Light Park is a skyscraper that hovers over the streets of Beijing like a giant airship. Architects Ting Xu and Yiming Chen have conceived the future of high-rises to be a conglomerate of mega-structures that make up for the shortage of urban open spaces on the ground by lifting them up in the air. The Light Park skyscraper is lifted off the ground with a helium-filled balloon, and it uses solar energy for propulsion, enabling it to function as a non-polluting transportation deck as well as a floating urban park. The project just took third place in the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition.
As we’ve reported in recent weeks, Beijing has been suffering from staggering air pollution. Light Park is designed to provide infrastructure, housing, and commercial and recreational spaces that are free from Beijing’s traffic congestion and air pollution. It is presented as a utopian city that leaves the over-populated, smog-choked city behind and seeks to start from scratch. The mushroom cap-like structure takes the future of urban development to the sky, offering Beijing’s residents a chance to escape the crowded city.
The technology behind the Light Park is based on existing helium balloon designs. It uses solar-powered propellers, airbags and atmospheric pressure for takeoff and cruise flight. Solar power is utilized to power the uses below, with translucent solar panels located on the top of the aircraft. In order to avoid additional weight and decrease wind resistance, the skyscraper uses a cable-suspended structure to attach the slabs to the mushroom-like cap. The planting slabs are irrigated with rainwater collected on the large cap surface and are distributed in a way which allows maximum exposure to sunlight on each level.