International design practice Lissoni & Partners’ architecture, landscape architecture and masterplanning department Lissoni Casal Ribeiro has unveiled Skylines, a proposal for a futuristic, self-sufficient skyscraper. Developed for the Skyhive 2020 Skyscraper Challenge, the conceptual design is, in essence, a vertical city housed within a super-tall tower with mixed programming that includes residences, office spaces, a university, secondary schools, hydroponic farming, sports facilities, a hospital, cultural centers and more. The idealistic Skylines concept is meant to generate all of its own energy, food, and water onsite.

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worm's eye view of skyscraper clad in steel cables

Proposed for an urban lot measuring 80 meters by 130 meters, the Skylines skyscraper would consist of over 40 floors surrounded by large hanging gardens that grow within an external curtain of steel cables. The vertical city would place recycling centers, parking lots and access to a subway system underground. Retail would be located on the ground floor, followed by cultural centers, a hydroponic vegetable farming system, recreational facilities, offices, a university and other schools on the floors above.

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rendering of skyscraper towering over a city
close-up of plants growing on the exterior of a skyscraper

The top floors, which look to comprise at least half the building height, would be dedicated to residential areas. Greenery would surround the building on all sides to create an image of an “vertical urban forest” and help mitigate solar heat gain and the urban heat island effect while contributing to improved air quality.

rendering of skyscraper surrounded by steel cables
rendering of skyscraper towering above other buildings in NYC skyline

“The year 2020 and the arrival of a global pandemic have indeed highlighted our weaknesses and shortcomings at a structural level, causing us to devise new ways of thinking the city and the infrastructures,” the architects said. “A system that produces, optimizes and recycles energy, a perfect microclimate that filters the air, absorbs carbon dioxide, produces humidity, reuses rainwater to irrigate the greenery, in addition to providing protection from the sun’s rays and the noise of the city. Skylines is therefore not simply an ecosystem but a cultural vision that involves social and economic processes aimed at improving the quality of life, not just a sustainable architecture but a modus vivendi.”

+ Lissoni & Partners

Images via Lissoni Casal Ribeiro