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    Floating waterfront village to high-rise waterfall: eVolo’s 20 Most Innovative Skyscrapers

    Nathan Johnson

    Fresh from announcing the winners of their 2015 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo have now released a list of the most innovative submissions they received for the contest.

    The list of 20 skyscraper designs were narrowed from 480 submissions and while the projects range in size, scope and practicality they all address real socio-environmental issues that will affect the construction of skyscrapers in the future.

    Project types include everything from a desalinating skyscraper in Somalia to a floating waterfront village in China, and although they’re unlikely to ever be realised they each provide solutions for issues surrounding urban development, population control, affordable housing, and sustainable building.  

    See the full list of projects and a small synopsis of each project below (courtesy of eVolo). Click on the title for a more thorough run down on each innovative skyscraper:

    Breeding Clouds Skyscraper by Davide Coluzzi (Italy)

    Breeding clouds is a vision of a possible future in which mankind has managed to use its wits to solve serious problems such as climate change and aridity.


    Migratory Lantern Flock: Nostalgia Across the Formosa Strait by Cai Zeyu and Du Dikang (China)

    Migratory Lantern Flock aims to inspire a common cultural identity for the Taiwanese people by reusing a discarded vernacular structure as the framework for a glowing tower.


    The Oculus: Regenerating Life Through a Vertical Topology by Rodrigo Carmona (United States)

    The Oculus is a vertical community. It is a place to live, work, and commune with nature. The building exemplifies a new urban high-rise typology where one can experience the human condition as it is meant to be, full of life.


    Xerophyte Tower by Allstair Lillystone and Shonn Mills (United Kingdom, Singapore)

    The tower utilises conventional high rise technology coupled with advances in material science and. The backbone of the tower will be a central core that is used for the primary structure. This central spine will service to provide a portion of the vertical movement and servicing for the tower. Orbiting the perimeter of the core will be secondary structures which are envisioned to be completely modular secondary units. Constructed completely off-site in factories with the use of renewable resource’s such as forested timber.


    Floating Waterfront Village: Trees of Life by Yi Wang and Jin Wei (China)

    From the morphological point of view, the design inspiration is from the traditional big Banyan in Southern China, and mainly living and activity function are put on the small and large platforms. There are some small living platforms hung down around the top roof as “aerial roots”, which makes the skyscraper integrated into the whole environment. “Floating Waterfront Village” not only has practical function, but also set complex ecological energy saving, scenery viewing, science educating and art in one of the multiple experience.


    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Bart Chompff and James Park (Austria)

    Our project aims to augment the utilization of sun’s energy on an architectural scale whereby the focus on capturing the sun’s energy goes beyond the mere application of photovoltaic cells upon surfaces. With this in mind, our design incorporates two available and proven processes of harvesting energy from the sun. Both of these processes operate by way of redirecting and thereby concentrating the rays of the sun towards a specific target but differ significantly in their output.


    Bicycle Skyscraper Network by Si Hoon Choi, Do In Kim, Tae Joon Jeong, Chang Han Lee, Seong Hyun Yoon (South Korea)

    To promote a healthier environment and decrease congestion at street level, the Bicycle Skyscraper Network redirects bicycle traffic into an elevated road system for a safer and faster commute.


    Go Vertical: A City Designed for Volume by Margaret Rew, Taylor Hewett, Karilyn Johannesen (United States)

    A City Designed for Volume reimagines the conventional highrise layout as a web of overlapping public and private spaces that redefine the lifestyles of mixed-use skyscraper occupants by creating new opportunities for interaction.


    Favela Skyscraper by Rodrigo Carranca Hernandez (Mexico)

    It is a self-sustainable building where climatic factors such as heat, humidity and rain are exploited to diminish the high costs of basic services. Thanks to the percentage of green areas located on the terraces and open spaces, water recollection is possible as well as harvesting produce for consumption or merchandising.


    Water Skyscraper in Somalia by Nurzhanat Kenenov (Singapore)

    Each tower will create work places comprising of staff necessary for control of vapor process and water production, as well as staff necessary for food production around the water bodies. This will improve the social status of Somali citizens. The water bodies can be treated as parks, providing water necessary for green space which would improve health of local population.


    The Habitable Obelisk by Jun Hao Ong (Malaysia)

    Blurring the lines between sculpture and architecture, stone age and new age, The Habitable Obelisk is a vertical shrine for new living and contemplating within a free-standing piece of rock-cut sandstone set in an urban environment.


    Hi-Rise Waterfall by Gigih Nalendra, Nadia Vashti Lasrindy, Reza Arya Pahlevi (Indonesia)

    Our proposal is to use the top of a building as a top reservoir that can cover a large area for rain water catchment, and the fact that the building is tall; the potential energy is also higher due to its high position. Therefore, the energy from the amount of water that falls from the peak into waterfall can generates a massive hydropower to feed the energy needs of the building’s inhabitants.


    Re-scraper by Zhou Ping, Yang Dongqi, Xie Mingxuan, Chai Wenpu, Sun Wei, Yang Hui, Liu Chengming, Qi Shan, Deng Honghao (China)

    The machine is fixed on the mobile stand gripping on the core tube for the stability during the demolition and printing process. The printing materials come from the recycle of the original high-rises. By collecting, separating and further processing the building debris from the cutter-head on the bottom of the machine, three basic printing materials are made: glass, concrete and metal. With different combination of these three materials, unlimited structure and architecture forms could be made to create more possibilities of the new high-rises on the top.


    Termite Skyscraper by Chong Wang, Mingwei Sun, Zhen Wang (China, United Kingdom)

    Our proposal explores the applicability of a tall building design in edible termite farming of Africa which supported by low-tech masonry work in order to encourage the involvement of local people and reduce the capital cost. With the help of cross arch, duplicable units, each of them contains a mound for a termite nest, can be stacked up to increase the plot ratio. As a result, multiple nests can be assembled within a relatively dense area by using the multiple porous structures whereby air-changing and shading protect not only termites but human workers.


    Capture Wind: A Wind Farm in the Tropopause by Jiaqi Sun, Chang Liu, Mingxuan Qin (China)

    With the great amount of wind power existing in the troposphere, we designed this wind power generation station, which would be the main power supply for the electricity system instead of fossil fuel in the future.

    We conceive the skyscraper located near the Tropic of Capricorn/Cancer (mainly located at the east of North America and Asia, the Southern Ocean between Africa and Antarctica, north Africa, and the east of Australia).


    Land Liberator Skyscraper by Ming Liu, Chen Chen, Chao Nie, Hua Deng, Yinhan Zhou (China)

    The “Land Liberator” skyscraper is a series of skyscrapers located in Beijing in the future to absorb the high-rise buildings on land into the inner space of it and put the public buildings, streets, residents on the top of it, in order to free the land from human occupation thus the plants and animals will return to live on it. 


    Cloucity by Juerg Burger, Ge Men, Qingchuan Yang, Yin Li, Wei Hou (Switzerland)

    Cloucity proposes a vertical city connected to the existing city at three different points. The void generated will serve as a recreational space for the city and will be activated by a wide variety of programs. The three towers are horizontally interconnected and offer distinct residential and office areas.


    Re2iffel Equalizer Skyscraper by Teemu Holopainen, Tomi Jaskari, Tuomas Vuorinen, Simon Ornberg (Finland)

    Re²iffel seeks the concept of structure, the body, not the concept of functions, for high rise to fulfill equity goals while providing comfort and shelter for future threats of climate change where extreme ends of whether conditions will vary more and more often. The concept is based on traditional combination of load bearing facade and rigid elevator shaft which together in a form of thin-shell structure in the shape of tent creates very stable and enduring skeleton for high rise use.


    Diffused Boundaries Skyscraper by Satavee Kijsanayotin, Ben Novacinski, Hannah Mayer, Haydar Baydoun, Mingxi Ye, Zhifei Chen (Thailand, United States)

    The twenty-four-block site chosen for the project exists within the main concentration of the commercial district of Sham Shui Po. More recently, towers of residential living and / or commercial use have been situated atop the shop house typology, creating an ever-distant relationship between ground and sky, public and private. The concept of Diffused Boundaries ,then, seek to blur this rigid division between the public and private programmatic function that exists due to the existing architectural language in all three axis of urbanization through the vertical and horizontal diffusion and dispersion gradient of form and functions.

    Images: eVolo

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