The average Giant Sequoia tree, native to California’s Sierra Nevada, can stretch anywhere from 150 to 280 feet. The world’s largest Sequoia (by trunk volume and height) is the General Sherman tree in California, which measures a whopping 275 feet tall and 102 feet wide.
Four South Korean architects say the Sequoia’s massive size would make them perfect homes for skyscrapers.
The architects — Ko Jinhyeuk, Cheong Changwon, Cho Kyuhyung, and Choi Sunwoong — designed a tower that would live inside hollowed-out Giant Sequoia trees in California.
Their design, aptly named the Giant Sequoia Skyscraper, won honorable mention in the 2017 design competition by the architecture magazine eVolo. The magazine’s jury awards innovative ideas for futuristic skyscrapers annually, with this year’s competition garnering over 400 entries from all over the world.
Each level of the Giant Sequoia tower would be gradually built over time as the tree grows. If construction would start in 2017 on a 145-foot-tall tree, by 2100, Giant Sequoia Skyscraper would include labs that would conduct research on environmental preservation, classrooms, a gallery space, and an exhibition deck on the top floor.
The design is merely a concept right now, and there are no plans to actually build one.
The designers say the goal of their design is to protect trees and limit deforestation in the US. Giant Sequoias currently face threats from the planet’s rising temperatures due to climate change, leaving them with insufficient water during long summers.
“The project attempts to educate visitors about these natural wonders while feeling infinitely small among these giant creatures,” the designers write.
That said, turning ancient trees into commercial spaces do not seem like the best way to preserve them.