Winners of eVolo 2018 Skyscraper Competition

John Hill
18. April 2018
First Place: "Skyshelter.zip: Foldable Skyscraper for Disaster Zones" by Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pańczyk from Poland (All images courtesy of eVolo)

eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of the 2018 Skyscraper Competition, with 3 winners and 27 honorable mentions selected from the 526 submitted projects. Here we highlight the winners and a few of the honorable mentions.

As in previous years, most of the projects tackle ecological and social issues through verticality rather than exploring skyscraper technologies or other concerns that might impact how tall buildings are designed and built. These are utopian visions anchored by dystopian scenarios. The first place project, Skyshelter.zip, for example, proposes an origami-like structure that would be deployed to the sites of disasters and serve as a "multi-purpose hub for any relief operation." The structure gains its verticality through an internal helium balloon with 3D-printed slabs pulled upwards by the balloon. While it would have to tackle numerous practical considerations to be implemented, a vertical alternative to such single-room disaster shelters as those by Shigeru Ban and IKEA is very intriguing.

Second Place: "Shinto Shrine / Urban Rice Farming Skyscraper" by Tony Leung from Hong Kong

The second-place project, Shinto Shrine / Urban Rice Farming Skyscraper, locates a diminutive skyscraper on a busy corner in Tokyo's Ginza district. It proposes a melding of two traditional Japanese elements: the Shinto shrine and rice farming. The designers assert that precedents exist: some ancient shrines actually reached almost 100 meters and "hydroponic farming technology makes vertical rice farming possible." The project also picks up on the trend for building tall in mass timber, even though some cities' building codes don't allow it yet.

Waria Lemuy, the third-place project, responds to the destruction caused by forest fires in Chile and proposes a new way of inhabiting an area recently destroyed by fire. Here, vertical density is offered as an alternative to suburban sprawl in order to "recover the lost housing and infrastructure [and restore] the flora and biodiversity through a system that prevents and mitigates future catastrophes."

Third Place: "Waria Lemuy: Fire Prevention Skyscraper" by Claudio C. Araya Arias from Chile

Below is a sampling of a half-dozen honorable mentions, each one of them vertical but very un-skyscraper-like. These include structures built atop existing buildings, large wall-like structures, and towers literally built into the earth. These and other honorable mentions can be found on eVolo's website.

Honorable Mention: "Community as a Cloud" by Keon Hee Lee, Dong Hyun Kim and Elicia Jiwoo Eom from Australia and South Korea
Honorable Mention: "Hong Kong 2.0" by Huy Bui and Howard Mack from the United States
Honorable Mention: "Levitated Broadway – Los Angeles" by Kaiyu Xi and Fan Wu from the United States
Honorable Mention: "Manhattan of the Desert" by Estelle Filliat, Charlotte Ferreux, Duc Truong and Elias Vogel from France
Honorable Mention: "Manhattan Ridge: Affordable Housing for Commuters" by Zhenjia Wang and Xiayi Li from the United States
Honorable Mention: "Sand Dam: Anti-desertification Skyscraper" by Jiangchen Hu, Yining Bei, Xiayu Zhao and Mingwen Zhang from China

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