As we deplete our natural resources, we are left with huge gaping holes in the ground - scars from our open-pit mining exploits. Matthew Fromboluti of Washington University in St. Louis has a plan to heal those scars with an underground skyscraper that fills the hole and creates a self-sustaining community in its place. His proposal, Above Below, is proposed to infill the 900-foot deep and nearly 300-acre wide crater left by the former Lavender Pit Mine outside of Bisbee, Arizona.
An entry in next year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition, the inverted skyscraper is a completely self-sufficient underground city capable of producing its own food and energy and creating a climate-controlled environment in the middle of the desert. From above, the skyscraper and open pit are completely covered by a dome faceted with skylights. Over time, the dome covering the hole in the ground will blend in with the surrounding environment.
Below ground is a 900 foot-deep skyscraper that contains areas for living, working, farming, and even recreation. A light rail system connects the self-sufficient community to the nearby town of Brisbee, and solar and wind energy will be generated. Daylighting will stream in though the skylights to light up the lower parts of the tower, and the entire structure acts as a solar chimney that ushers hot air out through the top of the dome. As the entire complex is located underground, it will not be subjected to the intense heat that above-grade buildings face in the desert. Growing terraces near the top soak up the light from the skylights to grow produce for the entire complex.