Looking for a new place to live? Enjoy great views? Clouds Architecture Office (CAO), a New York-based architecture firm, unveiled plans for a futuristic skyscraper called the Analemma Tower. The building would hover high above the ground because it would be attached — wait for it — to an actual asteroid in space that is forcibly put into orbit around the earth. The building will always be in motion.
The top of the tower is designed to sit at 20 miles above earth and it's expected to reach speeds of 300 mph as it travels through the sky. So as residents or visitors, we would take a daily journey between the northern and southern hemispheres of the earth, with a prolonged visit over a main “home” point like New York City or Dubai.
Analemma Tower's designer, Ostap Rudakevych, says he envisions the tower made of lightweight, durable materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. The plan is to harness an asteroid with high strength cables reaching towards earth that would hold the skyscraper suspended on its journey. Engineers are working on achieving the cable strength required to support the structure. Levels inside the huge skyscraper will be dedicated to living, working, exercising, and leisure, with cutting edge electromagnetic elevators moving people through the structure.
When asked what inspired this project, Rudakevych said:
"Since humans have emerged from caves our buildings have been growing taller and lighter. In the past two centuries we've had the aerial age and space age begin. So our belief is that it is only a matter of time before buildings become ungrounded.
We believe that buildings will break free from earth's surface, releasing us from harmful floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. Analemma Tower is a speculative idea for how this might be achieved in the future."
As I contemplate life on this structure, I have some simple questions: How will we breathe comfortably in the high altitude? What if we need to commute to work? What will replace our passion for farm-to-table dining? Will we miss family and friends because of a limited window of time each day to be near them? And even then we will be floating above the earth. How will we make contact?
The designers are working on finding answers. Power would come from space-based solar panels that have a constant exposure to sunlight. Water for the tower would be captured from clouds and rainwater, and maintained in a semi-closed loop system. And they envision large passenger drones moving people back and forth between the tower and earth's surface. New markets for Uber, Amazon, and Fedex? The current proposal calls for the tower to be constructed in Dubai which has a long history of building tall and stylish skyscrapers at a fraction of the cost of U.S. construction.
Can you imagine living on a mobile asteroid tower?
Sources: www.cloudsao.com, www.popsci.com, Randall Potter, AJ Willingham