The annual Evolo skyscraper award celebrates novel, bizarre, and whimsical designs for vertiginous buildings. In its aim to award innovative use of materials, building organization, aesthetics, and technology, Evolo often opts for the most beautifully outlandish structures you ever did see. This preference is obvious in the three winning proposals and the 24 honorable mentions.
The selection committee has a history of selecting projects that err on the fantastical sci-fi side, like last year's twisted spiderweb of building that was supposed to harness the power of lightning. Scroll down to see highlights from this year's crop of winners with affectionate nicknames and brief explanations.
The Frozen Do-Gooder: Evolo's first place went to Derek Pirozzi for his "Polar Umbrella" design. Pirozzi aims to help to rebuild the damaged arctic layers with this floating structure. The Umbrella would house NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) labs, renewable power stations, dorm-like housing units, and habitats for the lovely local wildlife. Not to be exceeded on the ecological front, the Polar Umbrella "also regenerates the ice caps using harvest chambers that freeze the ocean water."
The Transparent Brain: These floating jellyfish gliding over high-rises are intended to "restore pH balance" to cities. But who is to stop their tentacle arms from abducting random apartment residents?
The Buoyant Balloon: Evolo's third place award goes to Ting Xu and Yiming Chen from China for "Light Park," which provides greenery and recreation space above cities with no room for that sort of leisure and tomfoolery. But how does it float? Why a magical "large, mushroom cap-like helium-filled balloon at its top, and solar-powered propellers directly below." The birds already seem confused in the mock-up.
The One Most Likely To Make People Think They're Having a Bad Trip: This design, called "Skinscape" plays with the notion of contained structures by connecting a few freestanding buildings through angled sky-bridges that make each building appear to melt into its neighbor.
The Jenga Board: French designers Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo from France, won second place for their "Phobia Skyscraper." The stacked boxes aim to revitalize an abandoned industrial area of Paris, maybe by concerning the whole neighborhood about the well-being of residents at the tippy-top.
The Crater Scraper: This affectionate nickname is actually the moniker given to the proposed structure by the designers. The designers imagine a semi-doomed future in which an asteroid hits the earth. But how to recover, architecturally speaking? The Crater Scraper would follow the form of a potential crater strike, lining the walls of the former disaster site with residences and filling the center with glowing light.
The One That Might Up and Walk Away: This sinewy skeleton of a building looks like it has legs. It could just jaunt away.
[Evolo, image via Evolo]