Innovation That Matters

The 'Living Skyscraper' | Photo source Evolo

Living skyscraper concept made from genetically modified trees

Architecture & Design

By analysing the active process of urbanisation and a decrease in the percentage of green spaces, the Living Skyscraper hopes to solve a number of environmental and urban issues

Spotted: A team of Ukrainian architects has designed the so-called “living skyscraper”, which is made from ‘genetically modified’ trees and could be developed in New York. One of the main goals of the project is to grow a living skyscraper on the principle of sustainable architecture. 

The Living Skyscraper was submitted to the “eVolo Skyscraper Competition” and chosen among 492 submissions. The skyscraper tree, which will function as a green habitable space in the middle of the concrete metropolis, can be thought of as a separate living organism with its own root system, irrigation and maintenance mechanisms. 

The architectural project has been envisioned for Manhattan, designed to serve as a lookout tower for New York City while encouraging ecological communications between office buildings and green recreation centres. 

Composed of the following eight designers: Andrii Lesiuk, Mykhaylo Kohut, Sofiia Shkoliar, Kateryna Ivashchuk, Nazarii Duda, Mariia Shkolnyk, Oksana-Daryna Kytsiuk and Andrii Honcharenko, the team proposes using genetically modified trees that will be fast-growing and tall. During the development phase, the branches of nearby trees will be grafted at different levels to form a network that will strengthen the skyscraper as it continues to grow. 

The team further explains how the branches of hybrid “trees of the future” will form the structure of a living skyscraper and feed on soil, water, and sun resources, forming an ecosystem that is essential for large agglomerations. Lesiuk said his father gave him the idea when he mentioned a documentary about paulownia trees, one of the fastest-growing species on earth, growing three feet a year and reaching a full height of 30 to 40 feet within a decade.

The growth of the trunk circumference will also gradually increase the strength of the wood structure and improve its self-supporting properties for the building as a whole. As it grows, the living skyscraper will connect with neighbouring buildings and form green overhanging communications.

Written By: Katrina Lane

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