The Next Generation Of Skyscrapers

Photo: Yheu-Shen Chua

Skyscrapers are a building type unmatched in scale, boldness and social implications. Their historical youth – marked by engineering ambition and architectural idealism – has conditioned us into thinking they are all about the competition to conquer new heights in a sky that has no limits.Click here to see the next generation of skyscrapers >

Until recently the ‘show off’ was still on – even in an age of unprecedented environmental concern and economic hardship the majority of the built skyscraper structures ignore sustainability and conservative design preferring to go taller, bolder and more flashy.

Over the last decade, however, a new shift in skyscraper concepts has become visible and disrupted this trend. Running for less than 10 years, the annual eVolo competition is already the most significant leader of these changes and among the most prestigious, original and progressive platforms for speculating the future of high-rises, rethinking their cultural, political, historical and environmental implications.

The challenge of building tall structures is now not just about the engineering that makes these heights possible, architects are being pushed to consider the isolation that super-talls create for their inhabitants – these buildings are so big nowadays that they must work almost like enclosed habitats or ‘sky cities’.

You will see in this selection a movement towards incorporating cityscape elements (like parks and recreational areas) into skyscrapers; this is a movement towards a completely different type of building that may very well change the way cities work in the future.

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1. Atelier CMJN: LO2P - Delhi Recycling centre

The building is designed as a giant lung that would clean New Delhi's air through a series of large-scale greenhouses that serve as filters.

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2. Yheu-Shen Chua: Re-imagining the Hoover Dam

One of the main purposes of the project is to allow the water from the upstream river to engage directly with the visitors to the structure which accommodates a gallery and a viewing platform.

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3. Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, Xavier Schirr-Bonnans: Flat Tower for Medium-Sized Metropolis

The authors of this entry argue that oftentimes conventional high-rise skyscrapers destroy the skyline and disrupt the infrastructure of a specific location, therefore they have come up with this new high-density typology whose horizontal span compares to the height of Burj Khalifa - tallest building in the world at the moment.

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4. Anna-Maria Simatou and Marianthe Dendrou: Living Mountain

The authors of the Living Mountain project created a city-like skyscraper for one of the Earth's harshest environments: the desert as a sort of safe refuge from the possible hostility of nature in the distant future.

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5. Studio DMTW: NeoTax

The 3D-grid infrastructure searches for a way to introduce a small foot-print structure that would establish a higher urban density scheme without degrading life environment.

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6. Rugel Chiriboga, Ted Givens: Skyscraper in Singapore

The organic form of this building jumps out into the air to catch falling rain water and uses prevailing local winds to provide cooling and ventilation for the accordingly placed petal-like towers.

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7. Luis Quinones: Moonscraper

The imposing sci-fi structure is an attempt at effectively re-examining habitation, construction, and organizational logic of traditional skyscraper models by extracting them form their habitual earthly surroundings.

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8. Rezza Rahdian, Erwin Setiawan, Ayu Diah Shanti, Leonardus Chrisnantyo: Water Purification Skyscraper

This is a project that aims to collect the garbage of the riverbank of the Ciliwung River in the City of Jakarta and purify its water through an ingenious system of mega-filters. One of the outcomes from the elaborate working scheme is eliminating the slums along the river.

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9. Gary Kellett: RE:pH – Coastscraper

The underpinning concept for the Coastalscraper is to reduce the acid levels of the oceans - currently raised by CO2 dissolving into naturally alkaline seawater - by adding fossilized white chalk to the water.

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10. Kyu Ho Chun, Kenta Fukunishi, JaeYoung Lee: Neo-Arc

The NEO ARC incorporates mixed-use residential and commercial space with a major transportation hub and is an exhaustive attempt at creating a self-sufficient habitat that integrates all known green technologies.

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