The eVolo competition looks for the novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics and spatial organizations and is well known for showcasing imaginative concepts. Last year's competition, for example, saw awards go to a solar umbrella designed to provide shade for melting ice-caps and a floating city kept afloat by helium. This year's winners are arguably more restrained, on balance, but delving a little deeper into the honorable mentions still throws up some wonderfully out-there ideas.
The 2014 first prize went to Yong Ju Lee from the US for his design Vernacular Versatility. The design draws upon the exposed wooden structures used in traditional Korean houses, or Hanoks. It is aimed at taking a design style that was traditionally used for one-story buildings and reimagining it for a present-day skyscraper "with efficiency and beauty."
Second place was awarded to Mark Talbot and Daniel Markiewicz, also from the US. Car And Shell Skyscraper: Or Marinetti’s Monster proposes a self-contained city in the sky. It comprises a huge cube-shaped construction that houses residential accommodation, recreational spaces, commercial areas, streets and pedestrian pathways.
The last entry to receive an award, and perhaps the most radical of the top three designs, came from Canada's YuHao Liu and Rui Wu. Their concept, Propagate Skyscraper: Carbon Dioxide Structure, aims to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then use it as part of a process to "self-propagate," or grow, the structure. A scaffold determines the building's shape and provides materials for its growth, which is then driven by environmental factors such as wind, weather and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Beyond the main prize winners, eVolo also lists a number of honorable mentions. Some of the notable inclusions this year are 3D-printed structures in the desert, a skyscraper enclosed in a bubble that maintains a healthy internal environment and a train station/hub that parks the vehicles vertically to save space.
Head for the gallery for a look at each winner and honorable mention.