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Gallery | Origami-style skyscraper wins future buildings award

An origami-style pop-up skyscraper has claimed the top prize in a future buildings competition.

Designed by a group of Polish architects Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk, Skyshelter.zip can be folded up and moved to a disaster zone. Once on site, the building is then assembled via a load-bearing helium-filled balloon.

The architects were awarded the top gong at the Evolo awards for the structure designed for regions hit by flooding and where there is a shortage of dry land.

“There are several advantages to the tall design: ease of transportation, as all it takes is moving a relatively small package; easy deployment; and then the height of the structure makes it work as a landmark so it can help guide people to the relief camp,” designer Jakub Kulisa said. ”Whether certain region is struck by earthquake, flood or hurricane – help needs to arrive quickly. This is often easier to be said than done, as damages to transportation infrastructure or remote localization can make it extremely difficult. 

“The Skyshelter.zip tries to address these issues by proposing structure that while offering large floor surface is compact, easy to transport anywhere and can be deployed with minimum amount of time and manpower requirements. It is meant to serve as multi-purpose hub for any relief operation.” 

Once deployed, lightweight slabs forming each floor are moved upwards by structural steel wires attached to the balloon, while attached fabric panels unfurl to form internal and external walls.

Meanwhile, the large balloon encased within its tip has a hole in the centre used to collect rainwater.

Accommodating 1,000 people the pop-up building also has room for medical bays and small farms.

In second place, Jinja: Shinto Shrine Skyscraper, designed by Hong Kong based designer Tony Leung has been designed to restore the traditional interactions between a Shinto Shrine and local people in Ginza, Tokyo.

Waria Lemuy: Fire Prevention Skyscraper came in third place for its vertical housing prototype designed for areas damaged by wild fires in Chile.

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