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Intergenerational Spiral Skyscraper (ISS Mark2)

A permanently active building project, with no end, no budget, no deadline and no limit to its size.
  [vote for,

Everyone loves a bit of ‘pie in the sky; architecture, but the problem with half-baked skyscraper ideas is funding them. Got a spare billion or two? Shoot for the moon! Unfortunately I’m not an oligarch of an oil rich country but that doesn’t stop me a-dreamin’. Enter the intergenerational spiral skyscraper! I propose we construct a skyscraper to be built out of repeating apartments by intergenerational teams of people using a set of rules that keep the building forever getting larger.

We start with a basic modular design made by a very good architect that is scalable to mega-skyscraper size. Each new apartment should be able to be built independently and tessellate neatly into the grand plan possibly in a type of Archemedies spiral. The spiral should be modified to offset the wind issues inherent in supertall structures. As each new resident arrives, they can build a new addition with only a minimal charge for the space used. Aesthetically, when a maximum ratio of width to height is reached, the next floor commences. As the spiral grows, the roofs of each module will be sloped to provide an integrated roadway around the skyscraper.

Here’s the tricksy bit… The rules for owning an apartment are below.

Rule 1: You can’t BUY a complete apartment in the skyscraper, you have to build it yourself or somehow organise it to be built. The first apartments are built (probably by a crazy Netizen from Halfbakery) using their labour and their friends labour. Of course you can hire a contractor to build it too.

Rule 2: Each new apartment must pass a structural worthiness inspection and ensure that at least the load bearing parts are safe

Rule 2: You can build as many apartments as you like.

Rule 3: You may rent out apartments to tenants, either for cash, or to be paid for by human labour in constructing apartments, or for a mix of both.

Rule 4: The apartments you build are always yours. Apartments can only transfer ownership to a different generation through your death but only if this person:
A) already owns an apartment in the complex or
B) commences building an apartment within a year of your death

Rule 5: All owners and tenants must work a specified period of days each year building common use areas.

So long as the building is placed in a large enough area of land, there is no theoretical limit to the height of the building. Given those future generations will invent new materials, lower floors can be retrofitted one module at a time with more advanced materials or load bearing designs.

It is a permanently active building project, with no end, no budget and no limit to its size. It’s been freed of the constraint of both deadlines and capital.

What else should we consider to make this half-baked idea real? How would you add to this crackpot plan?

CookieCutter, Apr 09 2014

Could lead to.. (Vonnegut classic short story) http://en.wikipedia...orrow_(short_story)
reminded me of this [sophocles, Apr 09 2014]


       we call it, Spaceship Earth
theircompetitor, Apr 09 2014

       //no theoretical limit//   

       When the building's mass changes the center of gravity of the planet enough send us careening into the sun, I would call that a theoretical limit.
the porpoise, Apr 09 2014

       //When the building's mass changes the center of gravity of the planet enough send us careening into the sun, I would call that a theoretical limit.//   

       Not really, the center of mass stays right were it was.   

       A bit more practically, when your bottom layer fails under the weight of what's on top of it, that's a pretty solid theoretical limit. And it can be hit in less than one generation of construction, so future materials advances aren't going to help much.
MechE, Apr 09 2014

       It's an interesting idea but it doesn't make way for new ideas in architecture, material science, physics, or economics. This is an impractical, wasteful megaproject that would never be built for a myriad of reasons. Furthermore as envisioned this will create massive family feuds aimed at transferring ownership of properties.(+)
Voice, Apr 09 2014

       //the center of mass stays right were it was//   

       Indeed. Change in moment of inertia, then. Combined with the various flavours of precession and the planetary wobble, I'd wager a 44% chance it's either the sun or deep space.
the porpoise, Apr 09 2014

       Bun. Keep cutting, [Cook], you're off to a half-great start.   

       // It’s been freed of the constraint of both deadlines and capital. //   

       So it's NASA in tower form?   

       // How would you add to this crackpot plan? //   

       Is there a word limit?
Alterother, Apr 09 2014

       [+] I'll start by suggesting that 10 of these should be built in the first iteration (ie. 10 starts need to be made).   

       The 10 skyscrapers should all be in a North-facing line, and be built onto the bedrock left behind in the district of the village of Nongoma, South Africa, when cyclone Domoina went through, many years ago. (This just simplifies the earthworks by allowing builders to see the state of the rock they're building on).   

       They should, of course, be massively interconnected, so as to create a 3D layout. They should on no account be allowed to proceed skywards in isolation. The spirals would have a 1D nature, in this model, and the way the 1D spaces interlink the 3D ones could easily be fiddled into something architecture fans could rave on about (which, for the sake of the cityscraper, is a good thing.)   

       Spiral buildings are cool enough on their own, I suppose...   

       To the North and the South of the line, there should be no buildings. There should be, eg petanque fields with little Thelwell girls cursing fat ponies through them, and driving ranges, and lots of workshops where fans of rusty old cars can fix these, with like-minded neighbours next door.   

       The details would get out of hand. The principle is that the level we today choke with traffic and jostling, we reserve for things suburbia has (but make them better). In fact, we even bring in elements of the countryside. Lots of people in the awful cemeteries called suburbia hate the inner city for some valid reasons, but to some extent that's just because the cities have improvised and ended up losing some of their advantages. First of those, is that if you build up instead of sprawling out, you have an enormous amount of open space you can rethink without too much reference to what's been done before.   

       Croquet, anyone?   

       The number 10 is, of course, arbitrary. It just seemed enough to not be too small.
skoomphemph, Apr 09 2014

       I object! 10 is not a good base for finding nice, round numbers. Base 3 is much better; 10 (base 10) is too small a number anyway and so I propose 222 (base 3) starts.
Voice, Apr 09 2014

       222 it is, then. Base to be occasionally adjusted to reflect the state of affairs on the ground. I've loaded my wheelbarrow on the pony, and will stop for Portland cement and planking at Matubatuba. See you there!
skoomphemph, Apr 09 2014

       Fun, but highly impractical. (What the HB is for afterall.)   

       Also, it's bad enough when neighbors remodel. The noise & disruption is quite annoying. What you're proposing would be endless construction noise, dust, & "sorry, we had to turn off the water for a few hours".
sophocles, Apr 09 2014

       Regarding the "you cannot buy an apartment; you must build it" --this becomes excepted if people can give them away after dying. So, the solution is to let each person only build one apartment, and after they die the apartment is turned into a mausoleum for that person.
Vernon, Apr 09 2014

       At some point, you're going to run into foundation issues, and the whole thing will start to screw itself into the ground.   

       Eventually, it'll start to subduct as fast as you build.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 09 2014

       Well there goes the land-fill compaction issues.   

       // At some point, you're going to run into foundation issues //   

       // and after they die the apartment is turned into a mausoleum for that person //   

       Okay, so for structural strength, once an apartment becomes a mausoleum, it is filed with concrete. Since the residents of such rooms no longer care about the view, build new units outside of them at ground level and all the way up. It's like a human coral reef.   

       [CookieCutter] I'm imagining the Archemedies spiral shape you refer to as the shape of the foundation, with the tip being tapered. If it grows in the right preoportion, the overall shape will always be the same, just scaled up (and apparently rotating as it grows). Is that what you were thinking, or does this spiral as it goes up as well?
scad mientist, Apr 09 2014

       Luckily the slow pace of the pony allows time for reflection on the way to distant building sites, so I've phoned Vilakazi Cash Build to change my order. No more cement, then. Kevlar, carbon fibre, and some epoxy that fell off a ship are being prepared as we clip-clop through the dark to the tree we usually sleep under on the first night.
skoomphemph, Apr 09 2014

       Whoopsie! There is a fire on the bottom levels and [sophocles] seems to have the water shut off. Sorry 'bout that.
AusCan531, Apr 09 2014

       Build only at the bottom.   

       Structurally & Mathematically, that's the only way to get this spiral structure over time, right?   

       That way, when a unit is built, it must support what's above it already.   

       And, there's economic incentive to get in early, to get those nice high views. Of course, you'll need ways to get in/out. Ah, merging brain patterns into the "Auto-Rising Home" idea I posted last week. Same problems apply here.   

       I mean, that's how snails shells grow already.
sophocles, Apr 09 2014

       Saved once again. Turns out they do have some asbestos out in the yard for discerning customers. It's not the nice, harmless Canadian stuff, but it'll do.   

       Now to work out how to build on the third floor, when I'm the first on the site. Some bamboo props to keep things up while waiting up there for the building boom?
skoomphemph, Apr 09 2014

       To answer some specific objections of the crew I've made revisions! (oh yay!)

       1) The 'Flying Off Into the Sun' Problem
Well, why build one, when you can build two! We'll build another one on the exact opposite side of the earth.

2) No word limit to additions :)

3) Neighbours Re-modelling
I was envisaging prefab and craned into position early on. Then when the tower gets bigger just slid up the integrated road, possibly on a massive Segway type vehicle (because everyone loves a Segway!).

4) Water Issues
http://orbital-systems.com/for showers. Perhaps a giant slingshot for poo and other solid wastes :)

5) Foundations
Two things here. Firstly, I wanted to describe vertical tunnel boring machines that would drive caissons into the ground deeper and deeper. But i couldn't work out how. So after that I just settled on filling the central apartments with concrete the taller it got. But as I have a day job, I didn't have time to think about this.

7) Why do peeps keep mentioning ponies?
CookieCutter, Apr 09 2014

       Oh, they're always on about ponies around here. If it's not ponies, it's ekranoplans.
Alterother, Apr 10 2014

       There's not much point in building upward instead of sideways if doesn't give you the ability to keep your horses, ponies, and dragstrip racers downstairs, and in the wide open spaces all around you.   

       Actually if you build the first 423 in Nongoma, you could use part of the space saved from sprawl to make a nice little game reserve on one end of the city. You would probably not be able to keep elephant, but a few zebra would be nice. (Just don't walk your dogs in there; zebra apparently get aggro with dogs and try to kill them.)   

       A few tennis courts between the 23rd and 27th floors would be a nice touch.
skoomphemph, Apr 10 2014

       I plan on using Tiny Tower to help plan the floors :)
CookieCutter, Apr 10 2014

       Just leave plenty of space for the ekranoplan garage.
Alterother, Apr 10 2014

       Ah, I'd always wondered about that famous failure at Babel. I guess it was actually the engineers and the finance people that weren't speaking the same language.   

       Actually, I'd suggest no transfer of property rights, or at least try to make restrictions so that lower level & interior apartments have their owner/occupants die off at similar times (we don't have to do mass-murder simultaneity); burial rites for the deceased owners would include placing the bodies in their apartment and then filling with concrete, or pouring full of epoxy, or tungsten/titanium alloy, or whatever matches up with the building material schema for the construct. This would be analogous to the heartwood of a tree becoming more dense and strengthening the tree's core as it grows.
lurch, Apr 11 2014

       "Logan, we have a runner in sector twelve."   

       [Lurch], that's just creepy! Maybe THAT'S the missing ingredient from old skool Roman concrete that we can't recreate.

Portland Cement + a dash of ground human bones = WINNER!

By the looks of things there's gonna be a few spare ponies around the place too, so maybe each master should be buried next to their pony?
CookieCutter, Apr 11 2014

       I find both great merit and some humor in this idea. +
blissmiss, Apr 11 2014

       An even better location would be the city known to its inhabitants as Nairobbery. The weather there is always perfect. Daily maxima are in the mid 20's (C, of course); at dawn it's about 15. So all the walls need is some polycarbonate, with maybe some light waterproof stuff to keep out rain. (Next time it rains, look under your eaves to see how dry it is there; you don't need a lot of protection from lateral rain spray).   

       Even the roofs/floors could be reduced in weight by the simple expedient of allowing the floor to slope a bit, and building somewhat vaulted substructures.   

       Cut down more by prohibiting cooking. To eat you have to leave your rooms. (Internal kitchen towers could be separately fireproofed).
skoomphemph, Apr 11 2014


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