For the last five years, eVolo Magazine has hosted a futuristic skyscraper design competition. Usually, the entrants imagine giant buildings taller than anything under construction today. However, the most impressive entry in this year's competition goes the opposite route, by dropping the building straight into the sea. This floating building would generate its own electricity and food, house thousands, and plunge deep beneath the waves.
Designed by Sarly Adre bin Sarkum of Malaysia, the waterscraper would be about as tall as the Empire State Building, but with only a couple of stories exposed above the surface. The whole building would be a self-sufficient, floating, arcology. Wind, solar, and wave power would provide energy, hydroponics and the green space at the top would provide food and oxygen, and the structure would provide housing, work spaces, and areas for recreation.
Ballast tanks would keep the structure level, like in a submarine, as would the tentacles. The tentacles would also move around in the ocean tides, generating electricity from kinetic energy.
Adre bin Sarkum deliberately designed this building to contrast with the skyscrapers that dominate the rest of the competition, and to highlight sustainable architecture.
Obviously, no one has any plans to build anything remotely like this. But if global warming throws us into a WaterWorld like future, Adre bin Sarkum's aqua-condo looks like much sweeter digs than a rickety boat captained by a urine-drinking fish-man.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.