Architecture

Hole in the ground wins skyscraper competition

Hole in the ground wins skyscr...
New York Horizon by Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu
New York Horizon by Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu
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New York Horizon by Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu
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New York Horizon by Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu
The Hive by Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu
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The Hive by Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu
Data Tower by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti
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Data Tower by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti
Global Cooling Skyscraper by Paolo Venturella and Cosimo Scotucci
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Global Cooling Skyscraper by Paolo Venturella and Cosimo Scotucci
Cloud Craft by Michael Militello and Amar Shah
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Cloud Craft by Michael Militello and Amar Shah
The Valley Of Giants by Eric Randall Morris and Galo Canizares
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The Valley Of Giants by Eric Randall Morris and Galo Canizares
Air-Stalagmite by Changsoo Park and Sizhe Chen
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Air-Stalagmite by Changsoo Park and Sizhe Chen
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Imagine standing on the edge of New York's Central Park and looking down into a 1.3-sq mile (3.4-sq km) sunken expanse of mountains and lakes. This is the award-winning concept dreamt up by Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu, who have envisioned digging down to the bedrock of the park to create a more natural landscape.

New York Horizon was conceived to contrast the city's densely-constructed buildings and towering skyscrapers, as well as to provide New Yorkers with a natural environment that they could enjoy on a daily basis. The reimagined parkland would allow for hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities.

Sun and Wu's concept imagines the park contained within a huge perimeter of internally reflective glass, a mirrored megastructure itself like the skyscrapers around it. Indeed, it is this aspect of the design that qualified it – and ultimately allowed it to win – the 2016 eVolo Skyscraper Competition.

The annual competition was established in 2006 and seeks to recognize visionary ideas for building high-rise structures. Previous winners have included last year's Essence Skyscraper and 2014's Vernacular Versatility. This year's contest has seen second- and third-place prizes awarded, as well as a further 21 honorable mentions. All were picked by a jury from a total of 489 submissions.

The Hive by Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu
The Hive by Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu

In second place is the Hive, a "central control terminal" for commercial drones – or, to you and me, a place where they can be docked, charged and take-off from. Designed by Hadeel Ayed Mohammad, Yifeng Zhao, and Chengda Zhu, the Hive is based on the recognition that drones are becoming a greater part of our lives, with applications like fast delivery, aerial mapping, commercial advertising, government inspection and filmmaking.

Based at 432 Park Avenue in Manhatten, New York, the Hive would allow for the surrounding area's "air-zoning" to be shaped for drone traffic to and from the building and for more efficient use of commercial drones. It would accommodates nine different types of drones based on shape and size and would provide a safe landing environment for them.

Data Tower by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti
Data Tower by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti

Data Tower, by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti, placed third. Conceived in response to the growing amounts of data being created annually, the concept comprises a vertical data center that is powered cleanly and costs little to run.

Located in Iceland, Data Tower would provide a central place from which both US and European organizations could run their web services, it could be powered by the country's hydropower and geothermal clean energy, and could harness the country's cold climate for the cooling of its servers.

Global Cooling Skyscraper by Paolo Venturella and Cosimo Scotucci
Global Cooling Skyscraper by Paolo Venturella and Cosimo Scotucci

Notably, many of the honorable mentions this year are focused on the environment. The most ambitious of these is the huge Global Cooling Skyscraper, which would seek to pull hot air away from the earth, allowing it to be replaced by cool air. Elsewhere, the Cloud Craft would seed clouds to avoid or mitigate droughts, the Valley Of Giants would act as a catalyst for jumpstarting green environments in deserts, and the Air-Stalagmite would filter a city's air and use the air particles captured to grow itself upwards as a beacon of pollution.

We often see outlandish conceptual architecture that designers hope may actually be built, but in reality is too impractical or completely unworkable. It is unlikely, though, that any of the entries to the eVolo competition will have been submitted under any illusions that they might one day be built. Instead, it is the outlandish thinking behind these designs that is important, with these most abstract of concepts potentially containing the seed of an useful idea that might otherwise never be discovered.

The winning submissions and and honorable mentions can all be viewed in full on the 2016 competition category on the eVolo website.

Source: eVolo

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7 comments
VincentWolf
Yeah right when we get a class 3 or 4 hurricane that times itself well with the tide and get 30' to 40' swells and it fills up like a big bath tub that will make a lot of sense!
A better way would to just be to truck in rocks and build UP and not down. Then at the top of the mountains you would have really really nice views of New York.
Kaiser Derden
so their idea is to take the most natural part of NY City and dig it up to create a "more" natural space ? How many years of school do you need to become that stupid ?
Tom Lee Mullins
From what I have read, every time someone builds a skyscraper, they have to make sure the water does not flow in when the make the support beams and basement. It might be more difficult since it will have the whole structure below ground. It might work elsewhere but I doubt it would work in NYC.
Gearran
This is an interesting concept (as are several of the runners-up). I do agree that the environmental impact of this would be pretty noticeable, at least in the short term, but the idea has some merit to it; it would diversify Central Park (which, currently, is...well, a park, which is basically a flat green space). By digging to the bedrock and creating 'mountains,' you increase the surface area of the spot and give more room for plant and animal life to flourish as well as a greater variety of terrain for park visitors to enjoy.
The drainage problem is a legitimate concern, though I'm more worried about day-to-day waterworks than some new storm (yes, Hurricane Sandy was terrible, but was also incredibly rare). I'm sure the design of the walls would have plenty of drainage sites. I could also see the design having a lake and stream/small river built in (or develop naturally, depending on how the topography shapes up), which would certainly help with draining away rainwater as well as being a pleasant place to visit. The sunken nature of the project would probably also help shepherd rainwater from various streets that run toward it (and, honestly, I think seeing waterfalls of rainwater pouring down into lakes or streams below from the streets would be kind of pretty).
dionkraft
No way you can have vertical walls to prop against such heights in the first photo. Walls must be canted at least 30 degrees. Concept meets engineering methods for a safer design.
VincentWolf
In addition to the problems of creating a 'New Orleans' bathtub--what about the huge mirror reflected sunlight on overhead flights? Everyone knows you can signal an emergency using a hand held mirror to those in the skies but this mirror is colossal and would be in the eyes of apartments nearby as well as overhead flights. And what about gangs throwing rocks at them? Uh huh that will hold up well to those vandals.
Instead of going down go up. Then New Yorkers have a mountain inside their city to escape to in the event of a class III-V hurricane and they could also build into it bomb shelters in the case of war. If massive enough it would hold up even to a nuclear event.
Use your noggin and make a good design this whole idea is just an imagination without reality of our world.
ChairmanLMAO
Competition for most stupid building ideas? I guess so.