Manhattan Wildscraper Competition: Meet the Winner




Our world is changing fast, while ambitions and challenges match in importance. In this context, design can play a huge role. How do we imagine the world to be? What range of possibilities we haven’t discovered yet? What’s a Non Architecture for a World in crisis? In 2020 we started the second phase of competitions to address the issues of tomorrow. Manhattan Wildscraper aimed to answer those questions with a particular focus on biodiversity and on the relationship between humans and nature.

In line with our style we propose 9+1 themes – ten critical topics to work on, but this time they come with a framework to make sure that each theme is explored from different design angles. Rather than a program, a research ecosystem composed of various competitions running in parallel and exploring the same theme from different perspectives.

Our exploration journey continues here, with theme three: INTO THE WILD.

In this competition, we encouraged participants to come up with visionary concepts for a green skyscraper – Only 3 drawings, absolute freedom of scale, and program dimensions.

Participants were asked to propose conceptual ideas to bring biodiversity back to New York City, more specifically to Midtown Manhattan, through a futuristic green skyscraper.

As the world becomes more urbanized, this competitions’ purpose was to emphasize the importance of providing a synergy between architecture and biodiversity. By imagining a world where nature and people coexist as much as possible, it was up to the participant to come to a very high degree of interaction between these two entities in many possible ways.

As designers, how can we bring biodiversity into architecture through the use of new technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations?

For more information visit the competition WEBSITE.

Following are the results of this Competition.

Winner_1_ Living Water Tower: Vertical High Line on the Hudson River

Nicola Caccavella, Kavita Garg, Julianne Guevara
Institution / Company: Ryerson University

Manhattan Wildscraper_w1_1

Located in the Hudson Yards the Living Water Tower is a mixed-use, green skyscraper which places emphasis on the filtration and purification processes of air and water. The building is situated at the original terminus of the High Line, which now extends through the interior of the tower, spiraling upwards.

Manhattan Wildscraper_W1_2

While it incorporates traditional programs (retail, residential, and commercial), it does so unconventionally. The building separates into two parts, one tower which houses on-site research laboratories and farming, and the other containing residential units embedded within the greenery. The farm sustainably grows crops that are easily transported and utilized in the farm-to-table dining and retail market on lower floors.

Manhattan Wildscraper_W1_3

Vast green space incorporated throughout the building aids in improving air and water quality while acting as a sanctuary for birds, butterflies, and other creatures. Perhaps the most unique element of the project is its large water tower running through the building’s core. The tower funnels water from the river below into a vertical filtration process, once the purified water reaches the top it is stored in a tank to be redistributed for use. The Living Water Tower aims to be a model for new ways of interacting between biodiversity and urban life.

Winner_2_ Re-structured

İrem Kekilli
Institution / Company: TOBB University of Economy and Technology

Manhattan Wildscraper_W2_1

This proposal provides new places to its users and the citizens while people are looking for different living places from the crowded and cramped life of Manhattan. It makes this by rehabilitating and transforming an existing skyscraper while skyscrapers are getting old day by day in Manhattan a region where there is too much construction and there are no suitable spaces for new constructions.

Manhattan Wildscraper_W2_2

By using a mixture of geopolymer material and genetically modified bacteria around an existing building, structures, gardens, and office modules are built with a 3d printer. This material, which absorbs carbon dioxide and releases water, allows plant formation on it as it is a permeable material.

Manhattan Wildscraper_W2_3

This genetically modified bacterium is also injected into the concrete carriers of the existing structure, and thanks to the carbonic acid it provides, this bacterium comes into contact with the concrete and turns the concrete into calcite stone. While concrete, which is very difficult to recycle, turns into calcite stone and becomes a recyclable material, ensures its long-lasting use. With its gardens and shared office modules, it offers people different place experiences among the gridal plan and building stacks of Manhattan, different from the life of the city.

Sources & Credits

Non Architecture


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