With overcrowding becoming a big problem in cities around the world, but height limits restricting how far up we can build in an effort to circumvent this issue, one speculative project is looking at taking a rather novel approach, constructing the world tallest skyscraper, unhindered by building height restrictions, by suspending the entire building from an asteroid locked in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.

The ambitious building project, named Analemma Tower, is the brainchild of NYC-based design firm Clouds Architecture Office. The company recently hit headlines for their project in partnership with NASA, in which they designed a Martian Ice Home concept aiming to create hospitable environments on the surface of the red planet.  It seems as though space-based projects are becoming second-nature to the firm.

The Analemma Tower project aims to make use of a system known as the Universal Orbital Support System (UOSS), by which an asteroid is locked in geosynchronous orbit before the super-tall tower is attached via high-strength cable. The tower would then drift through the sky, drawing a figure-8 pattern between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres each day, returning to the same spot in the skies above New York City every 24 hours. The orbit has been intentionally calibrated so as to locate the tower above NYC during the slowest portion of its travels through the sky, so I suppose the tower would technically require a New York address and post-code.

For power, the tower would rely upon solar panels, and would use recycled water to fill its own supply. Lower floors would be dedicated to business use whilst residential areas would be situated approximately two-thirds of the way up (I’m pretty sure I mean up; which way is up when the foundations are suspended in space?).

One thing the plans neglect to mention is how people would access the tower, and subsequently return to the ground. Illustrations seem to show a few different possibilities, from parachutes to helicopters to an oversized crane, but Clouds Architecture Office do not actually state which approach they would take.

As an added bonus, those living at the top of the tower would be gifted with an additional 40 minutes of daylight each day.

The plans lay out the thinking behind the project as follows:

"Harnessing the power of planetary design thinking, it taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility. If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction."

It is worth remembering here that the project is purely speculative, and as such is highly unlikely to enter the construction stage at any point in the near future. What it does well, however, is encouraging designers and architects alike to think outside the box, or in this case the atmosphere, to find solutions to the problems which, let’s be honest, we as the human race have by-and-large created for ourselves.


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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