As the global population grows and the world’s largest metropolises evolve into mega-cities, skyscrapers stretching higher than ever before could hold our transit hubs, parking garages, parks, museums and even food production systems. Some of these concept designs seem feasible for the near future while others could serve as the settings for science fiction.
This concept for a floating skyscraper takes a similar tack, reacting to the infrastructure problems caused by rapid, unchecked urbanization by literally having no earthly footprint at all. The Light Park features a helium-filled cap and solar-powered propellers keeping it looming over Beijing like a ghost ship, and it contains parks, sports fields, green houses, restaurants and other public facilities.
With all of its spiraling open levels, this parking garage tower envisioned for Hong Kong seems chaotic and unstructured, but it’s actually a well-thought-out automatic system that automatically sweeps cars from the ground floor to parking spots surrounding a central atrium.
An overflowing, overpopulated New York City could be in dire need of new technology to meet energy needs by the year 2040, as designer Paolo Venturella imagines with his ‘Flex Tower.’ This moving skyscraper tilts and rotates itself to follow the sun to perfectly position its envelope of solar panels at all times of the day.
Sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, known for cyberpunk classics like ‘Snow Crash’ and ‘Quicksilver,’ has teamed up with the Center for Science and Imagination to design an incredible 12.4-mile-tall tower capable of launching rockets into space. 24 times the height of the Burj Khalifa, which is currently the world’s tallest building, Tall Tower would scrape the bottom of the stratosphere.
Tangled with lush greenery, these tall, narrow twin towers stretch up to an observatory and sky park looking down over Taiwan. The base is inhabited by a set of museums focusing on the nation’s past, present and future, while the stems contain four different kinds of hanging gardens as well as high-end residences.