2011 Skyscraper Competition Winners

1st place

eVolo Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Skyscraper Competition. Established in 2006, the annual Skyscraper Competition recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the use of new technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. This is also an investigation on the public and private space and the role of the individual and the collective in the creation of a dynamic and adaptive vertical community. The award seeks to discover young talent, whose ideas will change the way we understand architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

The first place was awarded to Atelier CMJN (Julien Combes, Gaël Brulé) from France for their ‘LO2P Recycling Skyscraper’ in New Delhi, India. The project is designed as a large-scale wind turbine that filters polluted air with a series of particle collector membranes, elevated greenhouses, and mineralization baths. More images and descriptions of winning entries after the break

2nd place

The second place was awarded to Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, and Xavier Schirr-Bonnans from France for a dome-like horizontal skyscraper that harvests solar energy, collects rainwater, and preserves the existing urban fabric at ground level thanks to its large skylights and small footprint.

3rd place

The recipient of the third place is Yheu-Shen Chua from the United Kingdom for a project that re-imagines the Hoover Dam in the U.S. as an inhabitable skyscraper that unifies the power plant with a gallery, aquarium, and viewing platform that engages the falling water directly.

honorable mention 01

Among the honorable mentions there are “waterscrapers” that clean oil spills and desalinate sea water, inverted skyscrapers for a floating Olympic villa, recycling towers, research skyscrapers that harvest lightning power, vertical cemeteries and amusement parks, sports skyscrapers, fish farms, and “living mountains” for desert climates. Other proposals use the latest building technologies and parametric design to configure environmentally conscious self-sufficient buildings.

honorable mention 02

The Jury of the 2011 edition was formed by leaders of the architecture and design fields including: Juan Azulay (principal Matter Management, professor at Southern California Institute of Architecture), CarloMaria Ciampoli (port director Live Architecture Network), Mario Cipresso (principal Studio Shift, professor at University of Southern California), Ted Givens (principal 10 Design), Eric Goldemberg (principal Monad Studio, professor at Florida International University), Jose Gonzalez (principal Softlab, professor at Pratt Institute), John Hill (editor Archidose), Mitchell Joachim (principal Terreform One, professor at New York University), Andrew Liang (principal Studio 0.10., professor at University of Southern California), Javier Quintana (principal Taller Basico de Arquitectura, Dean of IE School of Architecture), Rezza Rahdian (Architect, Second Place 2009 Skyscraper Competition), Michel Rojkind (principal Rojkind Arquitectos), and Michael Szivos (principal Softlab, professor at Pratt Institute). The Jury selected 3 winners and 32 honorable mentions. Magazine received 715 projects from all five continents and 95 different countries.

honorable mention 03

eVolo Magazine would like to acknowledge all the competitors for their effort, vision, and passion for architectural innovation and the members of the Jury for their knowledge, time, and enthusiasm during the long review process.

honorable mention 04

eVolo Magazine is also pleased to announce the publication of a Limited Edition book (only 500 copies) that celebrates the sixth anniversary of the prestigious international Skyscraper Competition. With more than 3,000 projects received, we are showcasing the best 300 proposals from the past six years, including 2011, in a large-format hardcover book. Our goal is to edit a true gem of contemporary architecture printed in over one-thousand full-color pages. Click here to order the book.

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "2011 Skyscraper Competition Winners" 08 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=118115>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Most of these projects are so outside the realm of reality it’s hard to even see how such a competition could be worthwhile.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      If architects are required to imagine or research everything based on the realistic rules, I believe we would never feel the shining point and the emotion pulsation in macro human manufacture things.
      Architects could be artist or project operator, or both, all should be well encouraged. We have to imagine it first, then find the approaches to build it.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +2

        In all seriousness what is “macro human manufacture things”?

        jc’s right. This competition ain’t worth the time.

        I don’t hate on theoretical or visionary work – I wish most of the work offered some valuable and critical content for a change.

      • Thumb up Thumb down -1

        The problem is, if we judge an architecture project with the standard of realistic, architecture would have died so much times in history. Actually architecture could be understood in more expansive definition nowadays, such as the overall background of human behavior – not just buildings.

        Anyway, just like Shajedur Rahman says, they at least looks amazing and present fabulous techniques in designing, why not appreciate them fairly as wisdom achievement? Build or not build, it’s just another question.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      If it wasn’t for ideas “outside the realm of reality” we’d still be living naked in caves and trees eating raw meat.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        If it weren’t for ideas that were possible, we’d still be living naked in caves and trees eating raw meat photoshopping sweet buildings.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Seriously, I’d have love to take part in it, but didn’t have the science-fiction-comic-artist degree.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      Oh they didn’t tell you, no you just needed the creative mind-degree – its ok, not all schools offer it.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Architecture has become a practice in which lately speculation and image are what matters the most. Throw any of these kids out of school and they’re devoured by the reality of the practice. Nice renderings indeed, good architectural projects? Don’t know..

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Some of these comments are so bitterly negative, particularly ‘jc’.
    You’re forgetting the real the value of ideas.
    Thinking outside the realm of what is practical and that which conforms to regulation is absolutely vital to the health of the profession. Do you think Archigram sought to base their projects in reality, or where they used as tools to evoke an idea of what could be possible?? Their work has inspired many, including Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and Future Systems to name a few.
    Ideas provoke reactions and create debate. Of course we have to be critical of fantastical propositions, but wouldn’t you rather have a lively debate about what the future of architecture might become rather than not having one at all?
    The value of imagination and ideas must never be lost. It is a sad day when all those that comment fail to judge a project on the same values that led to its creation – as a propositional, provocative, and imaginary work that completely re-interprets and critiques the way we produce architecture today.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    The real question is, what place does “fantastical” architecture have in education? It’s super fun to make cool looking projects and to conceive of what most would call crazy ideas. In todays’ age that means thinking a cool looking building and then going into the laser cutter and photoshop to make something that looks like the spaceship. When it looks entrancing enough, the projects done But what do we learn from this?

    In my opinion most of today’s population (and yes, gasp, non non architects) can come up with innovative ideas for buildings. It’s not hard to be playful. The hard part when it comes to making the thing WITHIN A BUDGET and CLOSE TO within the realm of build-ability.

    I’m not shooting down idealistic notions of creative ideas outside the scope of reality, but progress is not made in light-year jumps but in slow incremental ones. This requires a reality check if anything is to progress at all.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Modern humans have been around for about 50,000 years but we only really had a grasp on technology for about 200 years and in the past 100 years technology advancement has evolved at an INCREDIBLE rate. Today, a kid in Africa with a smart phone has access to more information then the President 15 years ago. Do you call that a slow incremental progress?? To suggest, say 100 yrs ago, what architecture is capable to create today was probably an absurd – i’m sure it went along the lines of your disagreeing thoughts. Thankfully the world had the minds of the creative to count into constructing the absurd, further testing the limits of technology. You think crazy, we think tomorrow.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    remember leonardo da vinci’s sketches about flying machines!… be happy architects!

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