University of Thessaly
Mixed Use Skyscraper
The aim of this project is to create an island which reverses the common meaning of the term “island”. In contrary to the “island” that we know, this particular one extends on the vertical axis instead of the horizontal. The reason for that is that we are dealing with a “tree” which grows vertically. As a plant it has the ability to refresh, enrich and complement its environment. The skyscraper “grows” near Namib Desert, trying to revive the barren desert landscape, which is something unusual for the region.
The building shell results from the elaborate knitting of the branches of the tree, along with its fruits. The surfaces between the “branches” are made of glass, due to fact that glass material with its reflectivity smoothness causes a sense of clean and sincere surface which is not an obstacle to the view of the landscape but it makes it dominant. As a result, this skyscraper is like a prism of life into the water which respects its environment and enriches the landscape. Additionally, photosynthesis is one of the most important functions of a tree, so the glass surfaces of the shell are made of photovoltaic glass which absorbs the solar energy and converts it into useful electricity.
As we know, all plants need the element of water in order to survive. So, at the vertical section of the building we will notice that the water penetrates inside the structure from underneath with the aim of being used for the energy needs of the skyscraper. Also, the design of the interior spaces results from the penetration of each function to another with the aim of creating a uniform and compact organism.