eVolo Magazine has named three winners for its annual 2018 Skyscraper Competition, as well as 27 honorable mentions that were selected from a total of 526 submissions. Launched in 2006, the award recognizes "outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution," according to the competition brief.
When opened for submissions in July 2017, the publication prompted entrants to incorporate technological advancements, sustainable systems, and innovative methods into their designs to tackle social, cultural, and economic issues of modern cities, that according to eVolo includes "the scarcity of natural resources and infrastructure and the exponential increase of inhabitants, pollution, economic division, and unplanned urban sprawl."
First place was awarded to architects Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk, who hail from Poland. Inspired by the Japanese art of folding paper, origami, "Skyshelter.zip" features a compact, foldable, and modular skyscraper that is easy to transport and deploy to disaster areas. Made of lightweight, 3D-printed panels attached to an inflatable fabric structure, the skyscraper is supported by steel wires and is claimed to be wind-resistant when properly anchored to the ground. "Depending on amount of gas poured into the balloon, one can control the number of floors that are unfolding," according to the designers.
Second place was awarded to "Jinja: Shinto Shrine Skyscraper," a project designed by Hong Kong–based architect Tony Leung. The concept is a multi-function building made for urban vertical rice farming—one of the traditional elements of Japanese economy—spiritual contemplation, and community interaction. "Jinja" aims to recreate the lost connection between locals and a Shinto Shrine—a sacred Japanese structure that houses one or more deities and also functions as harvest warehouse.
Third place was awarded to Claudio Araya Arias, a freelance architect from Chile, for his "Waria Lemuy: Fire Prevention Skyscraper" project. "Waria Lemuy" introduces a new incremental housing prototype designed for areas affected by the wildfires in Chile. The circular skyscraper utilizes "passive systems to mitigate wind and disperse water to prevent new fires," according to a news release. The wooden units are supported by a metal exterior structure. Clad in translucent polycarbonate panels, the light-filled interiors will be well-ventilated. A staircase is designed for the building's main vertical access route which can also be replaced with an automated system.
Projects that received honorable mentions included skyscrapers designed to prevent desertification, floating high-rise structures that produce fresh water from ocean water, fog-collecting skyscrapers, and 3D-printed high-rise buildings.
First place winners will receive a $5,000 cash award, and second place winners will receive $2,000, while third place will receive $1,000.
The jury comprised Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA, founder of New York–based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism; South Korean architect Moon Hoon; Eric Höweler, AIA, co-founding principal of Boston-based architecture practice Höweler + Yoon; Chris Precht and Dayong Sun, co-founding principals of Beijing- and Vienna-based architecture practice Penda; and James Ramsey, principal of New York–based architecture firm Raad Studio.