Skyscrapers aren’t the only structures vying to enter the mile-high club. Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) unveiled designs for a one-mile high vertical park and observation deck that would be covered from base to apex in a lush natural ecosystem. The incredible proposal, called The Mile, would be inhabited by animals and accessible by people, and may be best visualized in Professor Carlo Ratti’s words: “Imagine you take New York’s Central Park, turn it vertical, roll it and twirl it.”
Designed in collaboration with German engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, and British digital design studio Atmos, The Mile concept design is envisioned as a landmark “piazza of the sky,” where citizens and tourists can congregate, relax, and play. Currently, the tallest manmade structure is the 829.8-meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai—Saudi Arabia’s in-progress Jeddah Tower will be 1,008 meters in height—but CRA says that their design could finally reach that mile-high (1,609 meter) goal thanks to Schlaich Bergermann und Partner’s research.
“The structural concept for The Mile is technically feasible because of its consequent and uncompromised light-weight approach,” says Boris Reyher, Associate and team leader at Schlaich Bergermann und Partner: “The architectural form and the spatial equilibrium of forces become one and the same thing. On the one hand, this leads to an optimized usage of high-grade materials. On the other hand, the structural form and load paths become intuitively comprehensible by every spectator.”
The groundbreaking lightweight structure would comprise a 20-meter-wide shaft kept in compression and secured with a net of pre-stressed cables. Visitors who pay an entry fee of $40 can ascend the structure via the panoramic lift or an orbiting capsule that leads to the sky deck with 360-degree panoramic views. A vertical garden wraps around the shaft and would be home to diverse flora and fauna. The project will be officially presented to the public at MIPIM 2016, the world’s leading real estate fair in Cannes on March 16, 2016.
Images via Carlo Ratti Associati