These cloud-shaped skyscrapers may give Columbia a run for her money

A recent contest in the city of Shenzhen seeking proposals for an eco-friendly financial district a la London’s Canary Wharf revealed these stunning designs for a cloud-shaped skyscraper.

The Shenzhen Bay Super City Competition aimed to put this rising metropolis on the map, so to speak, as a high-tech mogul of innovation. The competition requested designs that would fill a 170-hectare district with three high-rise structures and several surrounding cultural buildings. Cloud Citizen, the winning entry from the Urban Future Organization in collaboration with Chalmers Technical University, adhered to these requirements while also adding their own spin. And boy, is the result eye-catching.

This 2,230-foot-tall, interconnected mega-structure is designed to be much more than a pretty face, though. With the ability to harvest rainwater, utilize power from the sun, wind, and algae, while also including a desperately needed air pollution filtration system and carbon sequestration, Cloud Citizen incorporates a vision of sustainable business practices. The structure propose to house offices, commercial venues, and public areas for cultural programs.

Most intriguingly, Cloud Citizen also plans to provide “skyparks” inside the buildings, as a space for food production, a sanctuary for wild and endangered plants, and a peaceful area for residents to visit.  Each of these radically different spaces will be connected by massive, suspended “skyways.”

However, before everyone gets their hopes too high, contest administrators did caution that the design would need further consideration, and in all likelihood will undergo many changes. But the concept (and its stunning artwork) expresses the city’s ultimate goals and ideals “as it is a singular iconographic mega building complex with an identifiable and striking skyline giving character and hope to the vision of a greener future enabled by human enterprise.”

All I’m saying is we should all probably keep an eye out for any self-proclaimed prophets cropping up in Shenzhen. Scratch that, just look out for anyone ranting about the “Sodom below.”