Clouds Architecture Office has revealed further details of its “space-scraper”– a giant building suspended from an asteroid which could be built over Dubai.
Conceptual designer for the Analemma Tower project is Ostap Rudakevych, based at the company’s New York Office.
“Through the course of history humanity has been able to affect the environment on increasing scales,” said the design team.
“Today our activity is being registered on a global scale. So why not apply design thinking on a planetary scale? Analemma Tower is an example of a mixed-use building that incorporates planetary design strategies, yielding the world’s tallest building ever.”
Analemma inverts the traditional diagram of an earth-based foundation, instead depending on a space-based supporting foundation from which the tower is suspended.
By placing a large asteroid into orbit over the earth, a high strength cable can be lowered towards the surface from which a super tall tower can be suspended. Since this new tower typology is suspended in the air, it can be constructed anywhere in the world and transported to its final location.
The proposal calls for Analemma to be constructed over Dubai, which has proven to be a specialist in tall building construction at one fifth the cost of New York City construction.
Clouds said: “Manipulating asteroids is no longer relegated to science fiction. In 2015 the European Space Agency sparked a new round of investment in asteroid mining concerns by proving with its Rosetta mission that it’s possible to rendezvous and land on a spinning comet. NASA has scheduled an asteroid retrieval mission for 2021 which aims to prove the feasibility of capturing and relocating an asteroid.”
The plan says Analemma can be placed in a geosynchronous orbit which would allow it to travel between the northern and southern hemispheres on a daily loop.
The ground trace for this movement would be a figure eight and the tower would move at its slowest speed at the top and bottom of the figure allowing the possibility for the tower’s occupants to get to the planet’s surface – possibly using a parachute – at these points.
Analemma would get its power from space-based solar panels. Installed above the dense and diffuse atmosphere, these panels would have constant exposure to sunlight, with a greater efficiency than conventional PV installations. Water would be filtered and recycled in a semi-closed loop system, replenished with condensate captured from clouds and rainwater.
The architects said: “While researching atmospheric conditions for this project, we realised that there is probably a tangible height limit beyond which people would not tolerate living due to the extreme conditions.
“For example, while there may be a benefit to having 45 extra minutes of daylight at an elevation of 32,000 meters, the near vacuum and -40C temperature would prevent people from going outside without a protective suit. Then again, astronauts have continually occupied the space station for decades, so perhaps it’s not so bad?”