Architects are always looking for new and wild ideas that, though completely impractical, will stretch the art of construction. The Great American Architect himself, Frank Lloyd Wright, famously proposed a skyscraper that would be a mile high—528 stories and more than 18 million square feet—with parking for 15,000 cars and 150 helicopters. And that was in 1957.
Just this month, an architectural firm, Oiio Studio, proposed a 4000-foot skyscraper, The Big Bend, in the shape of an inverted U. (The 4000 feet is deceptive: It goes 2000 feet up one side, curves over the top, and goes 2000 feet back down the other side.) While not the tallest building, it boasts that it’s the longest. And it says a product of its length is also a selling point: it won’t make much of a footprint: both legs of the U shape are slim, and existing buildings could easily fit underneath it. It’s proposed to be built on the south end of Central Park, in a neighborhood known as “Billionaire’s Row”. The project is currently seeking investors.
But, in a move that is—as far as I can tell—the first of its kind, an architectural firm is proposing to get rid of the need for real estate entirely. The Analemma tower, which would be the tallest building in the world (if it were ever built), would be hung from an asteroid in low-earth orbit—approximately 105,000 feet in the atmosphere. It would be constructed in Dubai and then floated over to New York City. Building codes currently have height restrictions in most neighborhoods in Manhattan, but this would seem to get around that.
But, the architect knows how outlandish this seems—and how technology to build such a structure doesn’t currently exist. “I would love to see it built,” Ostap Rudakevych, the chief designer with Clouds Architecture Office, says. “However I don’t think I’ll be alive when it happens.”