As part of the Skyhive 2020 Skyscraper Challenge, Lissoni Casal Ribeiro‘s Skylines project imagines a vertical garden city for a hypothetical site in NYC. The “Skylines” project is not simply a skyscraper, but a veritable ecosystem which integrates architecture and nature, a new reality which sustains and is in turn sustained by the environment in the rediscovery of a primordial habitat.

 Skyline Skyscraper, New York, USA / Lissoni Casal Ribeiro

The project matrix is the natural element of a tree, where the trunk and branches are not simply aesthetic inspirations but elements that form the structure itself and from which the building develops: it absorbs water from the rain like a tree and collects energy from the sun and wind transforming it into electricity to be used inside the building.

 Skyline Skyscraper, New York, USA / Lissoni Casal Ribeiro

Starting from an urban lot measuring 80m x 130m, the skyscraper develops from the central nucleus that houses the primary functions and which is surrounded by large hanging gardens supported by an external curtain of steel cables that have both a structural and an aesthetic function. The equilibrium between the external and internal spaces gives life to a sort of self-sufficient garden-city.

 Skyline Skyscraper, New York, USA / Lissoni Casal Ribeiro

Inside the building, the various functions are distributed vertically. The lower floors are dedicated to public and cultural activities, while immediately above are the platforms given over to vegetable gardens that use a system of soilless cultivation which reduces the level of heavy metal contamination in the food grown. Higher up are the floors with areas for sports and others that host a hospital which is also immersed in greenery and well-equipped to face any health emergency. 

Above this are floors devoted to education – schools and a university – while on the 20th floor there are spaces for offices and co-working. The top floors of the tower are reserved for residential areas and command outstanding and sublime views.

 Skyline Skyscraper, New York, USA / Lissoni Casal Ribeiro

In the context of this particular period of history and the health emergency that the whole world is experiencing, the team of Lissoni Casal Ribeiro has imagined the realization of a vertical urban forest that is completely self-sufficient. The year 2020 and the arrival of a global pandemic have indeed highlighted our weaknesses and shortcomings at a structural level, causing us to devise new ways of thinking the city and the infrastructures.

 Skyline Skyscraper, New York, USA / Lissoni Casal Ribeiro

A system that produces, optimizes and recycles energy, a perfect microclimate that filters the air, absorbs carbon dioxide, produces humidity, reuses rainwater to irrigate the greenery, in addition to providing protection from the sun’s rays and the noise of the city. A reflection on the use and development of urban spaces which must have a more human dimension, more respectful of nature and of time, all within a contemporary context. Skylines is therefore not simply an ecosystem but a cultural vision that involves social and economic processes aimed at improving the quality of life, not just a sustainable architecture but a modus vivendi. 

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