ESSENCE Skyscraper

Away from everyday routines, in a city center, a secret garden as a building combining both: an architecture and a nature is proposed. The main goal of the project is to position non-architectural phenomena in a dense, urban fabric, by using the building as a neutral background. An inspiration rooted in the nature allowed to form a representation of external worlds in a shape of the vertical structure. Overlapping landscapes like an ocean, a jungle, a cave, a  waterfall, so on and so forth, tend to stimulate diverse and complex range of sensual experiences – not only visual, but also acoustic, thermal, olfactory, kinesthetic, etc. A group of basic elements used as requisites in the design process contain results of some of the environmental processes. They translate the building through an impression – a roam-like experience.  Huge open floor plan forms spectacular entrance area, cropped by the water floor, a gigantic fish tank lifted up to 30 meters above the ground and a group of columns set up to surround the plaza, while supporting the building structure. The main body of the building is divided into 11 various landscapes. They are meant to form an environmentally justified sequence open to the public. Three among the levels contain technical facilities in order to control all the demanded conditions. The sequence of the landscapes might become a variable set of routes dedicated to different shades of adventure. Some proposals inspired by major representatives of historically acclaimed geographic discoveries are possible.


jury statement:

The first place was awarded to BOMP (Ewa Odyjas, Agnieszka Morga, Konrad Basan, and Jakub Pudo) from Poland for their project Essence Skyscraper. The proposal is an urban mega-structure that contains diverse natural habitats. The skyscraper would serve as a place to briefly escape urban life  and stimulate diverse and complex experiences.



Massimiliano Fuksas [principal Studio Fuksas],

Michael Hansmeyer [CAAD group at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology],

Richard Hassell [principal WOHA],

Alvin Huang [principal Synthesis Design + Architecture],

Yong Ju Lee [winner 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition],

Wenchian Shi [project manager MVRDV],

Wong Mun Summ [principal WOHA],

and Benedetta Tagliabue [principal EMBT Miralles Tagliabue]


eVolo competition:

The award was established in 2006 to recognize outstanding ideas for vertical living. Since then, the publication has received more than 6,000 projects that envision the future of building high. These ideas, through the novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

 In 2015, the Jury, formed by leaders of the architecture and design fields selected 3 winners and 15 honorable mentions. eVolo Magazine received 480 projects from all continents. The winners were selected for their creativity, ingenuity, and understanding of dynamic and adaptive vertical communities.