‘Human Castell’ tower proposal turns the traditional skyscraper inside out

April 11, 2017

Evolo has announced the winners of its 2017 Skyscraper Competition, and though projects specific to NYC didn’t take the top spots this year, several of the honorable mentions looked at new ways to build high-rise projects in New York. This one, the Human Castell Skyscraper, comes from a New Zealand-based team who wanted to address the question “where does art end and architecture begin?” Inspired by the castells of ancient Catalonia, the designers eliminated exterior walls for the Midtown tower to open its insides out towards the city, tapping into the history of architecture using sculptural expression to speak of its inhabitants’ “myths and tales.”

Tamin Song, Jin Woo Kuk, Sun Hee Yoo, Bruce Han, Gangmin Yoo, and Jun Sun Baek describe the thought process behind Human Castell:

It presents a concrete and very solid depiction of our society as it is: the fear, the pain, the joy, and the excitement. Each layer enriching the other to finally become the most raw, unobstructed representation of who we are and what our stories create. At last breathing a much needed sense of identity and emotion into the grey city.

They propose using CNC machines to 3D print the building’s reinforced concrete forms, which “retain the bespoke quality of traditional sculptures” such as domes, columns, and gates. They also divide the tower into three architectural representations of human emotions–anger, delight, and distress.

See all the winners and honorable mentions on Evolo >>


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  1. S

    Even with ordinary skyscrapers in NYC we have problems of falling ice during & after winter storms. I can only begin to imagine the chaos this type of snow & ice trapping structure (extending horizontally outward over the adjoining streets to boot) would create when the accumulations started melting …and falling. Not to mention maintenance on a wildly intricate surface such as this. Did someone say “window-washing”? Free-wheeling artistic creation & fantasy is fun, and often inspires new ways of doing things, but architecture demands practicality.

  2. C

    “Where does art end and architecture begin?” indeed.

    George Lucas would welcome this design as a Star War aficionado’s wet dream.