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ORGANIC Skyscraper




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Summary: Competitors are requested to submit only concept designs.

The competition is seeking to expolore and investigate the possibility of an inspirational design topology for a high
quality Organic Skyscraper concept to be used as a Tech City for innovative technology and digital focused companies.
The skyscraper concept should present a possible design solution for achieving a skycrapers that can grow vertically
and horizontally to accomodate additionally floors to address a need for expansion or increased density.
This objective can be best achieved through a development which:
Provides a visual focal point, reinforcing and enhancing the urban vertically growing high rise structure design
possibility for the area.
Respects the context of the site and is of high quality design.
Contributes to the sense of place and community at the chosen location.
Reflects the natural topography of the site and takes advantage of this to provide interesting forms and vertical
integration and circulation.
Encourage uses, which have a direct relationship with idea of Vertical development.
Is imaginative, innovative, of high quality and enhances the visual character of the area whilst respecting and adding
to the skyline view.
Maximises the new development potential with attention to sustainability and ecology.
Design Requirements
The concept for the contemporary Organic Skyscraper design must have technology and digital industries at its core
with the program divided into the following zones:
Technology Zone (IT and Telecommunications etc)
Media Zone (Pr, Social Media, Motivation, Events)
Design Zone (Graphic and Product Design)
Educational Zone (Auditorium, Lectures, Seminars, Workshop and launch Events and Exhibition Halls)
Financial Zone (Investors, Insurance, Funding, Banking)
Legal Zone (Law, Contracts, Copyright, Trademarks)
Recreational and Social Zone (Bar, Restuarent, Cafe and Games)
Medical, Health and Fitness Zone

What is a Skyscraper?
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many storeys, usually designed for office and commercial
use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper. The term skyscraper was first applied to buildings of steel framed construction of at least 10 storeys in the late 19th century.
There is no clear definition of any difference between a tower block and a skyscraper though a building lower than
about thirty storeys is not likely to be a skyscraper and a building with fifty or more storeys is certainly a skyscraper.
Many exceptionally tall skyscrapers have been built, not out of necessity, but to help define the citys identity and
presence or power as a city. Also lacking an official definition, the term supertall has arisen for the current generation of exceptionally tall building, however, we use the term Superskyscraper. One common feature of skyscrapers
is having a steel framework from which curtain walls are suspended, rather than load-bearing walls of conventional
Today, skyscrapers are an increasingly common sight where land is expensive, as in the centres of big cities, because
they provide such a high ratio of rentable floor space per unit area of land. They are built not just for economy of
space; like temples and palaces of the past, skyscrapers are considered symbols of a citys economic power and not
only do they help define the skyline, they help to define the citys identity.
The Emporis Standards Committee defines a high-rise building as a multi-storey structure between 35100 meters
tall, or a building of unknown height from 1239 floors and a skyscraper as a multi-storey building whose architectural height is at least 100 m or 330 ft. However, a loose convention of some in the United States and Europe draws
the lower limit of a skyscraper at 150 m or 490 ft.
For all our competitions, we shall assume the minimum limit of 100 m or 330 ft. for skyscraper and 300 m or 984 ft.
for superskyscrapers, however we are more interested in the idea and concept behind designs presented to us.
Economic Rationale
Skyscrapers are usually situated in the centre of cities where the price of land is high. Constructing a skyscraper becomes justified if the price of land is so high that it makes economic sense to build upwards as to minimize the cost
of the land per the total floor area of a building.

Thus the construction of skyscrapers is dictated by economics and results in skyscrapers in a certain part of a large
city unless a building code or regulation restricts the height of buildings. Skyscrapers are rarely seen in small cities
and they are characteristic of large cities, because of the critical importance of high land prices for the construction
of skyscrapers usually only for office, commercial and hotel users
Environmental Impact
The environmental impact of skyscrapers and whether instead of skyscrapers multiple smaller, lighter buildings
would be more environmentally friendly or sustainable is under debate. The concept of a skyscraper is a product of
the industrialized age, made possible by cheap fossil fuel derived energy and industrially refined raw materials such
as steel and concrete. The construction of skyscrapers was enabled by steel frame construction that surpassed brick
and mortar construction starting at the end of the 19th century and finally surpassing it in the 20th century together with reinforced concrete construction as the price of steel decreased and labour costs increased. The amount of
steel, concrete and glass needed to construct a single skyscraper is large, and these materials represent a great deal
of embodied energy.
Skyscrapers are thus energy intensive buildings, but skyscrapers have a long lifespan, for example the Empire State
Building in New York City, United States was completed in 1931 and is still in active use.
Skyscrapers have considerable mass, which means that they must be built on a sturdier foundation than would be
required for shorter, lighter buildings. Building materials must also be lifted to the top of a skyscraper during construction, requiring more energy than would be necessary at lower heights.
Furthermore, a skyscraper consumes a lot of electricity because potable and non-potable water have to be pumped
to the highest occupied floors, skyscrapers are usually designed to be mechanically ventilated, elevators are generally used instead of stairs, and natural lighting cannot be utilized in rooms far from the windows and the windowless
spaces such as elevators, bathrooms and stairwells.
Skyscrapers can be artificially lighted and the energy requirements can be covered by renewable energy or other
electricity generation of low greenhouse gas emissions. Heating and cooling of skyscrapers can be efficient, because
of centralized HVAC systems, heat radiation blocking windows and small surface area of the building.
30 St Mary Axe in London is an example of a modern environmentally friendly skyscraper.


London, England, United Kingdom

London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures and is located on the River Thames. It is
a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare,
media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport, all contributing to its prominence.
London has been described as a world cultural capital. It has the most international visitors of any city in the world
and London Heathrow is the worlds busiest airport by the number of international passengers. London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.
It contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margarets Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian (0 longitude) and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham
Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium.
London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including
the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library, Wimbledon and 40 major theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the second-most extensive after the
Shanghai Metro.
Topography & Geography
London stands on the Thames, its primary geographical feature, a navigable river, which crosses the city from
southwest to the east. The Thames Valley is a floodplain surrounded by gently rolling hills including Parliament Hill,
Addington Hills, and Primrose Hill.
The Thames was once a much broader, shallower river with extensive marshlands; at high tide, its shores reached
five times their present width. London is elevated approximately 24 m (79 ft) above sea level.

London has a temperate oceanic climate, similar to much of southern Britain. Summers are generally warm and
sometimes hot with an average temperature of 24 C (75.2 F), the heat being boosted by the Urban heat island
effect making the centre of London at times 5C (9F) warmer than the suburbs and outskirts. Spring is a mixed seasons and can be pleasant. Temperatures in London in warmer months range from 8C - 18C (46F - 64F) in spring.
Londons buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly due to their
varying ages. Many grand houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery, are constructed from Portland
stone. Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco or whitewashed buildings.
There are few structures in Central London that pre-date the Great Fire of 1666, these being a few trace Roman
remains, the Tower of London and scattered Tudor survivors in the City. The Tudor period Hampton Court Palace on
the outskirts is an example of this style. Late 17th century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and
19th centuries such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, to the early 20th century Old Bailey and the
1960s Barbican Estate form part of the varied architectural heritage.
In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium and high-rise buildings. Older buildings
are mainly brick built, most commonly the yellow London stock brick or warm orange-red variety, often decorated
with carvings and white plaster mouldings. Londons skyscrapers such as 30 St Mary Axe, Tower 42, the Broadgate
Tower and One Canada Square are usually found in the two financial districts, the City of London and Canary Wharf.
Nevertheless, there are plans for more skyscrapers in central London including the 72-storey Shard London Bridge
which is currently under construction. Other notable modern structures include City Hall with its distinctive oval
shape, the British Library in Somers Town/Kings Cross and What was formerly the Millennium Dome now The O2
Arena, located by the Thames to the east of Canary Wharf.
Coordinates: 513026N 0739W
Total Area: 1,570 km2 (607 sq miles)
Population: 13,945,000


The site, which is the subject of this Competition is the area bordered by A10 Shoreditch High Street, Fairchild
Street and Holywell Lane (See Figure 1 and Figure 2 respectively).
Total Plot Size: 3,510 m (square meters) approximately
Site Context and Analysis
This is an important site, by virtue of it being loacted:
Off A10 / Shoreditch High Street;
Within Shoreditch central;
Within Londons new Technology Hub and within reach of city of London area;
A development that would be visible both in medium and long views of other landmarks and vertical view;

Figure 1

Figure 2


The program challenges participants to design a NEW Tech City Organic Skyscraper that takes into account the need
for a topology that approaches Skyscraper developments from a different point of grow when required.
The design should be visually and aesthetically engaging in contributing to the wider investigation into possible
vision for an incremental approach to tall construction and use. It should also maximise the positive impact of such a
vertical structure whist minimising the negative. It should respond directly to the issue of sustainable space creation
and also address the social, environmental, cultural and economic issues together with concerns of ever-increasing
construction of under utilised Skyscrapers.
What is an Organic Skyscraper?
An Organic Skyscraper for this competition refers to a type of high-rise construction or design that allow for vertical
growth or change in height as the need for more space becomes neccessary after the initial completion similar to the
extension of low constructions.
What is a Tech City?
A Tech City is a recognised high or dense concentration of commercial community of innovative technology and
digital focused companies.
The proposal should incorporate at least the following zones as participants are free to decide on the ratio, size and
space combination within the program:
60% Technology Zone (IT and Telecommunications etc)
10% Media Zone (Pr, Social Media, Motivation, Events)
5% Design Zone (Graphic and Product Design)
5% Educational Zone (Auditorium, Lectures, seminars, workshop and launch Events and Exhibition Halls)
5% Financial Zone (Investors, Insurance, Funding, Banking)
5% Legal Zone (Law, Contracts, Copyright, Trademarks)
5% Recreational and Social Zone (Bar, Restuarent, Cafe and Games)
5% Medical, Health and Fitness Zone
Design to also consider parking (Vehicle, Motor Cycles, Bicycle etc), Circulation Management, Access and Safety.
Total Plot Size: 3,510 m (square meters) approximately
Total Design Area: Open to participants


Design Consideration
It is our intention as organisers not to apply too many design constraints on participants ideas for the Tech City
Organic Skyscraper as we wish to encourage designs that test the boundaries and create something worthy of an
contemporary urban innovative skyscraper. The design should offer an efficient alternative to the current trend of
skyscrapers battle development.
The competition presents a challenging opportunity to utilise location of the site and set parameters to present a
concept that takes into account both economics and most importantly environmental impact.
Highlighted below are some points that the jury will pay attention to in regards to in judging.
Design and Adaption
How the design proposes a new aethetics and lends itself to future adaption or re-engineering.
Movement and Activity
How the proposals will fulfil a Tech City Organic Skyscraper environmental impact.
Opportunity for a new landmark at the location with a new visual presence.
Key views and Skyline
One of the features of this area of London is the regeneration and world recognised area for trend setting in the
field of art, fashion, design, architecture and the changing Skyline. The Skyscraper should integrate and add to the
texture of the overall area, but also mark out the area from wider skyline views.
One of the features of the area is the A10 / Shoreditch High Street motor ways that border the site. Access and use
of the site should minimise possible safety hazard etc.
SPECIAL CONDITIONS: There are no special conditions.


Competition Structure
This is a single-stage open international ideas architecture competition run by SuperSkyScrapers to seek Skyscraper
design solutions and concepts that best satisfy the set of requirements as outlined in this brief for a Tech City
Organic Skyscraper development. Winners of the competition will be awarded cash prizes as detailed in the awards
section of this brief document.
Competition Objective
The objective of this competition is to create an investigation into the design and construction ideas for high-rise or
very tall architecture and also the dynamic communities within and around them with attention to aesthetics, material, technology, flexibility, adaptability and sustainability.
The competition aims to seek out the strongest design concepts and proposal that best satisfy the requirements as
set out in this brief.
The competition with its rather loose program hopes to encourage design proposal that exhibit a high degree of
creative flare and is of high quality design resulting in:
Designs ideas that explore new techniques and challenge the profession.
Encourage architectural experimentation, including form, function and materials in design proposal.
Encourage the respect of the context and natural topography of a site.
Provide a visual focal and reference point
Encourage an amount of artistry as an integral part of the architectural process and experience.
Encourage designs and architecture that embraces the awareness and engagement with the general public.
Encourage and reward design excellence high-rise architecture that integrates function, structure, detail,
community and the spirit of the environment around it.
Encourage designs that propose the value and appropriateness of contemporary high-rise architecture.
Research, respond and highlight the unique aspects of innovative design in high-rise architecture and communities.
Encourage the employment of sustainable design in as many aspects of high-rise design and construction.
To be able to work on such large scale projects with equal imagination and commitment.
These competitions are only design ideas with no intention of it being physically constructed and in no way sponsored or linked to the any development schemes.


Architects, architecture graduates, architecture students, team of architects or inter-disciplinary teams (engineers,
designers, urbanist, landscape architects in-conjunction with an architect, where possible).
Employees, consultants, agents of SuperSkyScrapers or associated awards.
Employees, partners, friends, family, personnel, office practice or studios associated with any of the Jury.
Persons who have taken part in the organisation of the Competition or the writing of the architectural brief
Persons involved in the establishment or in the preparation of the program (including any feasibility for the Competition site or topic).
Participants may submit more than one project, but must register each entry, which means one registration per
Registration and participation in the competition implies an immediate acceptance by entrants of all terms & conditions governing the site and competition.
Submissions can be the work of an individual or a group up to 4 members (architects, architecture graduates, architecture students, engineers, designers, urbanist, landscape architects)
Participants will be expected to pay a registration fee as detailed in the registration form or Competition summary
section of the website.
Method of Payment:
Entrants may register by filling the online registration form and submitting it with the relevant payment by Debit/
Credit card or Paypal Account through a secure gateway.
Fees are not refundable under any circumstance as stated in the terms and conditions.
All deadlines are 23:59 hours (GMT)


Competition Time Table

Competition Announcement
Special Registration Begins
Early Registration Begins
Standard Registration Begins
Late Registration Begins
Deadline for submitting questions
Submission Closes
Jury Deliberation
Winners Announcement

- 22nd August 2013

- 06th February 2014
- 21st February 2014
- 18th March 2014
- 30th May 2014
- 30th May 2014
- 10th June 2014
- 11th June 25th June 2014
- 26th June 2014

Prizes, Awards and Benefits

Winning project entry will receive prizes totaling US$ 5,000.00 as follows:
1st Prize
- Publication in SuperSkyScrapers - Volume 1 Book
- Published on the SuperSkyScrapers website and social media platform
- Published on various online magazine, blogs and media platform
2nd Prize
- Publication in SuperSkyScrapers - Volume 1 Book
- Published on the SuperSkyScrapers website and social media platform
- Published on various online magazine, blogs and media platform
3rd Prize
- Publication in SuperSkyScrapers - Volume 1 Book
- Published on the SuperSkyScrapers website and social media platform
- Published on various online magazine, blogs and media platform
10 Special Mentions (Subject to Jury Discretion) will also be published on our website, social media and book.



Project Documentation
By the date specified in the Timetable, the Organiser will provide to all registered competitors with the following
materials for download:
o A printable Competition Brief document containing:
a. The Competition Topic;
b. General Context;
c. Site Environment - where applicable;
d. Prize and Award Information;
e. Technical requirements;

i.Rules of the Competition;

ii.Competition Timetable;
o Photographs of the city, site or location where applicable;
o Satellite view of the site, if available and applicable;
o Map of the local area (3D) if available and applicable;
o CAD File
Downloadable Pack for the competition contains: Site Use Map, Site Photos, Site CAD, Street Map and Aerial Map
which is dowlownloadable with the brief.


Design Submission
Competitors should present their concept design proposals on a single (single sided) landscape boards with the details listed below and must be submitted via the upload facility on the SuperSkyScrapers website:
Image Format: A single un-compressed JPG or JNG extension file
o Dimensions: 4608 width x 2304 height (pixels) or 48 x 24 inches to 96dpi.
o File Name: The image file name must correspond to your unique registration number (Example: 10000000005.jpg
where 1000000005 represent the unique registration number assigned to you by SuperSkyScrapers on successful
registration for a competition.
o Max. File Size: 8MB (8 Megabytes)
The presentation technique is open and at the discretion of the competitor and the image submitted should detail
the main concept of the design with the following information:
o Main Design Concept
o Plans
o Sections
o Perspectives
o Any descriptive text
All drawings and documents to be submitted by competitors should be made in English and all measurements
expressed using the metric system.


Entrants Unique Registration Number should appear on the upper right side of the image as illustrated below:

The presentation should clearly document the following where relevant:

Proposed design
Total area
Approach to the project
Materials (MAIN)
Site and Treatment of the site
Winning entries will be required to provide text or written textual desciption of up to 700 words (or 1/2 A4)
to explain the approach taken to the design challenge and to outline the team and skills (where relevant)
and to select and provide two key images as JPEGs at 300dpi that they consider best illustrates their proposal for distribution and publicity purposes. In addition, competitors may provide brief details projects
undertaken previously.
Note: Models, video or other file formats will not be accepted.


Submission Method
Submission is to be made through the SuperSkyScrapers website using upload facility provided through individual
registered user account area by clicking the Submissions tab. Then within the registered competition listing,
select the competition you wish to submit a design proposal for and finally click Submit to upload the proposal
Note: Email submissions will not be accepted under normal circumstances.


Assesment Criteria
A selected jury panel will review the submitted entries based on the competition objectives and from the shortlisted entries select the competition winners with SuperSkyScrapers consultants overseeing each stage of the
deliberation process.
The Jurys decision will be final and binding as stated in the competitions terms and conditions.
Entries will be evaluated based on the following main criteria and guidelines:
o Overall architectural vision and designs aesthetics for a Tech City Organic Skyscraper
o The relationship of the design to the built or natural environment around it:
How the architecture design relate to the physical location chosen.
How the design is placed on the physical site.
o Innovative design:
How the design organises space
Thoughtful use of materials:
- Choice of materials e.g sustainable material
- How the materials enhances the design
o Adherence to the Competition specifications.
o Quality and clarity of the model Execution and Presentation:
Well-built models that visually represent your design ideas will catch the eye of the judges.
o Adaptation of existing designs, fusion and mixing of materials into existing contexts (where applicable)
Designs that surprise, inspire and enthuse through an outstanding concept design solution and clearly has a sense
of place, is unique, functional and accessible will be of the most interest to the jury. Practical ideas are welcome.
However, The judges will want to see great examples of contextual architecture and forward-looking design.



Further information relating to the competition, world skyscrapers and the Site please visit the following link below:
o Google maps:
o SuperSkyScrapers website:
Communication and Technical Enquiry
The rules of this Competition are set and enforced by SuperSkyScrapers. This includes the management and fairness
in relation to the overall competition objectives. All contacts relating to the Competition or rules should be sent to
SuperSkyScrapers using the contact form, which can be found at
Question and Queries
All queries regarding the registration, process, fees or payment can also be made using the contact form, which can
be found at
Alternatively you can go to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the SuperSkyScrapers website which
can be found at to find answers to your questions or use the forum platform
within the website for peer-to-peer questions or find answers to questions. The SuperSkyScrapers Forum can be
found at
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions governing this Competition can be found in the terms and conditions section at:
The ownership of copyright in the work of all competitors will be in accordance with the Copyright & Patent Act
Public display and exhibition of entries
Entry material may be put on public display and/or online, and may be used by the promoters to publicise the competition and its results.



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