The good, the bad and the bonkers: eVolo's 2017 Skyscraper Competition
This year's eVolo Skyscraper Competition winners have been announced. Established in 2006 to promote new ideas for vertical living, the competition regularly produces unusual and interesting conceptual architecture. Providing you don't go in expecting workable plans that could ever actually be built, you shouldn't be disappointed with the architectural eye-candy on offer.
A total of 444 skyscraper designs were submitted to eVolo's judges this year, from which three winners were chosen, highlighted below. If they pique your interest, be sure to head to the gallery and check out the 22 honorable mentions. Standout entries include a skyscraper crossed with a vending machine that dispenses houses and a tower based in a sequoia tree.
First place winner
First place honors went to Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski for their Mashambas Skyscraper. Conceived as an easy-to-move educational center for Africa's poorest areas, it would provide training on modern agricultural techniques, and the like, while also making supplies such as fertilizer and seeds readily available.
The building would include a trading area and a drone warehouse and delivery system (which isn't as crazy as it sounds), and could be built as high as necessary to serve the local community. Once that community is deemed adequately self-sufficient, the building would be disassembled, transported to a new location in pieces and then re-built.
"The structure is made with simple modular elements, it makes it easy to construct, deconstruct and transport," says the project brief. "Modules placed one on the other create the high-rise, which is a form that takes the smallest as possible amount of space from local farmers."
Second place winner
Vertical Factories in Megacities, by Tianshu Liu and Lingshen Xie came second place. The futuristic concept is envisioned for megacities (think Beijing, Tokyo, Mumbai, etc) and imagines making factories a much more prominent part of modern inner-city life.
The basic idea is, a massive mixed-use skyscraper would be constructed that includes both factory and residential space. The renders depict a 3D-printing factory, water treatment facility, and crude oil and plastic production factories stacked atop each other and making use of each other's waste materials.
"Due to the large population in Manila, a great amount of organic waste is produced daily," explains the concept brief. "This waste will be the resource of the new vertical factory. All the waste will be dumped at the bottom level of the factory, and then they will be transformed into valuable products including water, fertilizer, heat, and electricity."
Third place winner
Third place went to Espiral3500, by Javier López-Menchero Ortiz de Salazar. The design reminds us a little of The Cube by Orange Architects, but is rather more ambitious.
The skyscraper is envisioned for Spain's east coast, which has benefited greatly from tourism, but not without cost in the form of urban sprawl and the erosion of public spaces. This tower would build new public spaces, such as parks and artificial beaches within a skyscraper, taking up relatively little space on the ground.
"The main investigation of this project is to understand the relationship between and the role played by private and public spaces within the skyscraper," says the project brief. "Here, I use a spiral system in which the public spaces (namely the different types of streets) form rings that rest on a structural element. Spaces for private use hang from this structural element. This "inverted street" system allows for an immediate linking of public and private, while allowing for sufficient dissociation to grant desired privacy."
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