After receiving nearly 500 submissions from around the world, eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Skyscraper Competition. Established in 2006, the annual award recognizes visionary vertical architecture ideas that push the limits of design and technology. First place was awarded to a Chinese team that designed Epidemic Babel, a rapid-deployment healthcare skyscraper concept for mitigating epidemic outbreaks.

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rendering of modular skyscraper with glass boxes

Designed by D Lee, Gavin Shen, Weiyuan You and Xinhao Yuan, Epidemic Babel was created in response to the fast spread of COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan, China. Using prefabricated architecture, the steel-framed building can be erected very quickly — the team estimates five days — to create a temporary hospital to bolster a city’s healthcare infrastructure. The modular design allows for flexibility to meet different needs.

Related: eVolo announces winners of the 2019 Skyscraper Competition

rendering of people climbing up a skyscraper

In second place is Egalitarian Nature, a skyscraper by Yutian Tang and Yuntao Xu that reinterprets a high-rise tower as a mountain range. Built around a vertical green space, the skyscraper would serve as a “vertical mountain in the center of a city” that people can hike or climb up; there would be no elevators in the building. Terraces cut into the sides of the building would frame views of the city.

rendering of domes stacked on timber platforms to form skyscrapers

The third place winner is Coast Breakwater, designed by Taiwan-based Charles Tzu Wei Chiang and Alejandro Moreno Guerrero. Created in response to rising sea levels, the skyscraper would serve as a “vertical community” for the northwest city of St. Louis in Senegal, near the mouth of the Senegal River. The building would be based on the wooden breakwater system and would comprise modular units that can be easily replicated for a variety of uses, from workspaces for drying fish to a maritime port. The scalability and adaptability of the system would allow the community to largely stay in place and preserve their fishermen lifestyles.

+ eVolo 2020 Skyscraper Competition

Images via eVolo Magazine