Posts tagged architecture
You thought your local mall is big? Pah! Having took 3 years to build, the New Century Global Center in China recently opened up to the public and already dubbed it “world’s largest building”. And when China say largest, they mean LARGEST. The NCGC is 19 million square feet, which is big enough to hold 3 Pentagons.
So what in the world do they do with all that space? Well, to be exact, they use it to make the best, most awesome building ever. First of all, they have a 4,305,564.17 square feet shopping mall with various shops and boutiques. A shoppers dream. And they do it in style, to. The building was inspired by waves of the ocean and flying sea-gulls, so the shopping mall and lobby take on a Mediterranean theme.
Going along with the “waves of the sea” inspiration, the middle section of the building is a incredible water park. The park is surrounded by a glass dome, but even in that, the managed to fit a 100 ft long artificial coastline, water slides and a fake Mediterranean Village/hotel. This certainly adds “amusement” to NCGC’s giant resumè.
I could go on forever naming things the NCGC has in it, like a ice rink or a theater (which it does have), I would like to move on to the second and only other building in the NCGC complex (does not count in biggest building ranking), the Chengdu Contemporary Arts Centre. The CCAC is, really, a giant modern art museum, complete with a theatre that holds 2,000 people, another stage that holds 1,000 people, and a multipurpose auditorium which holds 1,000 people. World-renowned shows and performances will take place there all year, so that the CCAC can really complete your visit for anyone who likes that arts.
Overall, the New Century Global Center really shows that if we want to build big and grand we can. I mean, seriously, this thing even has it’s own artificial sun! But, money and tourism aren’t the only reasons they built paradise so big. Part of it is pollution. They need a way to distract tourists and get out of the heavily polluted air. It’s a step, and in this case and really BIG step.
Every year, eVolo has a competition for the most creative and ingenious designs for future skyscrapers. It’s basically where you get to go all out on the design. You can make it as futuristic as you want. They get tons of submissions every year, and this year they received an astonishing 5,000 designs. This year’s competition winners were announced yesterday (March 13), and all of them are absolutely amazing. I will review the top 3.
3rd Place: Light Park
Designed by Ting Xuand and Yiming Chen, Light Park (as pictured above), takes on the problem of overpopulation and pollution in Beijing. It would hover above Beijing using giant Helium filled air sacks at the top of the structure. The structure also has solar powered propellers at the bottom to make sure it doesn’t fall. This design could free up green space on the ground by elevating residences and offices.
You may be wondering, “What are those plates sticking out of the side of it?” Well, they don’t show it in the pictures above, but they are parks, fields and other green space. They provide space to relax in the crowded city of Beijing, while also making it child-friendly. The pillar where the plates meet has shops, restaurants, and living space.
One problem with Light Park, despite its creativity and benefits, it obviously its vulnerabilities — for example, what about tornados and hurricanes? Yes, they rarely have tornadoes and hurricanes in Beijing, but if they do, it would get hurled. Even strong winds would seem to be a concern.
Even thought Light Park has some safety concerns to work out, it is a fantastic design. Since it runs solely on eco-friendly power, it could help Beijing’s terrible problem of air pollution. The plates also were a great idea, making it enjoyable to live in. I’m not even sure I’d ever get off it besides for vacations. It must have taken Ting Xuand and Yiming Chen at least a year to design, because they made sure every little thing was taken care of. They even designed a terrific water system that filters rain water. Ting Xuand and Yiming Chen defiantly deserved 3rd place, and if they don’t try to build at least a mini Light Park in 20 years or so, I’d be disappointed.
2nd Place: Phobia Skyscraper
Phobia Skyscraper is a design bent on helping the urban life in Paris. If you have ever been to Paris, you know that is is one of the busiest cities in the world. Designed by Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo, Phobia Skyscaper is made out of mini (compared to the whole structure) blocks. Each block can be a store, house, workshop, or nearly whatever you want. Phobia Skyscraper is more of a mystery, not really making it clear how you would get around.
What Phobia Skyscraper does make clear is that it will make much more space for paris, and shops will have lots of costumers. Also, it has something called Nuclei Centers, which are basically holes in the structure that make a sort of community center. It won’t be as “green” as Light Park, but it will be a place people would meet up. Big events like weddings, boxing matches, small fairs, exhibitions, and lots of other events would be held in the Nuclei Center, and it would become a fairly crowded place overtime. In the Nuclei Center, there are big screens that show messages, news, and other information like that. The Nuclei Center would most certainly be the most populous place, so stores will likely be place near there, making it a lot like a shopping mall.
Phobia Skyscraper would definitely change Paris, adding shops, living space and much more. It could also help Paris ecologically. It has a rain water filter system that would not waste energy on filtering and shipping water from unnecessary places. One problem is that some people may think it is ugly, and not want it in the amazing city of Paris, but if it does get into the city, there could definitely be some benefits.
1st Place: The Polar Umbrella
Like Light Park, the Polar Umbrella takes on a environmental issue: global warming. Placed on the top of the North Pole, the Polar Umbrella would help cool the icecaps down and rebuild the layers of ice. It takes in the salt water, cools it down using a high-tech system, and spreads it out over the water. This design could help preserve the icecaps, which is greatly needed.
The Polar Umbrella isn’t just a ice producer, it also serves as a research lab and tourist spot. It isn’t primarily meant for a tourist destination, so there aren’t many rooms. The rooms they do have are small, but the fact that you are on the North Pole will make up for it! Researchers and conservationists would also find the Polar Umbrella very helpful, because it also has a viewing deck and helicopter pad.
The architectural design of the Polar Umbrella is amazing. It integrates scientific equipment along with a great design for research. When you look at it from far away, it looks very small. But when you put it vertically, it actually matches the height of the Empire State Building. Thats a lot of ice being made. Designed by Derek Pirozzi, the Polar Umbrella is a environmental masterpiece. It completely deserves its 1st place medal. As I said before, it would very greatly help the North Pole, and absolutely should be explored as a concept.
eVolo’s(which incase you didn’t know, is a architecture magazine) annual contest bring up lots of designs that spearhead different problems. Hunger, global warming, pollution, and lots of other problems could partially be solved if at least a couple of these designes are built. Plus, who wouldn’t want a brand-spankin new high-tech futuristic looking skyscraper in their city?
(If you found this interesting, I recommend getting the $150 book eVolo Skyscrapers, a commemorative book with 300 designes submitted over the years.)