In 2021 the APEX team participated in the international Evolo Skyscraper Competition. This time the contestants had to rethink the topic of the modern skyscraper, its aesthetics and spatial organization, and to challenge our understanding of vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and artificial environment. The concept presented by APEX architects is based on 3 principles that are revealed from the simple to the complex: the image in culture, the context in the city and the problematics.
PRINCIPLE 1. WHAT IS A SKYSCRAPER?
Throughout history, we can see iconic objects of different eras that meet the needs of their time and society. Usually it was religious buildings and this is the historical prototypes and forms of skyscrapers. It postulated several ideas:
1. Vertical - the dominance of the divine nature;
2. Module - weight distribution on a wide base;
3. Dominate - location in the most conspicuous place.
Afterward, TV towers and skyscrapers as technogenic dominants reflected the course of time and became symbols of the self-assertion of civilization in material form. But for today, digital civilization has not yet formed the figure of the future.
PRINCIPLE 2. THE CONTEXT OF THE SKYSCRAPER IN THE CITY.
Mankind has already fully entered the age of information technology, which has changed the context of the world around us and our consciousness, the era of digital civilization has begun. That is why the megacity today is a high concentration of people, events and information. In addition to the well-known urban frameworks - transport, functional, landscape - another one is added, informational. The city has become a living dynamic world that is constantly changing, and architecture in it is also becoming dynamic, gradually losing its material embodiment, going more and more to the digital plane, to media-architecture. A skyscraper does not have to be a material embodiment, but it must become a modern challenge that meets the requirements of a rapidly changing world.
PRINCIPLE 3. CHALLENGES (FUNCTION)
In the context of the media landscape and advanced technologies, architecture is increasingly becoming a reflection of various processes in society. Many social problems were triggered by a pandemic and require a modern approach. To the fore goes the lack of live communications and emotions, de-socialization and pressure in society, mass discontent, developing into protests. A huge number of fears and an abundance of disinformation appeared.
On the other hand, there is more free time, opportunities on the Internet. Values are changing. Remote mode of work affects the decentralization of urban spaces.
CONCEPT 1. TEMPLE
High technologies have appeared not so long ago, but they are rapidly developing and have firmly entered our daily life. People no longer imagine themselves outside the information field. Falling out of this stream is almost equal to death. Therefore, the technologies around us become similar to a new religion, which needs its temple - IT-TEMPLE. If earlier the temple affirmed the divine principle, then over time it grew and improved constructively, and the position of a person in this hierarchy was rearranged every time, then, anticipating the trends of digital civilization, we can assume the emergence of an IT temple. where our personality will be at the center of everything.
The spatial structure of the new temple resembles an inverted triangle, as a reflection of our real world through the prism of cyberspace. This is our world, transferred to another mental environment. Another symbolic image is the vortex of information.
CONCEPT 1. DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE: THE SKYSCRAPER THAT ISN’T THERE
The virtual model of a skyscraper has a dynamic shape. It is shaped by the users themselves. It is different in different parts of our planet and commensurate to the settlement in which it is located. In the megalopolis, it is expressed in a megastructure, and the countryside - in a small visual volume. At the same time, the image of a virtual skyscraper may differ in each country and city, reflecting the different mentality and culture of the society living in it.
Scenarios for using cells of the virtual skyscraper are endless: everything depends on the preferences and imagination of its users. It can be virtual tours to any corner of the globe or space orbit, musical performances, sports events, working conferences, creative co-working spaces, or, on the contrary, a space for retreat, meditation and communication with artificial intelligence.
The shape of the skyscraper in this case is secondary, but structured, and built by a single algorithm of actions, just as the entire digital world is built in a matrix. This algorithm begins with the basic principle of the golden ratio. A simple volume, forming the beginning, gradually begins to multiply and become more complex, obeying already the laws of programming and translation of information.
The virtual architecture is implemented by means of a system of lasers and light beams, building a large hologram of virtual processes happening to people in cyberspace in the space of the city. This virtual model will operate in real time 24/7, being displayed both during the day and at night.
At the same time, the "block" parameters will include color, size and density. The color conveys the direction or mood of what is happening in the block, its size indicates the number of participants in the meeting, and the density regulates the degree of privacy of the event. The hardware allows you to broadcast the event and get feedback in the form of "likes" and "comments".