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Cloudbursting Concepts: The 3 Winning Entries In This Year's eVolo Skyscraper Competition

eVolo’s annual skyscraper design contest has become a hotbed for some extraordinary and often controversial twists on the high-rise typology over the years: We’ve seen everything from floating megacities to an immense agricultural prison levitating in the clouds.

The winning designs for 2015 have just been announced, and they are just as diverse as you would hope. Take a look at those that secured the top honors, and judge for yourself which sky-high proposals should be made a reality...

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1st Place: Essence Skyscaper by BOMP (Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan and Jakub Pudo)

Essence Skyscraper is a utopian mega-complex designed for adventure, wrapped in an ethereal, translucent skin. Natural landscapes and can be found on each level, including an ocean, a jungle, a cave, and a waterfall, meant to be a “representation of external worlds in the shape of a vertical structure.” The proposal raises a provocative question: If we construct on a grand enough scale, can we transpose the awe-inspiring power of nature into our urban environments?

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2nd Place | Invisible Perception: Shanty-Scraper by Suraksha Bhatla and Sharan Sundar

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In stark contrast to Essence Skyscraper, Shanty-Scraper envisages a markedly more dystopian structure in response to Chennai city’s struggle to cope with rapid urbanization and “lack of political will.” Adaptive reuse, expansion, and improvement of existing slums is seen as the most feasible solution, utilizing redundant construction materials to form a rhythmic lattice structure for local fisherman. Within this condition, a vertical city forms — marketplace, utility yard, gathering space, lookout tower, and home.

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3rd Place: Cybertopia by Egor Orlov

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Cybertopia imagines a future in which our physical and digital worlds merge, comprised of an architecture that can morph to accommodate ever-increasing fields of knowledge and emerging forms of technology. The vast, grid-like structure forms a frame into which numerous programs can be inserted and ejected, much like the Metabolic creations of Archigram — or perhaps it's the architectural manifestation of the Internet, a kind of “Wikipedia in the Sky.”

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