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Design

'Living' Growing Buildings Win The London Organic Skyscraper Competition

Bringing together a diverse collection of architects and engineers, this high-rise competition strives to fuse nature and man-made design.
July 25, 2014, 6:30pm

SuperSkyScrapers, a leading platform for exploring and recognizing innovation in tall buildings, recently held a competition specifically for organically designed structures. Bringing together a diverse collection of architects, engineers and designers, the organization strives to stimulate ideas about the future of high-rise architectural environments, what they call 'Super Skyscrapers.'

To get creatives thinking specifically about how the natural processes of growth, modularity, cycling and sustainability could translate into the architectural design of a building, the only pragmatic requirement for their London Organic Skyscraper Competition was that the high-rise be set in London.

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With an abundance of proposals, the competition selected one finalist, two runners-up, and a a long list of honorable mentions. Here, we present some of the most elaborate and exciting projects on the list:

SURE Architecture placed first in the competition with a building they call “The Endless City in Height." While still retaining many conventional interiors, the mega complex proposes a diverse architectural ecosystem; the organically stacked levels are held together by two street-sized ramps which crawl up its exterior.

The SuperSkyScraper jury found the multi-faceted building literally aiming for the sky: “The panel found the unexpected approach to seeking an organic structure through the suggestion that the way in which a society works is in itself organic, very appealing. The authors sought to find analogies within typologies of a public space and nature not just by an architecture form looking for inspirations in nature.”

Placing 2nd, students Jae Seung Yoo, Seok Hong Choi, and Seong Hyeon Choi from South Korea went with a modular design, based around complex engineering. Their plan includes a hydraulic facade system which dynamically responds to the current needs of the building— more people equals more space. With a collection of 'cores and webs’, the “Tower of Natural Selection” and "Breathing Tower" take modular design to heart, and 'blossom' as needed.

Putting its primary focused on users' health, the “Protocell Skyscraper,” by Cheung & Nitribitt, takes a different approach: aside from being directly derived from cellular forms, the team behind this structure strongly reacted to the National Health Service's claim that, "the emotional well-being of the British populace has not improved” over the last 50 years. “It is believed that unhealthy lifestyles and polluted living environments are the major factors contributing to the issue.” Aside from getting tenants to walk and exercise, the Protocell Skycraper design utilizes protocell materials which capture CO2 emissions— making this one of the greenest (and most organic-looking) towers in the bunch.

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A research initiative, the SuperSkyScraper's contests are open to all entries— make sure to check out the current open call for Pacific Ocean Skyscrapers and the Elevator Annual 2014! h/t ArchDaily

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