Skyscraper Roots

Special Mention
2007 Skyscraper Competition

Laurent Saint-Val

Skyscraper Roots
Skyscraper Roots

At a time when Mankind understands the need to respect and protect nature, in order to enable the continuation of life, architecture draws its inspiration from nature and attempts to use nature’s energy in the most ecologically friendly manner. A skyscraper cannot be built on a site as a vulgar object, without link with its urban environment; it must grow from the ground. Is there a tree without roots? To live, plants need to be in contact with the ground, so their roots draw water and rock salt necessary for their development. In the same manner, it seems to me that the new skyscraper needs to weave a link between the basement (its foundations), the ground, and the sky.

The “roots” of the skyscraper come to collect the activity on the ground and carry it out in height. Its architecture is made up of several structural roots, of several branches which come to be rolled up between them. They absorb the urban landscape, and conversely the urban space creates them.

The skyscraper of tomorrow comes to nourish activities of its urban environment and the ability to generate new activities. Thus, the basement shelters serve as shopping centers, or the access to the subway stations, and form a network of cavities which recall galleries of anthills. On the ground floor, the rhythm is slower; one finds areas for relaxation, open to the public as hanging gardens which climb on the members of the new building. As we continue our ascent, we gradually move to more private spaces: the flats.

The architecture of the building allows that the efforts of each branch are shared by another branch. When there are compressive forces exerted by the wind, for example, on one part of the building, those are taken again in traction by a structural root. The fact that the roots make contact with the ground ensures the wind-bracing of the unit.

Skyscraper Roots
Skyscraper Roots Board 1
Skyscraper Roots
Skyscraper Roots Board 2

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution.

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