There goes the neighborhood
Architecture magazine eVolo has announced the finalists and winners of their 2012 Skyscraper Design Competition, and even those that didn't make the top three are well worth a gander. Check out the Migrant Skyscraper concept pictured above, by Damian Przybyla and Rafal Przybyla of Poland, which won a mere Honorable Mention but caught our eye for being equal parts crazy and alluring.
The "Migrant Skyscraper" is literally mobile: A giant, thin tire with a building and green space in the center, this skyscraper is ready to roll.
The concept behind this structure is that in an unstable world, people need the stability of self-sufficiency to truly be free, and the future of the architectural field can help provide that to people. By constructing a safe haven for residents to live in that ensures they will have food to eat and water to drink, the Migrant Skyscraper affords people freedom despite what natural and social disasters may come. The building-inside-a-wheel can stay stationary for however long residents please, but, for example, if political upheaval destabilizes a region, residents can fire up the biofuel-powered engine and cruise to a new location.
Another standout Honorable Mention winner is the Human Rights Skyscraper in Beijing concept by Ren Tianhang, Luo Jing, Kang Jun of China, a blistering critique of the government's handling of land acquisition.
The structure is the same length as the Forbidden City, and is located directly to the east of it. ("Ironically," the designers say, "it confronts the Forbidden City, the symbol of the superpower of despotism, emphasizing the priority of human rights in a dramatic and symbolic way.") Living spaces within the structure measure 25 by 30 by 25 meters. This proposal was not made by politicians, they stress, or economists. "We are people. We just want a house, and land."
Though the concept is a Chinese one designed for China that does not mention the U.S. at all, if it came out of America I'd consider it a scathing commentary on the contrived nature of American suburbs.
I know it's only Hump Day so the boss may still be breathing down your neck, but if you can steal the time I'd recommend looking through the complete list of the competition's finalists/winners. If you don't have the time, at least check out these highlights:
Mountain City, by Charly Duchosal of Switzerland, which proposes carving geothermal-powered cities into nature's skyscrapers, i.e. mountains.
The Monument to Civilization: Vertical Landfill concept by Lin Yu-Ta of Taiwan is a grim take on metropolitan garbage generation, and one that this little guy might recognize: