I love the countryside. There is something peaceful about rolling hills and something magical about the smell of fresh cut grass and growth in the form of thick tree trunks. But for me, and many folks…city life always comes calling. Unlike the natural kind of growth that the country promotes, cities inspire growth by way of bigger dreams, bigger opportunities and bigger buildings. Seriously, though…the entire landscape of a city makes you feel just a little bit more important than you are. Heck, when I am walking around the city I practically envision myself as Mark Cuban every time I answer my cell phone…even if it is just my mom calling.
What makes a city so special? Besides the hustle and bustle, a coffee shop on every corner and the unique array of people, it is most definitely the buildings. Walking amongst skyscrapers puts the kind of pep in my step that coffee only does about five cups in.
eVolo is an architecture magazine that is “focused on technological advances and innovative design for the 21st century”. Since 2006, the magazine has celebrated outstanding ideas for vertical living with a yearly skyscraper competition. Since its start, the competition has received more than 6,000 projects that uniquely envision the future of high-rise living. All entries that are submitted usually execute high-rise architecture in an interesting, fresh way whether in terms of form, function, both or something else entirely.
This year, in celebration of the repetitive competition, eVolo compiled a list of the contest’s 20 most innovative submissions. The list has no shortage of jaw-dropping spectacles that will have you humming Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and acting as though you could be something more than chum on Shark Tank. Without further adieu, here are some of my favorites from the list:
Migratory Lantern Flock
This new age skyscraper is a concept by Cai Zeyu and Du Dikang for an area across the Formosa Strait, which separates mainland China from nearby islands (such as Taiwan). The skyscraper aims to remedy political differences through the use of sky lanterns, a kind of blessing in traditional culture. The beacon will use technology to ignite sky lanterns and fly them using GPS with best wishes from the Taiwan people across the strait to the Tulou (a traditional building in Fujian). This newfound light will hopefully work to revitalize an old building and forge bonds between the two cultures.
Rodrigo Carmona entered the Oculus into the 2015 Skyscraper Competition with a proposed site within Lower Manhattan. The hope of this skyscraper would be to create a sense of community through a one-of-a-kind mixed-use program that incorporates public, private, collective and civic uses. As a building, The Oculus would collect, develop and sustain natural resources for the benefit of its inhabitants. As described by archdaily, “The Oculus embraces our most progressive environmental control strategies, all the while sustaining life.”
Floating Waterfront Village: Trees of Life
This was an entry by Yi Wang and Jin Wei for a skyscraper in China. The skyscraper tackles the issues of the Gulao waterfront village, nicknamed “Southern Venice”. The waterfront village is the last ecological area that still features traditional characteristics in the Pearl River Delta of China, but the area has recently been faced with the challenge of expansion and a lack of land resources.
“Floating Waterfront Village” takes design inspiration from the big Banyan in Southern China – the building would live up to its name, looking like a true floating village. The plans feature a climate observation station, an agricultural research station, roofs with rainwater collection systems and an overall unique living area.
Capture Wind: A Wind Farm in the Tropopause
Capture Wind was created by Jiaqi Sun, Chang Liu and Mingxuan for use in China. As a skyscraper, Capture Wind takes things to a whole new level. It aims to solve the pertinent problem of non-sustainable energy sources through the use of wind energy. Taking into account that wind turbines tend to produce a lot less electricity than traditional fuels, this wind farm aims to collect high-altitude winds for power. What’s the difference? High-altitude winds are more consistent with 5-8 times the power density as winds found at ground level. The height of the propsed skyscrapers would vary from 8,000 to 10,000m, with the thought being that they could provide clean energy for countries with large energy demands such as the United States, China and Japan.
Bicycle Skyscraper Network
The Bicycle Skyscraper Network was dreamt up by Si Hoon Choi, Do In Kim, Tae Joon Jeong, Chang Han Lee and Seong Hyun Yoon of South Korea. The idea aims to lessen commuter troubles while encouraging physical fitness and eco-friendly transportation. The bicycle roads will connect vertical bicycle stations in the space above subway entrances, providing an exclusive experience, awesome view and traffic-adverse way to get around.
To check out more of the winners, visit eVolo’s master list.