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This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

Greenland Architecture News - Jul 5, 2019 - 07:02   2179 views

This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

A team, comprised of Jae Min Jo, Geonuk Yun, Kyungjun Park, Hobin Bae, Jiyeon Kim, Weonkyung Cho, Ganghui Lee, has proposed an alternative skyscraper typology that helps to solve one of the most urgent earth’s environmental problems. This wavy skyscraper is aimed to preserve glaciers that are melting as a result of global warming with its high-tech base and spatial construction under glaciers.

The proposal, submitted from South Korea, received Honorable Mention in the 2019 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. The team's aim is to create an alternative solution to the earth’s environmental problems. 

The location of the skyscraper focused on Greenland’s continental ice sheet to propose a structure that prevents the melting of glaciers. Especially, it was intended to prevent the melting of glaciers formed between canyons. Since glaciers are exposed to the air at the area where it connects to the sea, it results in faster melting. 

This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

"The melting rate is further accelerated by Crevasse and Moulin which are formed by flowing down water. We would like to prevent the loss of glaciers through proposing a structure that would freeze the ice tightly again in areas where it melts," said the team.

"In this project, we would like to propose a structure that can make the ice density of melting glaciers hard again. The construction process also had to be coordinated with the structural characteristics of the glacier."

Named Ice Dam Skyscraper, the skyscraper are proposed to prevent the melting of glaciers by creating the idea of the structural module called Ice-ball, which is a tectonic element that strengthens the freezing of glaciers and forming the construction structure and space.

This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

The architects developed Ice-ball as a self-replicating structural element that forms space. This is a system that is interconnected by the opening of the six sides of sphere. It is a method of structure that can be expanded horizontally and vertically in this way. When it is inserted inside of glacier, it could expand by excavating inside the ice to create space and installing Ice balls. 

Inside the extended ice ball structure, water that melted from glaciers could be stored and frozen to make ice. Ice ball structural plates could make form of strong composite structure by taking the form of trusses in their own right and letting the ice inside take on the compressive force. Furthermore, the materials of ice ball trusses were used to increase their structural performance by using aluminum alloys that become stronger at low temperatures.

By using a freezing system of water inside, the ice ball is carried out by the circulation of the refrigerant. In the process of water freezing by refrigerant, vaporization heat was absorbed, and it was released outside or used for internal heating. In particular, heat released to the outside was allowed to travel a long distance through the hot air balloon to prevent the outside air from becoming hot.

This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

"The construction of an Ice-Dam begins with the formation of a horizontal structural plate. This system is not supported on underground ground, but rather on horizontal artificial ground and creates hanging spaces," added the team. 

"Structural components are formed by Ice balls and structural rigidity is ensured through stages of freezing process of water inside. This process forms the dam to reduce the melting speed of glaciers and also creates the interior spaces." 

"The interior space formed by the Ice-ball structure is a reinforced artificial glacial structure, which creates a unique artificial atmosphere in the natural space."

This wavy Ice Dam Skyscraper helps to preserve the melting of glaciers between canyons

The team also arranged the interior program of the skyscraper accordingly. Ice dam itself will play a role in making the surrounding glaciers freeze more tightly. In addition, the interior space formed in it can be used as space for research and observation of glaciers or leased to low-temperature storage facilities such as Seed bank. These programs allow Ice dam to be kept in a sustainable form.

All images © the artists, courtesy of eVolo

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