What these designers proposed was ground-breaking enough to win them the Golden Prize at the eVolo Skyscraper Competition 2018. The premise? Instant Skyscrapers. The technique? Compressing them to make them easy to transport, and then expanding them on site.
The Skyshelter.zip is literally the physical manifestation of a zip file. The compressed building gets transported via helicopters to disaster-zones. The zip is as wide as a building, but remains vertically compressed until it’s ready to expand. This compressed building is tethered to the ground to make it secure, and then a load-bearing helium balloon on the top of the building rises upwards, expanding the building like a bellow expands with air. As the balloon rises and the building increases in height, fabric panels used to create the external and internal walls would unfurl rapidly, and 3D printed plates would be lifted in succession by the balloon, creating floors and different zones. Depending on how tall you want the building, you’d fill more gas into the balloon and add more floors.
The Skyshelter would come with a lobby, first-aid bays, temporary housing, a storage unit, and even a vertical farm. What’s incredibly interesting is that while it’s easy and quick to deploy, it can be compressed back too, making it perfect for temporary use on sites that need rehabilitation, and moving on once the job is done!