18 brilliant ideas for the skyscraper of the future

0745 2Courtesy eVoloA proposal for a mile-high tower in Times Square.

The winners of this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition deal with some daunting themes, including overcrowding, global warming, and environmental disaster.

The contest, sponsored by eVolo Magazine and now in its 10th year, asks architects to envision the future of vertical living.

Nearly 500 contestants submitted their ideas for the skyscrapers of tomorrow, and three winners and 20 honorable mentions were selected by a jury of leaders in the fields of architecture and design.

These buildings may not be feasible today, but they attempt to answer some big questions about the future of urban spaces.

The first-place winner was 'Essence,' a proposal to put a non-urban environment in a dense city center. The building would have 11 landscapes with fish tanks, jungle areas, and other environments.

Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan, Jakub Pudo, Poland

In second place, 'Shanty-Scraper' would be a mixed use residential and workspace for impoverished fishermen in the slums of Chennai, India. It would be built from recycled materials found within the city.

Suraksha Bhatla, Sharan Sundar, India

Third-place 'Cybertopia' combines the digital and physical worlds in a building that can grow using 3D-printed technology and portable 'ships.'

Egor Orlov, Russia

The proposal for 'Limestone Hills' would turn former limestone mines into exoskeletons for new construction.

'Tower of Refuge' is envisioned as a Noah's Ark that could provide sunlight, water, and air to a variety of species, and would act like a 'self-operating machine serving all survival conditions.'

Qidan Chen, China

'Air Monument' would function as a database to collect and store atmosphere samples in order to study and respond to climate change.

Shi Yuqing, Hu Yifei, Zhang Juntong, Sheng Zifeng, He Yanan, China

'Reversal Strategy' is a proposal to construct tall, thin buildings on top of the existing infrastructure so that old buildings can be demolished to make more public space.

Luigi Bertazzoni, Paolo Giacomo Vasino, Italy

'Vertical Factories in New York' would put 21 industrial towers along the Brooklyn coast in order to re-establish the city's manufacturing economy without compromising land.

Stuart Beattie, United Kingdom

'Noah Oasis' is a plan to turn existing oil rigs into 'vertical bio-habitats' that could be used to help clean oil spills. In the longer term, it could host marine life and eventually shelter humanity from rising sea levels.

Ma Yidong, Zhu Zhonghui, Qin Zhengyu, Jiang Zhe, China

'Re-Generator Skyscraper' is a proposal to regenerate the wetlands of Hangshou, China. It would involve an elevated construction system to allow for the recovery of the city's wetlands.

Gabriel Munoz Moreno, United States

'Deep Skins' is a proposal for a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper that offers a counterpoint to the ubiquitous glass highrise. Its exterior would mimic skin with interlocking pieces, creating a 'billowing' interior.

Yongsu Choung, Ge Zhang, Chuanjingwei Wang, South Korea and China

'Times Squared 3015' is a vision for a mile-high skyscraper in the middle of New York City that's essentially a city-within-a-city. The plan calls for various 'destination zones' like vertical farming, beach, mountain range, stadium, redwood forest, housing, and offices.

Blake Freitas, Grace Chen, Alexi Kararavokiris, United States

'Exploring Arctic' would completely transform the Arctic's remote Dikson City by creating a structure to revitalize and repopulate the port town that once existed there.

Nikolay Zaytsev, Elizaveta Lopatina, Russia

'Bio-Pyramid' is conceived as a biosphere and gateway from the Sahara Desert to Cairo, and an effort to reverse desertification as a result of climate change.

David Sepulveda, Wagdy Moussa, Ishaan Kumar, Wesley Townsend, Colin Joyce, Arianna Armelli, Salvador Juarez, United States

'Already There' turns traditional city planning on its head by considering three dimensions when conceiving new buildings. It 'could be a good way of hyper-densifying cities even when they are extremely dense without affecting negatively the existing living conditions,' says the architect.

Ramiro Chiriotti Alvarez, Spain

'Vernacular Sky-Terrace' envisions a horizontal skyscraper that would allow for recreation much like a street, in order to foster a close-knit community.

KHZNH Studio: Amir Izzat Adnan, Nur Farhanah Saffie, Malaysia

'Unexpected Aura in Chernobyl' is both a monument to the 1986 nuclear disaster and a skyscraper with air and water purification systems to allow people to restart their lives in the area.

Zhang Zehua, Song Qiang, Liu Yameng, China

'Cloud Capture' would literally capture clouds and move them around the planet to alleviate effects of climate change.

Taehan Kim, Seoung Ji Lee, Yujin Ha, Republic of Korea

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