The winners of the eVolo 2012 Skyscraper Competition have been announced; get ready for an afternoon of browsing some pretty spectacular renderings. Entries offer innovative (and sometimes outlandish) solutions in an attempt to address the social, historical, urban, and environmental responsibilities of the 21st century mega-structure.
This year’s first place entry, the Himalaya Water Tower designed by Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao, and Dongbai Song, addresses the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers. Growing out of the ground like stems, curving pipes carry water to four cores that store and freeze the water in cells, each core growing as more water is collected. On the ground, viaducts connect the towers with villages where the water is needed.
In second place is the Mountain Band-Aid by Yiting Shen, Nanjue Wang, Ji Xia, and Zihan Wang. Noting the mining and industrialization of China’s countryside in addition to the dislocation of inhabitants this often entails, the team proposes a solution to restore both displaced populations and the destroyed ecosystem. The structure is made up of an inner irrigation system constructed to stabilize the face of the mountain, with an outer layer giving structure to the traditionally-organized dwellings within.
Third place goes to Lin Yu-Ta’s Monument to Civilization: Vertical Landfill for Metropolises; inspired by the trivia fact that New York City’s annual waste would, on a typical footprint, be about three times as tall as the Empire State Building, the designer sought to create a spectacle out of waste. The tower— located in any city— is composed of an outer brick wall filled with the city’s waste; as more waste comes in, the tower grows higher, offering a testament to the city’s consumption.
Honorable mentions go to, among others, the Human Rights Skyscraper in Beijing by Ren Tianhang, Luo Jing, and Kang Jun, a project that addresses illegal government land acquisition in China by offering patches of land in a three-dimensional checkerboard that towers above the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Migrant Skyscraper, by Damian Przybyła and Rafał Przybyła, offers its inhabitants mobility and self-sufficiency in an unstable world by placing its buildings in the center of a giant rubber wheel.