Past awardees of eVolo's annual skyscraper competition have included concepts that reimagine New York's Central Park contained within massive wall structures, and self-contained cities in the sky. And this year's instalment doesn't disappoint in terms of creative ideas, with an origami-inspired skyscraper designed to be folded up and transported to different disaster zones winning out ahead of similarly out-of-the-box ideas.

Now in its 13th year, the eVolo Skyscraper Competition looks to drive innovation in vertical living, celebrating ideas that seek to make clever use of technology, materials, aesthetics and space, while exploring the interplay between natural and manmade environments.

The 2018 winner, designed by Poland's Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk, is a skyscraper concept dreamt up to bring relief to disaster-struck areas. Imagined as a multi-purpose hub, Skyshelter.zip is meant to take the place of the tents and containers that would typically be used in disaster-relief scenarios, except the team says its footprint is on average over 30 times smaller by comparison.

This means both that it requires less cleanup before installation and can be placed closer to areas in need. What's more, the team says their tower can be installed with little preparation, even on unstable soil. Basic supports are anchored to the ground and then a large load-bearing helium balloon inside is released, unfolding the tower like an accordion as it goes.

When this processed is reversed, the tower can be collapsed into a box that can be carted off by rescue teams and military in helicopters. Without the need for trucks, the team says the structural components for the tower can be transported faster and more easily. On top of this, the height of the tower can be adjusted simply by altering the amount of gas poured into the balloon.

Earning second place in the 2018 eVolo Skyscraper Competition is the Jinja: Shinto Shrine Skyscraper (pictured above) designed by Hong Kong's Tony Leung. This tower is designed to rediscover the traditional connection between the Japanese Shinto Shrine and the local community, with the structure playing host to rice-farming and storage warehouses for harvested crops on a busy street corner in Ginza, Tokyo.

Third place, meanwhile, was taken out by Claudio C. Araya Arias from Chile with his Waria Lemuy: Fire Prevention Skyscraper. This tower was dreamt up in response to the fires that devastated southern Chile in the summer of 2016/2017. The tower uses a facade system that stores captured water in pockets placed strategically to slow down ventilation and promote humidity as fire prevention measures.

Following these, 27 concepts earned Honorable Mentions in the 2018 eVolo Skyscraper competition. Check out the gallery for a peek at them all.

Source: eVolo

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