> 'Not Tall Enough' Series - Ultima Tower

It is not the first time I show an architectural utopia planned by Eugene Tsui. This genius has a lot of projects that blow our mind - like The Eye in the Sky Lookout Tower -, and he is known by applying his comprehensive understanding about the world into the structural plans. To imagine the highest skyscraper is nice, but it is important to think about its utility and feasibility. Eugene Tsui do it very well, maybe to compensate his drawing weaknesses. So, Ultima Tower is a two-miles high skyscraper, proposed in 1991 to be part of San Francisco. Actually it is intended to be a new city, made by different small ecosystems and where one million people could live. Tsui is worried with global overpopulation, therefore, soon or later ideas as Ultima Tower start to be a way to develop real solutions. 

Tsui seems to be crazy - Ultima Tower is the second highest proposed building ever -, but the details he put on the plan make it a not so distant possibility. First, the structure is cooled by a system of waterfalls in the lower levels, that make the cool air raising through the building. Photo-voltaic cells and wind turbine energy generators are installed on the tower surface, but the most innovative energy source is the differential in air pressure between the ground floor and the top. "Each of the 120 levels is treated as an entire landscaped neighborhood with a 'sky' 30 to 50 meters high and inbuilt lakes, streams, rivers, hills and ravines give a natural setting to the flatter soil on which residential, public and commercial structures can then be built." The mobility system inside Ultima Tower include a compressed air elevator and a vertical train that services 30 floors at once. Tsui estimated the costs as well. $150 billion is the price to build this wonderland.

"The trumpet bell shape, modeled after the highest structure created by a creature other than human, the termite's nest structures of Africa, is a most efficient form for its compressive characteristics allow the thickness of the upper supporting walls to be uniform in thickness down through the bottom of the building. No other shape can dispel loads from top to bottom, is effectively aerodynamic and retains such stability in a tall building. The size of its base would completely enclose the entire financial district of San Francisco, approximately 7000 feet across, and contains four of the world's largest waterfalls surrounded by garden terraces. Gardens are situated at all exterior and interior openings. The whole tower could be thought of as an upward extension of the earth with layers of vegetation growing, level by level. All residences have a minimum of 100 feet by 100 feet of property where 50% of the property is covered by natural vegetation."

Structure ID
Name: Ultima Tower
Place: San Francisco, California, USA
Height: 3217 meters
Function: Mixed
Author: Eugene Tsui

(citations taken from here and here)
(Eugene Tsui official website)

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