SURE Architecture unveiled plans this week for a futuristic skyscraper that could house thousands of people and have its own ecosystem. The Endless City proposal has already won the Skyscrapers and SuperSkyscrapers Competition. The firm believes the skyscraper would be a great space saver for densely populated cities because it will allow them to expand upward instead of outward. Although still in the planning stage and without any guarantees it will ever be built, SURE has earmarked a plot of land just north of the City of London to build the vertical city. If completed, the Endless city could be as tall as 300 meters, close to London’s tallest building the Shard, and take up an area of 165,000 square meters.
SURE Architects is a joint UK and China-based architecture firm that has previously worked on regenerating the Canals in Manchester and building museums and shopping malls in Hong Kong. SURE stands for Sustainable Urban Regeneration and Eco-Architecture. According to Alina Valcarce, associate director of SURE Architecture, “The goal of the design is to conceive an open building that is effective as it is inviting and a powerful symbol in all directions while being permeated by generosity and openness. There is no break anymore, neither between street level and the skyscraper, nor between the skyscraper floors themselves."
The company’s report explains how the building’s shape will maximize passive energy and reduce artificial light, cooling, and heating needs. The skyscraper will be supported by six steel tubes which would also contain the plumbing and electrical work for most of the building. Each floor and section of the Endless City will be connected by bridges and walkways that are meant to increase exchanges, communications, and interactions. The building will not only include office, retail, and residential space, it will also include large parks, plazas, and communal spaces that will create a “vertical city.” The skyscraper’s open design combined with its height would also provide great views of London and the surrounding area.
While it is uncertain if the Endless City will ever be built, many feel that designs that encourage vertical expansion in cities are the way of the future. It is estimated that three quarters of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The number of people living in cities has increased significantly over the past 50 years, especially in Africa and Asia.
Click here to see renderings of the Endless City.