The living skyscraper is a self-sufficient addition to Wellington’s skyline. Its dynamic shape and movement, means that each floor and each plant gets light throughout the day. This is done through a heavy central core, and steel and aluminum cantilever platforms, which rotate every 90 minutes. The tower twists in a clockwise direction for one rotation, and then unwinds anticlockwise for another. In winter there are 4 rotations a day in total and in summer, there are 6 rotations. Due to the core of the building being heavy for stability and strength, and the cantilever platforms light so they don’t sag, it also means that the rotation does not require much power as the mass is well pivoted to reduce friction.
When it isn’t possible for the plants to receive enough light on a rainy day in the summer when the sun is high or when it is behind the clouds, UV lights will supplement. A sensor located on each floor at the core, will assess each floors light needs based on the plants that grow there. Water and power are to be sourced sustainably through water desalination and wind turbines. Although Wellington is gloomy through the winter, it doesn’t receive that much rain annually, especially in the winter. Water desalination is the process of taking salt water from the harbour and creating regular tap water. The water will then be pumped up into each floor and will drain through the soil and coconut husk and back into the core into a pipe to go back into the harbour. The wind turbines will be located above the top floor in order for maximum wind power.

Vertical Markets / Lydia Powrie
Paper: ARCI 211
Lecturers: Simon Twose
Victoria University of Wellington School of Architecture 2016