Designer Joanna Borek-Clement creates a metropolitan layer to escape the smog
Created for the eVolo 2009 competition, this conceptual design was conceived to give space for outdoor activities in conventionally hyper-dense urban locations. In the 'micro' scale, Sky-Terra was inspired by neuron cells that create a symbiotic system in which each cell depends on as well as sustains another cell. In the 'macro' scale, Sky-Terra was inspired by the structural column system typically seen in buildings.
Sky-Terra, elevated 1,600 ft above ground, is a proposed new level for the city with plazas formed by the roofs of individual skyscraper building units joining and structurally supporting each other. This system also allows for their narrow bases and slim profiles. The building itself becomes a modular element that can be reconfigured in a variety of urban mega-structure patterns with the potential to be implemented in any existing metropolitan environment.
Each building unit consists of three elements: a core supporting vertical circulation, office space that is wrapped by structural 'fins', and the plaza. The fins also act as the main support structure for the plaza level. They are designed to be a continuous structure anchored to deep foundations underground for stability. The buildings are designed with floors that increase in size with the height of the building, thus maximizing the highest value office space. The core of the building has a system of elevators and additionally two separate escalators that serve only the plaza level.
The concept offers the opportunity to create city parks, or to host public buildings such as the Sky-Terra Pools & Baths and the Sky-Terra Amphitheater. The plaza level reclaims rainwater and uses it for landscaping irrigation. Every square inch of space at plaza level that is not a pathway or road is designated as landscaping creating an unconventional green oasis in a conventional urban sprawl.