Getting High in Self-Sufficient Green Skyscrapers
March 9, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
As its designers describe it, this skyscraper “is a vertical park that rises into the sky, a peaceful place where, in the middle of the hectic city, on the 22nd floor there is room for birds chirping, rustling of leaves, lying on the grass and hearing your heart beat.”
Designed by Remigiusz Brodzinski, Agnieszka Lepecka, Pawel Pawlowski, Michal Stys, Monika Tutaj-Wojnowska, the vertical park does not intend to compete with the surroundings–it’s an ecosystem in symbiosis with the city infrastructure. I’m not sure of the details, but I like the concept for further consideration.
The vertical park building was one of many entries to a skyscraper design competition sponsored by Evolo, the architecture and design journal. Here are a few others of note:
Interlock, designed by American Ming Tang, is a self-sufficient agriculture infrastructure that can support its residents with its capacity for local food production within the building. The design for the interlocked tower includes a linear sequence of small scale vertical farms, integrated with a food market, public recreational space, day-care facilities, schools, other service facilities and civil works. The internal farming space can be sold as finished units to promote diverse food production within each level of the skyscraper, well-defined linear spaces in which the agriculture and recreational elements are integrated in the structure from the beginning. The horizontal and vertical interlocked pattern offers a “laminated weave of twin structures” –a solid residential tower and vertical farm.
Capture the Rain Skyscraper is a building whose roof and external shell, which consists of a system of gutters, are aimed at capturing as much rainfall as possible to meet the daily needs of its inhabitants. The design intends to mimic what plants do: develop systems for capturing and processing rainfall which helps the plants to deal with water deficits or surpluses. Similarly, the designers, Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak, wanted to copy nature’s mechanisms for capturing and processing rainfall.
Under the roof’s surface, there are water reservoirs in the form of a large funnel and reed fields, which serve as a hydro botanic water treatment unit. The unit processes water into usable water that is further transmitted to apartments.
A network of gutters on the external surfaces of the building is designed to capture rainfall flowing down the building, which is then transmitted to residents and its surplus stored in a reservoir under the building. Water captured and processed by the building may be used for flushing toilets, feeding washing machines, watering plants, cleaning floors and other domestic applications.