20 Most Innovative Skyscrapers

In the celebratory spirit of its recent 2015 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo has compiled a list of the contest’s most innovative submissions. 20 skyscrapers from 13 countries rose above the rest in terms of their unorthodox forms and imaginative solutions to socio-environmental issues. The avant-garde designs, which range from self-sustaining micro-climates to extensive sky-bound bicycle networks, address the cultural, social, and sustainable contexts of the future through groundbreaking means.

See all 20 innovative skyscrapers after the break.


Breeding Clouds Skyscraper / Davide Coluzzi. Image Courtesy of eVolo

To account for increasing aridity and the accompanying decrease in resources, this structure uses ionization technology to foster a controlled, vertical ecosystem.


Migratory Lantern Flock: Nostalgia Across the Formosa Strait / Cai Zeyu, Du Dikang. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Migratory Lantern Flock aims to inspire a common cultural identity for the Taiwanese people by reusing a discarded vernacular structure as the framework for a glowing tower.

The Oculus: Regenerating Life Through a Vertical Topology / Rodrigo Carmona. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Implementing a digital weather system, the Oculus is a self-sustaining mixed-use tower that aims to reinforce a sense of community in Manhattan and resolve imminent environmental concerns.

Xerophyte Tower / Allstair Lillystone, Shonn Mills. Image Courtesy of eVolo

This tower draws inspiration from desert plants that have adjusted to their climates, and implements a system of modular units to achieve a structure with similar adaptive capabilities.

Floating Waterfront Village: Trees of Life / Yi Wang, Jin Wei. Image Courtesy of eVolo

In an effort to preserve the traditional features of China’s Pearl River Delta, Floating Waterfront Village proposes a vertical shift to maintain the vernacular style through a suspended community.

A Thousand Splendid Suns / Bart Chompff, James Park. Image Courtesy of eVolo

This project employs technological strategies to utilize the power of the sun, harvesting the latent energy from its rays to be distributed for thermal control and energy production within the tower.

Bicycle Skyscraper Network / Si Hoon Choi, Do In Kim, Tae Joon Jeong, Chang Han Lee, Seong Hyun Yoon. Image Courtesy of eVolo

To promote a healthier environment and decrease congestion at street level, the Bicycle Skyscraper Network redirects bicycle traffic into an elevated road system for a safer and faster commute.

Go Vertical: A City Designed for Volume / Margaret Rew, Taylor Hewett, Karilyn Johannesen. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A City Designed for Volume reimagines the conventional highrise layout as a web of overlapping public and private spaces that redefine the lifestyles of mixed-use skyscraper occupants by creating new opportunities for interaction.

Favela Skyscraper / Rodrigo Carranca Hernandez. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A future look at informal settlements, this skyscraper applies a methodical growth pattern to favelas to improve inhabitants’ standards of living and provide them with a self-sustaining environment.

Water Skyscraper in Somalia / Nurzhanat Kenenov. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Driven by the scarcity of safe water in Somalia, this project proposes a series of towers connected by an aqueduct system that desalinate water from the Indian Ocean, transport it as needed, and in the process generate hydroelectric energy.


Elegy of Skyscrapers: Museum of Manhattan Skyscrapers / Yike Peng, Fan Wu, Youyi Wang. Image Courtesy of eVolo

The Museum of Manhattan Skyscrapers presents a method of preserving today’s skyscrapers as concrete memories and tourist attractions for future generations.

the habitable_obelisk_Malaysia_architecture_design_skycraper
The Habitable Obelisk / Jun Hao Ong. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Returning to the sanctity of ancient rock-cut dwellings, the Habitable Obelisk creates a unique social experience within the tower’s interconnected carved spaces.

High-Rise Waterfall / Gigih Nalendra, Nadia Vashti Lasrindy, Reza Arya Pahlevi. Image Courtesy of eVolo

This highrise addresses Jakarta’s annual flooding caused by insufficient infrastructure by introducing rooftop reservoirs that supply hydroelectric energy for the structure’s occupants.

Re-scraper / Zhou Ping, Yang Dongqi, Xie Mingxuan, Chai Wenpu, Sun Wei, Yang Hui, Liu Chengming, Qi Shan, Deng Honghao. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A solution to the problems associated with blasting demolition, the Re-scraper suggests reusing existing infrastructure as the basis of new construction, simplified by a top-down 3D printing system.

Termite Skyscraper / Chong Wang, Mingwei Sun, Zhen Wang. Image Courtesy of eVolo

This structure aims to counteract food scarcity in agriculturally deprived areas by sustaining a regenerating supply of nutrient-rich termites in a vertical farm.

Capture Wind: A Wind Farm in the Tropopause / Jiaqi Sun, Chang Liu, Mingxuan Qin. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Seeking to lessen climate change caused by fossil fuels, this wind farm proposes a system of towers that harvest and store the high-velocity winds of the troposphere for clean, dependable energy.

Land Liberator Skyscraper / Ming Liu, Chen Chen, Chao Nie, Hua Deng, Yinhan Zhou. Image Courtesy of eVolo

The Land Liberator seeks to combat Beijing’s growing air pollution problem by incrementally absorbing the city, shifting its population vertically to allow ecological regeneration at the ground level.


Cloucity / Juerg Burger, Ge Men, Qingchuan Yang, Yin Li, Wei Hou. Image Courtesy of eVolo

A complement to existing infrastructure, Cloucity proposes three interconnected residential towers with a central void for recreational activities and public gathering.


Re2iffel Equalizer Skyscraper / Teemu Holopainen, Tomi Jaskari, Tuomas Vuorinen, Simon Ornberg. Image Courtesy of eVolo

Re²iffel examines a multipurpose structure that emphasizes adaptable public space and adapts to the predicted swings in climatic conditions.


Diffused Boundaries Skyscraper / Satavee Kijsanayotin, Ben Novacinski, Hannah Mayer, Haydar Baydoun, Mingxi Ye, Zhifei Chen. Image Courtesy of eVolo

This highrise investigates how “to blur the boundaries that create separations between public and private spaces, but also how to bring the rich civic and communal lifestyle that currently exits on the ground up into the sky.”

Source: eVolo’s 20 Most Innovative Skyscrapers – archdaily.com

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