The Global Skyscraper

Location: World wide
Status: Concept
Awards:  _Non-Architecture Competitions - "Seeing" - 2017 - Final Shortlist ; _TEDxACSofia "Spaces for the Future"- Feature

What if the world's biggest skyscraper is just one storey high?

The "Globalscraper" represents an architectural experiment, which lays on the border between utopia and reality and proposes a different typology of cultural space. This architectural prototype proposes the existence of a possible global structure, a new digital urbanism. It is a conceptual interpretation of the consequences of the Informational Revolution and its technological achievements. As such it questions the fundamental principles of architectural space and the way it is achieved by shifting the attention from tangible to non-tangible. It transforms the model of the vertical skyscraper by turning back attention to ground level and distributing each of the floors in different locations around the globe. Every floor becomes a hotspot for the Global Skyscraper travelling across latitude and longitude and using  the world wide web as a structure. Instead of a tangible solid space, it is a dynamic, interactive, user-generated augmented space in constant process. Spaces for display and usage are constantly transforming, connecting and interacting with the users, thus creating a space just as responsive as a computer program or smartphone application. It reacts according to the changes in the environmental conditions and the momentary needs of people, a democratic, heterogeneous architecture which is active only when necessary. 

In his book "Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours" Jules Verne, envisions the possibility of going around the world in just 80 days. What if today we can limit this period to seconds?


The classic model of the skyscraper as a vertical structure. It is based on solid physical connectivity from bottom to top. 

Instead the Global Skyscraper proposes a return to the groundfloor.  If the “Industrial City” requires an answer to density, the “Digital City” demands an anwer to the openness of internet. 

Therefore the Global Skyscraper is based on a scattered system of mutually interacting ground floors. It is a digital structure moving as a dynamic data field on top of them. A system of distributed connected sites.


The idea of the Global Skyscraper is based on Peer-to-Peer connectivity. It aims at the development of a global interacting network of urban hotspot. Once installed on a particular site, the location becomes a component in the network and a gate for all the events of the "Global Skyscraper". 


1. Augmented Reality

The visual and functional layer is a field of augmented reality used in real time and urban scale.  Each digital structure "floor" is formed by an event held on some of the sites around the world. The augmented spaces grow bigger as more people enter and vice versa Carried by nothing but the columns of  live feed chat between the different events, the Global Skyscraper becomes an architecture driven entirely by communication and interest.  Storeys of the Global Skyscraper are arranged according to your areas of interest.  




These spaces of the Global Skyscraper are (a)live, they glitch, they freeze, they adapt and are always in process. They are based on a digital grid which exists within the pedestrian borders of the public spaces. The digital structure can only be seen through glasses or devices which work with augmented reality. The spaces and floor plans are controlled and adapted with the usage of personal devices. The augmented data is stored in local urban units known as “urban servers”. 

They are all installed underground, making the presence of this “invisible building” completely unpredictable and surprising. They enhance the existing context without the need to transform its physical presence.


The hot air will not be produced separately but will actually use the hot air produced by the servers, which generate high level of heat. The heat will then be redirected to the site and blown in the direction of the particular event. 

The pillars comprise of three vertical tubes all with a different diameter. The widest has openings in the bottom and is used as outlet for hot air when heating is needed and inlet when cooling is needed. The second follows the reverse principle so that based on the rules of convection a flow of cool or warm air can be generated. As the digital structures transform, adapt and move around the site, in order for the currents to follow the occupied spaces, cylinders of the pillers can rotate their outlets and inlets. 

2. Microclimatic Layer

In order to create comfortable conditions for the usage of the digital spaces of the visual layer a microclimate must be established on the site. The layer is formed from a system of smart pillars which resemble street lamps. They are all organised in a grid system based digital grid of the augmented reality. In this way the two systems can be easily adjusted and the climate current which is blown from the pillars can be oriented according to the occupied spaces. 


What we do in order to achieve this is by prerecording some of the constant sound waves of the site. In the periphery of each site of the Global Scraper there is a microphone and a speaker at a small offset from one another. In this way when there is noise arriving from a particular direction the speaker reacts and releases counterwave. Thus we decrease the noise once a person uses the temporary spaces. 

3. Anti Sound Layer 

In order to give a state of privacy within the public space occupied by the Global Skyscraper a noise canceling field is constantly generated. It uses the principle of active noise control in order to eliminate some of the constant noises which pollute the site. The desire to generate a completely quite space is impossible but a steady and constant decrease of the regular site noise would lead the creation of anti-sound invisible walls which would give a sense of privacy within the borders of the digital spaces. 


The system responds the change of the augmented layer. As the rain can fall in different directions and needs to be pushed within a safe zone, the cap of the pillars is designed to give controll over the direction in which the air pressured cloud is blown. Thus the shape of the air dome can be controlled and thus can reveal the used spaces when there is rain.

4. Air Pressure Layer

In order to provide rain protection for the Global Scraper without affecting the urban fabric, and creating physical roof, air pressure system is installed. The air pressure layer allows to block the rain, in case of such, through suction in air in the provided smart pillars. The third and smallest in diameter cyclindrical pipe in the pillar is used for this purpose. It is the only to have an opening on the top. Air is taken from the foundation of the pillars and turbulated through the top resulting in an invisible layer of air pushing away the falling rain.