Sand Babel: Solar-Powered Twisting Skyscrapers 3D-Printed with Desert Sands

by , 05/11/14

Sand Babel Tower, Sand Babel skyscraper, 3D Printed Tower, Solar-Powered Tower, 3d printing, 3d printing technology, green skyscraper, evolo 2014, evolo skyscraper, evolo skyscraper competition

Conceived by Chinese designers Qiu Song, Kang Pengfei, Bai Ying, Ren Nuoya, Guo Shen, the project envisions an intelligent network of skyscrapers distributed across a desert landscape. The towers would be manufactured through a solar-powered 3D printer and constructed entirely using an abundant, locally sourced material – sand.

Related: Lotus-Shaped Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper Harvests Rainwater to Fight Fires in the Amazon

Each structure would have two main sections. The upper, spiral skeleton part would be constructed using continuous transmission of tensional forces, while the tree-like lower parts would keep the entire structure stable and reinforce the ground dominated by flowing sand dunes. The organic underground parts are meant to act as roots and facilitate communication among the buildings.

The spiral skeleton would have a water-generating system located on its mushroom-shaped roof, which uses temperature differences to generate water through condensation. Dual funnel cross-ventilation would run along the entire building and keep the interiors cool during the day.

+ 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition

Related: Propagate Skyscraper Converts Air Pollution into a Usable Building Material

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  1. Nehal Almerbati November 27, 2014 at 2:35 am

    The structure reminds me of the termite mounds concept and how biomimicry has influenced this architecture concept.
    Future wise, sand and solar energy is the main available resources in Arabic gulf that might be the main material to build with looking back at their historical stability. Architecture and 3D printing is in my opinion the future of things to come.

  2. AlisFurnishers May 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I found it really natural structure design spirit. looks like any advance weather tower, or a huge future\’s pyramid.
    looks like future\’s air traffic control tower. very nice.

  3. Dante Jerwais May 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

    This looks just like the images described in a book by a guy who claimed he had traveled into the future. The book was written before the seventies I think.

  4. Donspears May 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Could you turn the sand to glass?

  5. Quintessential Jon May 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I find this to be an interesting concept, like many other mega-structure and arcology projects, and, given durable enough technology, a viable option for large populations in less than ideal environments.
    I have a concern about stacking people like shipping crates, howsoever innovative and environmentally friendly the stack may be: we must make sure that the people therein have adequate access to the non-manufactured world, to the things beyond mere shelter and employment, that add to the richness and variety and humanity of life. We are not drones or robots, to be shelved when our shifts at “productive” work are done. We must plan for the enrichment of body, mind, and soul as well…
    And, by the way, NO: it’s inappropriate to reduce the concept to a mere game…

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