In the past few decades, natural disasters have become more frequent due to global warming and also us, humans. Apart from earthquakes, floods and tornadoes, forest fires are appearing with more and more fury even in the Amazon. To help protect this precious ecosystem, Chinese designers Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Qiaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, and Zhe Hao have conceived a plan to build a massive watertower skyscraper to stand watch over the Amazon Rainforest – the Rainforest Guardian.
While merely conceptual at this point, the Guardian Skyscraper was impressive enough to earn an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Evolo Skyscraper Competition.
The tower would serve as a water tower, a forest fire station, a weather station, and a scientific research center all rolled into one. The general shape of the Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper was inspired by the lotus flower, a plant well known for its ability to survive for many decades in a watery environment. Like the lotus flower, the Rainforest Guardian would feature a spherical flat platform at its highest point, connected to the ground by a series of external arteries or “roots.”
Like the spread petals of the lotus, the flat platform would serve as a rainwater harvesting station, filtering and then storing the collected water in spare reservoirs.
According to the designers, “Using capillarity combined with active energy, the aerial roots with a distinct sponge-structure can absorb and store the excess water without disturbing the Amazon’s ecosystem. In the case of fire, firefighters fly to the scene and extinguish the fire with the collected water. In addition, the Guardian Skyscraper provides special scientific research laboratories for scientists to monitor the climate change and the ecosystem stability. The laboratories also act as exhibition spaces for tourists to create environmental awareness.”