italian studio dMake has presented its conception for a future-proof skyscraper in san francisco, capable of resisting rising sea levels and other water related climate disasters. entitled ‘PipeSky’, the adaptive design is imagined as an indefinitely growing piece of architecture, capable of facing the challenges of a city that is itself constantly transforming. to prepare for a future that is increasingly being shaped by the effects of climate change, dMake looked to the ever increasing number of hydrogeological catastrophes that are coming to define our time: rising water levels, massive floods, shifting coastal margins, and the effects of these on contemporary cities.

dMake conceives an ecologically adaptive future-proof skyscraper for san francisco
the building is gargantuan in size, with different modules serving different social and technological functions
all images courtesy of dMake



‘PipeSky’ is a modular, pipe-based structure capable of absorbing huge amounts of water. the building, which is gargantuan in size, captures flowing water on the site and redirects it into different tanks for use by the inhabitants of the building. phytoremediation tanks, desalination and depurative equipment as well as environmental monitoring systems, are combined with swimming pools and water gardens for recreational use. dMake uses sustainable technologies to grant ‘PipeSky’ complete energy independence. enormous structural tanks use water masses to stabilize the building against wind action, forming at the same time large pools and basins for fish farming or aquariums. with whole levels of ‘PipeSky’ dedicated to vertical farming, the design is capable of supporting plant life for food, oxygen, and public space. the modulated nature of the design means playgrounds, swimming pools and parks can be stacked on top of each other, the function of each level shifting as you ascend. 

dMake conceives an ecologically adaptive future-proof skyscraper for san francisco
one level is home to a public park, while the level below is a docking station for flying houses



the skyscraper also contains an open system to accommodate nomadic housing. in dMake’s vision of the future, the migratory patterns of today’s world are magnified: when people move to a new city for work, they bring their entire portable ‘shuttle house’ with them. residents may park their flying machines in the ‘support’ structure, the studio’s modern reinterpretation of jonathan habraken’s structuralist theories. the result aims to be a dynamic, vertical community that combats the effects of climate change — a large, reconfigurable and autonomous structure in which people arrive, stay and depart.

dMake conceives an ecologically adaptive future-proof skyscraper for san francisco
one of the parking areas of the shuttle houses, arranged on different levels of PipeSky

 dMake conceives an ecologically adaptive future-proof skyscraper for san francisco
dMake imagine a future of portable housing



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edited by: peter corboy | designboom