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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two-mile-high urban termite mound to house planet's swarming humanity

"We’ve seen a whole slew of gigantic, volcano shaped, city-in-a-building towers, each promising to be the largest building in the world. First it was the wacky X-Seed design for Tokyo, and then even Norman Foster got into the game with his proposal for the massive ‘Crystal Island’ development in Moscow.

"Well now, architect Eugene Tsui is taking the gigantic volcano tower concept to a whole new eco level, by taking design inspiration from the natural world. His new design for the Ultima Tower – a 2-mile high Mt Doom-esque structure - borrows design principles from trees and other living ystem to reduce its energy footprint. We are always intrigued by architecture that uses biomimicry – the borrowing of principles from nature’s designs - and Tsui’s concept for this towering, ultra-dense urban development has certainly captured our attention with its thought-provoking design. (((Also, it looks completely insane... or at least it makes Frank Lloyd Wright's nuclear-powered "Mile-High" look like a piker.)))

"Population growth rates and rural-urban migration are creating a trend of chaotic urbanization that brings environmental, economic and social challenges. Within the next 7 years, 22 megacities across the globe are expected to have populations that exceed 10 million people, according to the UN. The Ultima Tower is an innovative green design concept proposed to resourcefully use earth’s surface and allow sustainable distribution of resources within a dense urban setting.

"Designed to withstand natural calamities, (((good idea))) Ultima Tower is highly stable and aerodynamic. Rather than spreading horizontally the structure rises vertically from a base with a 7,000 foot diameter - inspired in part by the termite’s nest structures of Africa, the highest structure created by any living organism..."

(((After that it just gets weirder. Though it's interesting to see that finally, in 2008, the world's most ferociously ambitious architectural notions are green.)))

Original here

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