. This program aims to break down the invisible “wall” between the classes with a visible building “wall”. People living here can be trained in skills, and access to relatively comfortable and inexpensive living spaces-providing a cushion of time for people trying to improve themselves to accumulate capital, which is helpful for them to integrate into society and survive independently.

Poor people in this area often choose the better part of the city to build slums, subject to the history of the region and political legacy factors, the government needs to build water and electricity and other infrastructure for the use of the poor in the land occupied by the poor, which not only hinder the effective use of state-owned land, makes the poor migration harder, wastes a lot of public resources, and makes the poor is limited by the existing basic conditions and lose the motivation to improve themselves. Therefore, we design this project to build by welfare funds provided by the government and will be built as a semi-prefabricated mobile assembly building, which itself can move with the development of the city and the geographical needs of the people in different periods.

After constructing a wooden frame, we allow people to build their own hut using any materials they can find in a given place, which could preserve the original living system in the favela as well as saving costs. Besides, we tend to think of the building as an urban complex rather than a dormitory building. The whole building is divided into 15 communities, each community is equipped with basic functions such as gym, classroom, kitchen, and assembly. People living here earn points by receiving education, regular exams, and participating in sports to generate power. When the “points” reach a certain standard, residents could have an extra living area. Through skills training and education in slums, when one person’s living space reaches the maximum line for a while, which means the people in this slum are ready for normal city life, the resident then could move out of the skyscraper and Live a self-sufficient life.

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