The sky's the limit

Thursday 14 Mar 2013

Winners of eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition announced

An umbrella-shaped structure which can rebuild ice caps in the Arctic has been awarded first place in eVolo Magazine’s 2013 Skyscraper competition, which invited architects to submit radical concepts for vertical architecture. The winning design, called the ‘Polar Umbrella’ project, was submitted by Derek Pirozzi of the United States. Working by reducing the heat gain of the surface of the ice and freezing ocean water, the super-structure also contains a desalinisation plant and house solar-powered research facilities and eco-tourist attractions.

According to the designer, the main objective of the ‘Polar Umbrella’ project was to tackle the effects of global warming as ice shelves have become increasingly thin and fragile due to a rise in temperatures, with the structure becoming a ‘a statement for the prevention of future depletion of our protective arctic region.’

The accolade for second place was awarded to Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo from France, for their ‘Phobia Skyscraper’ design. The project in question involves regenerating Petite Ceinture, an abandoned industrial area of Paris, France through the use of two main ground slabs and an empty tower structure constructed of recycled industrial materials which hold prefabricated units.

These prefabricated units are then stacked and rotated to open out onto outdoor spaces with the units grouped around communal green areas. These areas also feature displays that show current information for residents on issues within the community.

Taking the notion of a ‘skyscraper’ literally, the project ‘Light Park’ by Ting Xu and Yiming Chen from China won third place in the competition. Designed as a ‘floating skyscraper’, the project proposes new development within large cities taking place in the sky. The building is able to float thanks to a large, mushroom cap-like helium-filled balloon at the top of the structure, and solar-powered propellers directly below the skyscraper.

Containing parks, sports fields, green houses, restaurants, the various usable spaces within the structure are suspended from the top of the building by reinforced steel cables with the platforms fanning in different directions around the vessel in order to balance its weight.

eVolo Magazine received 625 entries from all across for the world for the 2013 competition and also announced 24 honourable mentions. The publication stated that the three award winners were chosen for 'their creativity, ingenuity, and understanding of dynamic and adaptive vertical communities'.

For more information on the 2013 Skyscraper competition and the winners, see eVolo’s website 

Naomi Wilcock
Editorial Assistant

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