Flat Tower Green Building Concept The Un-Skycraper

During the Industrial Revolution, humans moved out of rural areas and into the cities, where it was easier to access factory jobs. This influx of people caused rapid and drastic changes in the way cities were designed. As ground space was eaten up, residential and commercial skyscrapers emerged as a way for builders to maximize their real estate.

What would happen if, instead of building thousands of feet up into the sky, we developed a smarter design that allowed us to retain our connection to the natural world? That’s just the question a team of French designers hoped to answer with their “Flat Tower” design, a second place winner in the 2011 eVolo skyscraper competition.

Flat Tower Design

Image via Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, Xavier Schirr-Bonnans/eVolo

Although the construction of skyscrapers has been an architectural solution for high-density urban areas for almost a century, it has also produced some rather negative side-effects: green spaces, trees, and in some cases, sunlight have become hard to find in big cities. Skyscrapers destroy the skyline, block out the sun, and disrupt the infrastructure of a specific location.

The Flat Tower design is based on a medium-height dome structure that covers a large area while preserving its beauty and previous function. The dome is perforated with cell-like skylights that provide direct sunlight to the agricultural fields and recreational spaces located inside.

“The dome’s large surface area is perfect to harvest solar energy and rainwater collection,” write the design team. “Community recreational facilities are located at ground level while the residential and office units are in the upper cells. An automated transportation system connects all the units, which are different shapes according to their program. It is also possible to combine clusters of cells to create larger areas for different activities.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply April 2, 2012


    Great use of space, no pun intended.

  • Reply April 3, 2012


    Interesting concept. However, the key problem in all Mega-Cities is cost of living or commercial space per square foot. So I would like to ask the authors / inventors to give an approximate figure for the construction cost per square foot. btw, most mega cities and fastest growth of those happen in BRIC and developping countries. They need solutions they can afford…

Leave a Reply