Living Skyscraper for New York City - by Andrii Lesiuk, Mykhaylo Kohut, Sofiia Shkoliar, Kateryna Ivashchuk, Nazarii Duda, Mariia Shkolnyk, Oksana-Daryna Kytsiuk, and Andrii Honcharenko from Ukraine is the top winner of the 2021 eVolo Skyscraper Competition
Guess Line Architects, an innovative architectural bureau in Lviv, recently won the prestigious international competition eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an annual architectural contest to design futuristic skyscrapers. The competition has been held since 2006 and 500-1000 participants apply annually. In 2021, 492 projects from the four corners of the world were submitted to the global jury.
The Guess Line team designed a living skyscraper for New York entirely built from a pre-programmed tree. The original idea was highly praised by the international jury, which recognized the work of the Ukrainian team as the best among all the participants.
Andrii Lesyuk, one of the members of the competition team, said the idea to design a building from a living tree came quite unexpectedly.
“I learned about this competition when I was still a student and have always dreamt of taking part and, of course, winning! At the end of 2020, we decided to participate and started looking for an idea. My father was inspired by our project. One day, he told me he’d watched an interesting documentary about the paulownia – a genus of angiosperm trees, and one of the fastest growing hardwood trees in the world. It can grow up to five meters per year… and as high as 30 meters! It’s also called the ‘aluminum of timber’, because it’s naturally resistant to fire, salt water, termites, decay and rot! I began thinking that if could accelerate the growth of these trees, they could reach an even greater height and we could mold them into any shape. With the help of special guideway systems, we can even grow a skyscraper.”
According to the architects, chairs and bridges are already being grown from wood, and wooden living quarters will be programmed in the near future.
“Of course, this idea looks pretty abstract today. But it’s really quite realistic for the near future. Just imagine that scientists can invent a tree that will grow not five times faster than a paulownia, but 30-40 times faster! Then you can grow an entire building in 15 years, a structure that doesn’t require any building materials, and is nurtured solely by fertilizers and water.
So, we must first plant a tree, and as soon as it starts growing, we shape the body of the tree, mold the smaller branches into rooms, walls, etc. The smaller branches create the inner space. We actually program the tree and ‘tell’ it how to grow,” explains Andrii Lesyuk.
The architects underline that their project is environmentally friendly, as such buildings will not have a negative impact on the environment.