Polar Umbrella

Created by Derek Pirozzi, the first-place-winning Polar Umbrella arctic skyscraper is a floating metropolis outfitted with ecological habitats, renewable power stations, a thermal skin, and most importantly, a system that "regenerates the ice caps using harvest chambers that freeze the ocean water."

Phobia Skyscraper

The Phobia Skyscraper, created by Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo, took second place. The skyscraper, "a new form of modular suburban residential development," is made out of recycled materials. Stacked prefab units are grouped around green spaces, which have common areas outfitted with displays that broadcast messages for the community. The structure is designed to be located over Petite Ceinture, an old industrial site in Paris.

Light Park Floating Skyscraper

The Light Park Floating Skyscraper, designed by Ting Xu and Yiming Chen, took third place in the competition. In order to preserve green space on the ground, this skyscraper hovers in the sky with help from a helium-filled balloon and solar-powered propellers. Solar panels and water collectors cover the structure.

Nomad: Terraforming Mars

Designed by Antonio Ares Sainz, Joaquin Rodriguez Nuñez, and Konstantino Tousidonis Rial, Nomad: Terraforming Mars won an honorable mention for a concept that sees "nomad factories" on Mars using local minerals to seed the planet with the greenhouse gases that make Earth so lush. In other words, the project would make it hospitable for humans to live on Mars.

Volcano Skyscraper

The Volcano Skyscraper, an honorable mention, consists of a structure on top of Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano that harnesses lava and other debris to create energy. The project was created by Jing Hao, Zhanou Zhang, Xingyue Chen, Jiangyue Han, and Shuo Zhou.

Symbiocity

Symbiocity is essentially a prison skyscraper featuring plants, green spaces, renewable energy generation, and vertical farms. The inmates grow their own food, get paid for work, and are charged for accommodations. The project, an honorable mention, was created by Khem Aikwanich and Nigel Westbrook.

Urban Earth Worm

The Urban Earth Worm skyscraper, created by Lee Seungsoo, is inspired by--you guessed it--the earthworm. The worm-like structure harbors tubes filled with soil, trees, and plants, while an energy station near the bottom of the worm processes the city’s trash into energy.

Water Re-balance Skyscraper

This Shanghai skyscraper collects and purifies rainwater and river water--a solution to the city’s lack of groundwater and polluted water supplies. An underground structure collects and cleans rainwater, which is pumped upward to the tower’s green roof. The honorable mention was created by Zhang Zhiyang and Liu Chunyao.

Repair Goaf

An underground space in an abandoned Chinese coalfield is transformed in this project into a horizontal skyscraper. A vertical miner elevator (already in existence) is used to transport residents, while a vertical tube brings fresh air to the underground spaces. The project, an honorable mention, was dreamed up by Liangpeng Chen, Yating Chen, Lida Huang, Gaoyan Wu, and Lin Yuan.

2013-03-18

9 Crazy Skyscrapers That Will Shape The Skylines Of The Future

Imagine a skyscraper that floats. Or one that slowly rebuilds the polar ice caps. These concept towers all find bizarre ways to house everyone who is moving to cities--but they’re a lot more than just places to live.

As the world’s population moves into cities in the coming decades, tall buildings will become ever more important. Each year, eVolo Magazine challenges architects to predict what that skyscraper-filled future will look like. Since its launch in 2006, the Skyscraper Competition has attracted over 5,000 entries.

As eVolo explains, the entries all manage to "challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments."

Like the entries in years past, the 2013 winners and honorable mentions have little chance of being built any time soon--the technologies aren’t yet real. But in 50 years? The winning entry, a skyscraper that rebuilds arctic ice caps, might not seem so strange. On the other hand, it might look like futuristic predictions from the 1950s: a quaint idea of what the future may hold.

Check out the full list of winners and runners-up here.

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