Eugene Tsui has designed a concept city called The Ultima Tower that would help solve the global population crisis. Acting as a human termite nest, and costing $150 billion, these two mile high green towers would house over one million people in a one mile wide area. Instead of floors, the building’s interior would consist of a multi-dimensional ecosystem complete with neighborhood districts and 30-50 meter high skies. Lakes, streams, rivers, hills and ravines comprise the soil landscape on which residential, office, commercial, retail and entertainment buildings can be built.
The concept can be thought of as what would happen if nature grew upwards with multi-soil levels. Of course the structure itself acts like a living organism with its wind and atmospheric energy conversion systems, photovoltaic exterior sheathing, and opening/closing cowl-vent windows that allow natural air into the interior without mechanical intervention. The exterior walls are made of structural glass that conforms to the criss-crossing, double helix, cable strand tension system that disperses all exterior forces along the surface. If wind or earthquake shock waves pushes or disturbs one portion of the structure the other portion absorbs and dissipates the forces. Ecological efficiency is a rule and all areas of the structure feature resource conserving technology such as recycled building materials, compost toilets, nature-based water cleansing systems for all buildings, plentiful amounts of forest, plant life and water-based ecosystems.
Considering the huge costs involved, and the current suburban culture, it is unlikely we will see anything like this taken seriously in our lifetimes. However, considering over half of the world’s population is already living in cities, ideas like this may one day be realized. What do you think future cities could look like?