Each year, the design magazine eVolo stages an architecture design contest that is on the lookout for the most innovative and ground-breaking skyscraper concepts.
This year’s first-place award winner is Skyshelter.zip, with the concept being designed by the trio of Polish architects: Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk. This winning skyscraper concept has been portrayed as a portable, lightweight and foldable tower structure that has been envisioned and appropriately designed for immediate use in areas which have been struck by man-made or natural disasters. In a similar fashion to that of a helium balloon, the lightweight, mobile skyscraper would be airlifted to its desired setting by a minimum of three helicopters, and then the structure would be unfurled and put into position on the floor level.
The foldable tower would not need a construction team, or some of the usual essentials such as crane hire businesses or building organizations to construct the lightweight tower, which when required, might be deployed and implemented within a matter of minutes. When the mobile tower is no longer required, the lightweight construction would then be folded up in just the same fashion as an accordion would be folded then be ready to be set up at a different location the moment it is needed.
Conceptually, the Skyshelter.zip foldable tower would have a reception area, temporary accommodation, a storage facility, a medical area, plus a vertical farm which would potentially utilize the site’s soil. The roof of the tower would be made to collect rainwater, which could subsequently be filtered and processed to be used by the patrons of the construction.
The designers of this Skyshelter.zip foldable tower consider that the lightweight, mobile nature of the tower could be especially beneficial for use in certain areas that have recently been struck by a natural disaster such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis or hurricanes as the probability of these weather events occurring is increasing. In the present climate, the most frequent strategy is to build emergency shelters in these disaster-stricken areas for functions such as temporary housing, a medical center and storage. These emergency shelters may often be logistically difficult to build in crisis zones, particularly if they are in remote areas since they would require lots of building workers and equipment with construction materials e.g. wood or plastic or building vehicles e.g. drake low loaders or cranes. However, the three Polish architects think that their design for a lightweight and foldable tower provides immediate answers to those mentioned logistical challenges and barriers, based on the advantage that it would be drastically easier to transport and then deploy quickly.
Managing to attract over 500 entries with this year’s competition, eVolo’s contest tries to envision what is possible and achievable within the industry of skyscraper architecture and invention, even though for now, these ideas exist as pure fantasy.
Skyshelter.zip’s mobile Layout is highly conceptual and would for the time being be almost certainly near on impossible to construct. For starters, the layout does not include any structural base, and the walls of the foldable tower would obviously be made from fabric which does not lend itself to be a sound structural material. Quartz’s Anne Quito believes this concept is make believe and contrasts it to a giant Noguchi floor lamp.
While acknowledging that awarding spectacularly improbable architectural concepts can fuel architects’ imaginings for real projects, Quito asserts that publishing these hypothetical architectural layouts as though they were realistic skyscraper ideas is broadcasting unrealistic and misleading information. When taken out of context, unrealistic structures are simply just another form of fake news or at the very least just clickbait.