ARCHITECTURE

Skyshelter.zip: the skyscraper that can be folded like an origami

May 11, 2018 admin

The project was conceived as a structure able to shelter people living in areas hit by natural disasters.

A team of three Polish designers has recently won the first prize at the Skyscraper Competition 2018 architectural contest. The team, consisting of Piotr Panczyk, Damian Granosik and Jakub Kulisa, was inspired by the ancient Japanese art of paper folding (origami) and designed a foldable skyscraper. How does it work?

Skyshelter.zip is moved with the help of helicopters while it is folded in a box. When it reaches the site, it is secured to the ground and the internal balloon is filled with helium, becoming the skyscraper’s load-bearing element.

The structural steel wires within the structure pull upwards the lightweight 3D-printed metal slabs forming the floors of the building, while the walls are made of ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), a flexible plastic material, and infused with solar cells to meet energy needs.

The number of floors of the final structure varies depending on the quantity of helium poured into it. When its job is finished, Skyshelter.zip leaves the site exactly as when it arrived, folded like an origami.

The project was conceived as a structure able to shelter people living in areas struck by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

With a height of 100 m, the area occupied by Skyshelter.zip is 30 times smaller than that usually required to host tents or containers used in such situations. It can accommodate up to 1,000 people and feature a first aid bay, in addition to a vertical farm available to its inhabitants.

[Giuseppe D’Orsi]