The winners of this year's eVolo Skyscraper Competition have been announced. The annual contest was established in 2006 with the aim of recognizing outstanding ideas for vertical living. This year's overall winner, the Essence Skyscraper, contains a variety of diverse natural habitats.
The eVolo competition seeks concepts that challenge the way we understand vertical architecture through the use of of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations. Last year's winner, for example, was Yong Ju Lee, whose Vernacular Versatility design used the wooden style of traditional Korean houses. In 2013, Derek Pirozzi's Polar Umbrella solar shade for ice caps took the top honor.
This year, three winners and 15 honorable mentions were selected from a total of 480 entries. eVolo says they were chosen "for their creativity, ingenuity and understanding of dynamic and adaptive vertical communities."
The first-placed Essence Skyscraper was designed by Polish group Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan and Jakub Pudo. It aims to put "non-architectural phenomena" in an urban environment. The design incorporates 11 different habitats, such as an ocean, jungle, cave and waterfall.
In second place, the aim of the Shanty-Scaper is to provide housing, work and recreational spaces to those living in the slums of India's Chennai city. Designed by Suraksha Bhatla and Sharan Sundar, it makes use of post-construction debris, such as pipes, corrugated metal sheets and timber.
The final and third-place winner is called Cybertopia. It was designed by Russia's Egor Orlov and imagines the city of the future as a combination of digital and physical worlds. Orlov envisions a future in which physical and mechanical laws are not as we know them now, and structures grow and morph according to our needs.
The honorable mentions include concepts designed for the Arctic, to reverse desertification and that see abandoned oil rigs transformed into bio-habitats.