The Folding Informality: High Density Skyscraper For Beijing

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Chen Cao
China

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Around the world, waterfalls are found commonly. Many waterfalls have enormous gravitational potential energy. To convert the gravitational potential of waterfalls to work, as a sustainable energy source, is a key concept of my design. I experiment a completely new concept to utilize a precisely designed structure as a medium of energy flow and a bridge connecting people and natural. It is also an attempt to establish a self-sustained structure on extreme terrain.

Background
The over dependence on coal and petroleum has made globe environmental issues, such as acid rain and greenhouse gases. They destroyed natural environment. The use of nuclear energy is associated with high cost and general concerns of public. Radioactive isotopes as main fuel of nuclear reactor is also unsustainable. While population is blooming, usable land is constant deceasing. The idea of Waterfall Tower could be a solution.

Location
Waterfall Tower could be located on the Iguassu Falls cross the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguassu Falls is the biggest one in southern America, and it is also the widest in world. Its width is about 4 kilometers. The difference in height is ranged between 60 and 82 meter. The flow rate is 1756 CUMEC. The ideal locations to build Water Tower are water falls such as, the Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls.

Yi-Yun Lin, Jing Guo, Narek Mirzaei, Dung Minh Le
United States

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The representation of architecture in a city is the representation of its people. A tightly packed formation of buildings illustrated a system of human networks. Such cluster of networks illustrates the efficiency of the society, but it can also be cruel. As at times pure functionality is what a city becomes.

In many districts inside Tokyo Metropolis, one can notice formalities, traditions, selflessness for the greater good, and obedience to the strict societal norms remained persistent as the age long guiding principles in society that many citizens seemingly have no escape of. These guiding principles had made the society into an invisible beast, dominating over the general population. Individuals who cannot function to a certain standards will be shunned upon by the peers, by family, and by society. The daily burden of doing the best you could only to fit into the surrounding environment builds up within the individual. Traversing through the streets, the expression-less pedestrians, the cold concrete jungles and the formality of large building facades only sets a reminder that there are limited options for self-expression and obstacles for true human connection. The true connection an individual can really embrace are from people in the similar situation, people who also seek escapism, a temporary escape to a world that is kind, connective, and understanding.

Silvia Angeli, Sophie Angrilli
Italy

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The project is located in the southern part of Tokyo, Japan. The area is adjacent to Hamarikyu Gardens where the Skyscraper wants to stand out against the adjoining buildings. The project’s goal is to show and help the huge problem of high suicide’s rate among young people (6-24) in the city of Tokyo. This problem is affecting Japanese’s population for many decades; the origin of this vast problematic, according to our analysis, lies in the society itself. Individualistic culture, lack of people’s care and strong competition inside the educational system are driving young people to develop strong feelings of anxiety and pressure to stand out in order to gain a position in the world of work. The fear of failure is not challenged with the support of family and friends but, on the contrary, is repressed until becoming fatal. Indeed the day with the highest number of suicides is the first day of school. Moreover, Japanese’s culture has not a concept of soul as is known in occidental culture, so that suicide is seen as a solution and preferred to failure. That’s why the location of the building has also been chosen according to the distance with the main schools.

Bin Yan, Jiahui Guo
United States

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This skyscraper project intends to propose and experiment a new folding prototype of informal urbanization in one of the largest and most complicated metropolitan cities in the world—Beijing.

We are inspired from a provocative science fiction novel named “Folding Beijing” by a Chinese writer Ms. Hao Jingfang. This fiction depicts a serious whereas unsurprising future of Beijing, when the city sustain more than ten times of its current population, that different groups of people are segregated spatially and chronologically. In fact, this fiction might not be as surrealistic as it might suggest, according our investigation, there are more than 3.2 million people in Beijing who have to live and work during the night. They, together with their families, contribute to the urban metabolism such as street cleaning, facility maintenance, logistics, etc. They sacrifice their biological clock to minimize the impact of their works for the city’s majority, however, their contribution, as well as their weakness of life are always ignored, they are losing their homes, the shanty neighborhoods, which are gradually encroached and erased under the capital-driven urban sprawl.

Bin Yan, Jiahui Guo
United States

0090-0

This skyscraper project intends to propose and experiment a new folding prototype of informal urbanization in one of the largest and most complicated metropolitan cities in the world—Beijing.

We are inspired from a provocative science fiction novel named “Folding Beijing” by a Chinese writer Ms. Hao Jingfang. This fiction depicts a serious whereas unsurprising future of Beijing, when the city sustain more than ten times of its current population, that different groups of people are segregated spatially and chronologically. In fact, this fiction might not be as surrealistic as it might suggest, according our investigation, there are more than 3.2 million people in Beijing who have to live and work during the night. They, together with their families, contribute to the urban metabolism such as street cleaning, facility maintenance, logistics, etc. They sacrifice their biological clock to minimize the impact of their works for the city’s majority, however, their contribution, as well as their weakness of life are always ignored, they are losing their homes, the shanty neighborhoods, which are gradually encroached and erased under the capital-driven urban sprawl.

We believe that people will live alternatively in future cities to maximize the spatial capacity and efficiency to sustain the vast population. Therefore, the question for us, the designers and builders of the future city, is to think about the new architecture prototypes which contribute to the alternation while maintain the quality and humanity of life, especially for the minority who reverse days and nights working for us.

Infilled with the concept of folding, both spatially and chronologically, the new skyscraper will be a compensation for the losing shanty houses and informal neighborhoods in Beijing. We choose the Tiananmen Square as our site not only because of its political and symbolic particularity, but also for the adjacency to the working place of most night workers. High density houses are reassembled into a 60’/60’/150’ units, and they are capable to move within the structure system. These units are landed into the underground space during the day time, retaining the political function of the square while providing green space with rooftop gardens for the bare ground. During the night time, these units adjust their position and unfold themselves into a high-sense informal city. The four columns remain above the ground as an iconic sculpture during day, while supporting the transformation of the structure system and providing artificial light in their top which illuminates the night life of the residents as well. This strategy of spatial alternation and transformation, retains the multi-functional quality, both public space and high-density housing in this project, and protects­ those groups of people from being disturbed in the urbanization and gentrification process.

As a conclusion of this project, the folding and unfolding process of the architecture enables the alternative use of urban space, or even the dimensional transition between different users, however, we do not value segregation, no matter as a political square, an informal city, or underground green space, by integrating them together, we want to make them visible, functional, and interactive, this is also how the concept of “folding” is interpreted in this project.

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