Collapsible Skyscrapers Could Offer Assistance in Disaster-Prone Areas

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Thirteen years after the creation of eVolo Magazine’s Skyscraper Competition, the first place winner for 2018 was a collapsible skyscraper designed by to help improve the “messy, complex, and unpredictable nature of responding to large-scale disaster,” according to

The proposed idea explains that deploying tents, containers, and other structures to remote areas impacted by natural disasters usually requires a large amount of land, functional transportation infrastructure, and speed. However, when disaster strikes, it could take hours for healthcare personnel to get to where help is needed. That is why was conceived.

“Submitted by the Poland-based team of Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pańczyk, imagines a tower of stacked disaster-relief tents — a ‘vertical emergency camp’ — that’s deployed via helicopter to even the most remote locales and unfolded accordion-style,” as stated by “It’s dropped as a single, easy-to-transport bundle, anchored to the ground and then expanded upward into the sky.”

In order to set up the skyscraper, the base is anchored to the ground and a load-bearing balloon is used to lift the skyscraper to the desired height. “Depending on the amount of gas poured into the balloon, one can control the number of floors that are unfolding,” the team said. “This way, with a single, mass produced module it is possible to attend different-scale, unpredictable events.”

Even though there’s a 99.5% chance that a majority of the ideas submitted to the contest, including, will never be built, it is still interesting to see “such bold strokes of imagination applied to a very real problem,” reported

A few other ideas that have been submitted into the competition include portable skyscrapers that could feed impoverished African communities by Poland-based team of Pawl Lipinski and Mateusz Frankowski, a skyscraper that could protect and irrigate the Amazon rainforest by Chinese team of Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Qiaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, and Zhe Hao, and a skyscraper that could improve life for people living the slums of India by Suraksha Bhatla and Sharan Sundar.