Visionary High-Rises: Winners of the 2017 eVolo Skyscraper Competition

The way we design and engage with our built environments will
rapidly change as we grapple with climate change and develop
new technological innovations, and in some cases, radical new
ideas will be required. The annual skyscraper design
competition held by eVolo
recognizes visionary ideas for
high-rise projects that challenge our understanding of vertical
architecture and its relationship with both nature and existing
cities. Here are this year’s winners along with 7 honorable
mentions, including an Antarctic skyscraper attempting to
reverse global warming, research facilities housed in the
trunks of Sequoia trees, and vertically stacked factories
sharing smart waste disposal and recycling techniques.

First Place: Mashambas Skyscraper



Based on the Swahili word for ‘an area of cultivated land’
often including the dwelling of the farmer, ‘Mashambas’
by Polish designers Pawel Lipinksi and Mateusz Frankowski aims
to bring the green revolution of expanded harvests to the
poorest people so they can produce surplus food for themselves
and their neighbors, helping to eradicate poverty and hunger in
their communities. The skyscraper itself is a “movable
educational center” providing education, training on
agricultural techniques, cheap fertilizers, modern tools and a
local trading area, and it’s made of simple modular elements
that can expand or disassemble as needed.

Second Place: Vertical Factories in Megacities




In decades past, prior to a round of improvements that made
them far less noisy and polluting, factories were often
relegated to land outside cities, requiring workers to commute
long distances or move to suburban areas. But we don’t exactly
want them taking up valuable square footage in urban areas,
either.
This concept by Tianshu Liu and Linshen Xie
stacks them on
top of each other like a towering sandwich so they can all take
advantage of the same modern technologies for waste removal,
potentially even transforming those waste products into clean
heat, electricity, fertilizer and water.

Third Place: Espiral3500


In ‘La Albufera,’ a coastal area of Spain located within a
natural agricultural park, a rapid increase in tourism during
the summer has led to speculation-based development,
threatening the very characteristics that make it so attractive
in the first place. Population increases up to 1000% in some
areas during high tourist season, and they empty out in winter.
The Espiral3500
concept aims to meet the needs of tourists while protecting the
natural resources of the territory via vertical growth, packing
private and public spaces into a skyscraper with an ‘inverted
street’ system. Visitors can wind their way up to the top,
enjoying a wide range of shops, restaurants and hotels while
taking in the view.

Honorable Mention: Arch Skyscraper



The basis of the Arch
Skyscraper
is envisioned as “an arch that undergoes
transformations through the changes of light, human behavior,
and other factors to form different spaces/units, which overlap
one another vertically to form the final design.” Double-layer
arches inspired by those found in medieval cathedrals and
ancient Chinese pagodas are combined with vertical
transportation, creating a series of vaulted spaces that are
fun to explore.

Honorable Mention: The Forgotten Memorials



Noting that in the past, older architecture was often
demolished to make way for the new in the constant cycle of
urbanization, the designers of
The Forgotten Memorials
skyscraper concept propose
requiring every generation to construct new buildings
underneath the older ones. This could help preserve the past
while accommodating the future on limited land. “They
gradually, generation by generation, penetrate the clouds and
become memorials beyond the sky.”

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