Winners have been announced recently at the fifth annual Mock Firms International Skyscraper Competition, organized by Chicago Architecture Today. With the theme of "Rediscover the Future," aspiring young design professionals from all over the world were challenged to conceive, construct and commercialize an iconic super-tall tower with healthcare, university and residential use for Amman, Jordan.
The top title of International Skyscraper and Mock Firm Champion (a combination of architectural and marketing efforts) was awarded to the team AZAHAR Architecture composed of five architecture students and one professor from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain.
Winning entry of the 2013 Mock Firms International Skyscraper Competition: Az-Zahr Tower by AZAHAR Architecture of Polytechnic University of Valencia
Project Description from the Architects:
Our 1000m tall building was called Az-Zahr (which means flower in ancient Arabic) and it was conceived mixing the characteristic geometric patterns of the Arabic architecture with the organic growth of several petals whose shapes determine the final appearance of the skyscraper.
The final location of the building was Al-Abdali, one of the most important projects that will be developed in Amman’s heart. A new city center which will collect lots of commercial, residential, leisure and office buildings as well as green spaces.
The team decided to integrate the skyscraper with Amman society creating a public plaza at the basement of the building; moreover the distribution of the floors totally help that integration because it was decided to situate the more public uses in the areas closest to the ground floor, increasing the privacy of uses as the building rises.
The project is a bioclimatic mixed-use skyscraper. The architectural concept is centered on mimicry in the form of a flower maximizing the environmental benefits of its void core, while avoiding the direct sun rays by using electrochromic windows. It has been conceived to achieve a LEED Gold Rate using different elements and methods as green roofs, solar chimney, light core, natural ventilation due to stack effect, electrochromic windows and so on.
In addition, the structural system of the building has been also calculated in a total accordance with design and sustainability methods. It presents a radial organization of shear walls and columns that generate concentric rings of rigid cores around the center of the plan. These rigid cores collaborate with each other, generating a macro-rigid-core with varying (reducing) size throughout the height of the structure. The radial organization is optimized through the distribution of the resistant elements along the three isometric portions of the plane, generating a somewhat triangular layout, which produces a better aerodynamic and structural behavior.
Finally, Amman is called "the white city" due to the limestone coating present in most buildings. To keep this feature of the city, we have included this local material in the top of each petal.
Find also diagrams and model photos of the winning skyscraper in the image gallery below. All images courtesy of AZAHAR Architecture.