evolo

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MANIFEST

Babylon Tower – eVolution is an architecturally translated concept of the multicultural unity on planet Earth, in all its multiplicity and variety. The new Tower symbolizes the evolutionary development of the world’s cultures and technologies, bringing together these disparate currents in a vertical construction; Babylon Tower.

PROPOSAL

This project links Eurasia and the Americas by being a bridge between the two continents. A bridge extends from each continent and the two spiral together to form the structure of the tower. The tower thus embodies and expresses the potential of multicultural unity - something which allows various, even entirely different essences, to be strongly linked with each other and coexist in unison. Each strand to the bridge carries its own cultural pattern. The tower links and hybridizes these patterns. As a result, the Babylon Tower is an architectural translation of the cultural DNA of the world.

PRINCIPLES

The project embodies “Unity in Variety”. It draws inspiration from Bering Strait’s position separating two great lands: Siberia and Alaska. Symbolically and physically it links the world’s language groups and cultures.  The Tower is composed of various interpenetrated and blended patterns. Each pattern is unique. However, each follows the geometry of the letter “B” (Egyptian hieroglyph cottage / Greek beta) from world’s alphabets. The “B” symbol was chosen to represent cultural identities, because the initial ancient symbol, from which it originated, meant “house” in a proto language. Linguists and historians have mapped the roots of proto-languages, and when lines of language evolution are projected onto the world map there is an intersection at Bering Strait, the site for the Babylon Tower.

INSPIRATION

The legendary Tower of Babel was the first ever skyscraper. According to the Book of Genesis: “once the whole earth was of one language, and people decided to build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. God realized that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats, both noble and ignoble. So he confounded their language, that they could not understand one another’s speech and scattered them upon the face of all the earth.” The Babylon Tower was a perfect “Human project”, which could be realized, because people were together. That was an example of a monocultural world, but this unity was reorganised by God’s will: from singularity and sameness arose the multiplicity and variety of world cultures and languages.

Current globalisation of nations and cultures could be interpreted as people’s attempt to rediscover a common connection. It is not clear yet, what the consequences of such a union would be. Are people moving back towards singularity and a global monoculture? Or are we as a multicultural entity evolving into something completely new?

TOWER STRUCTURE and GREEN WALL

Structurally, Babylon Tower is a vertical spiral, configured by the meeting of linguistically derived patterns. Water collection and water supply is integrated into this structure. The water pipes supply green wall watering and hence water for human needs. The modular panel structure of the building envelope provides fresh air inside and outside the Tower.

Green wall plants such as arctic tundra moss and lichen are adapted for mid-latitude climates. Active growth of the moss and lichen on the interior surface of the green wall is possible during all four seasons.  Exterior plants follow the same growth pattern as arctic tundra mosses in nature. Climate allows active growth of plants during summer season; the tower’s envelope turns green. During cold seasons lichens can be covered with ice.

MESSAGE

Babylon Tower - eVolution is a green and innovative architectural project, a symbol of global unity respectful to cultural differences.

4

It’s 3015, and Times Square is crammed inside a giant skyscraper.

In this startling concept for the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, a re-designed Times Square in a thousand years is home to a single, massive skyscraper. “Times Squared 3015” contains not only homes, shops, and offices, but also vertical farms, a beach, a miniature “mountain range” and a redwood forest. “Peaking over a mile above the city, the tower pushes the boundaries of how vertical a skyscraper can be,” explains the team responsible for the concept. “When fully taken advantage of, Times Squared 3015 proves the skyscraper typology capable of fitting an entire city within itself." 

2

Central Park terraform, a proposal for a radical future

As the last resort in a world where an out-of-control real estate market popped its bubble and all air rights have been exhausted, Architects Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu propose that New York City will overturn countless laws and landmarks to excavate Central Park and line its perimeter with “a continuous, thousand-foot-high reflective glass structure housing thousands of New Yorkers.”

It’s a dark vision, brightly rendered. 

The eVolo contest, invites designers to engage the public through brief, illustrated narratives, like the one above, affording them a rare opportunity for architects to reach a wider audience with jargon-free storytelling that can bring clarity to complex issues.