Though we may have conquered much of the earth's surface, humans are not invincible. Someday, we too will face our own extinction event, whether it's brought on by a massive meteorite or the poison of our own carbon emissions. We may laugh at the antics of doomsday preppers, but the question remains: is there a way to survive the apocalypse? Thai designer Ekkaphon Puekpaiboon feels that with the right preparation, his Zero Skyscraper could protect humans from an extreme natural disaster and sustain them long enough to start civilization over again.
“’Zero is a radical skyscraper designed to ensure mankind’s survival after global devastation,” explains Puekpaiboon. “Like an emergency toolbox, it will be the starting point to the reestablish social order through digital communication and information exchange.”
A post-apocalyptic world with internet access? Now that’s a survival skyscraper we can get behind. But the Zero will do more than continue our obsession with social networking. According to the designer, our humanity lies in the information, art, and culture that now exist in digital form. Protecting this valuable electronic consciousness will be key in rebuilding society after an extinction event.
At its core, Zero is an online data vault. Governments and other organizations around the globe would be able to upload information to the “Zero” system. Anything considered important, from architectural construction, agricultural planning, scientific records, language translation, or even family photos can be stored within the vaults. If a certain “Zero” is destroyed, the data will not be lost as its memory banks will be linked to and shared with other Zero units around the world.
Residential rings will provide housing for surviving humans during the chaos. The circular layout is designed to encourage interaction and community among those who survive. Above this level lies the production center, one of the most important parts of the structure. It is here that food would be cultivated, with seeds and other important resources gathered and packaged for future resettlement projects. Another important element, the drilling core, lies at the very bottom of the Zero. This element contains the skyscraper’s geothermal energy and water filtration plants.
The skyscraper also has detachable pods that contained essential materials for establishing settlement elsewhere outside of “Zero” ground once the initial threat of extinction has passed. These pods are covered in a solar power-generating film. While connected to the base, they’re constantly collecting and storing power to be used later. Equipped with communication tools and other important devices, the pods remain in constant contact with the mother tower, enabling and encouraging further growth.
Puekpaiboon’s Zero skyscraper recently won an honorable mention in the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition.