Wild skyscraper designs awarded

Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao and Dongbai Song from China won Evolo magazine's 2012 Skyscraper design competition. My favorite, however, is the runner-up (above) which crawls up the side of the Yunnan mountains. Designed by Yiteng Shen, Nanjue Wang, Ji Xia and Zihan Wang, it has the advantage of being neither outrageously science fictional nor horrible: consider the third place winner, a concept design for kilometer-high landfill silos.


  1. For the most part, I find avant-garde building styles to be exercises in wanking. Don’t get me started on Gehry’s Experience Music Project!

    But this, this is magnificent. I never understood why Frank Lloyd Wright’s stuff was supposedly so harmonious with nature; if anything, it was just a collection of boxes – hardly a natural shape. This concept really =is= designed to harmonise with the shape of the mountain. Beautiful.

    1. My take on Gehry is that I like man-made things to look man-made. Wright would probably hate me, but there’s no accounting for taste.

  2. I hate everything about the vertical landfill.  We have those now.  It’s called a “hole”.  Before I get flamed on “water polution/etc…”  Use whatever materials you were going to use to go up to line the inside.  Why would you want a 3000ft pole of garbage in the middle of your city?  The other entries are cool though.

    1. I hate everything about the vertical landfill.  We have those now. It’s called a “hole”.

      You don’t get a skyscraper-sized hole without moving a skyscraper-sized pile of dirt first… which means either creating a mountain or finding another skyscraper-sized hole to put it in.

      Anyway, these designs are supposed to be conceptual exercises to encourage radical new ways of thinking about architecture, they aren’t really meant as especially practical proposals.

  3. I would like to note that the first place project “Himalaya Water Tower” is a further (conceptual) push at the imposition of Han Chinese structures on Tibet (viz the Qinghai–Tibet Railway).

    1. What better way to demonstrate your superiority to a conquered people, than to build an army of war of the worlds invader tri-legged abnominations right on top of their beloved landscape. Queue some cliche Avatar dialog about or something.

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