Mountainous skyscrapers! City landfills! Floating metropolises! All of the above were submissions to the 2012 eVolo Skyscraper competition, which is always full of cutting-edge, sometimes wacky ideas on the use of new technologies, materials, aesthetics, and spatial organisations.
The top three spots went to Asian entrants, perhaps reflecting a shift in the industry – a Chinese architect received the prestigious Prizker Price for the first time last month.
The first place was awarded to Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao and Dongbai Song from China for their project Himalaya Water Tower. The proposal is a skyscraper located high in the Himalayan mountain range that stores water and helps regulate its dispersal to the land below as the mountains’ natural supplies dry up. The skyscraper, which can be replicated en masse, will collect water in the rainy season, purify it, freeze it into ice and store it for future use.
The second place was awarded to Yiting Shen, Nanjue Wang, Ji Xia, and Zihan Wang from China for their project Mountain Band-Aid, a design that seeks to simultaneously return the displaced Hmong mountain people to their homes and work as it restores the ecology of the Yunnan mountain range.
The third place was awarded to Lin Yu-Ta from Taiwan for a Vertical Landfill to be located in the largest cities around the globe, both as a reminder of the outrageous amount of garbage that we produce and as a power plant that harvests energy from waste decomposition.
Among the honourable mentions were underwater projects for ocean research, mobile skyscrapers, floating cities, and temporal buildings that attach to existing structures.