A brilliant new design for a disaster relief shelter uses a giant, load-bearing helium balloon to expand and collapse a foldable, portable skyscraper.
The winners of eVolo Magazine’s 2018 Skyscraper Competition were apparently inspired by origami and helium balloons.
Beating out 525 competitors, Polish designers Jakub Kulisa, Piotr Panczyk, and Damian Granosik took first place for their foldable building, which they call Skyshelter.zip.
Designed for quick deployment in disaster zones, the building literally unfolds like an accordion out of a compact box. A large, load-bearing helium balloon inside is inflated, which lifts the top of the skyscraper toward the sky.
By controlling the amount of gas pumped into the load-bearing helium balloon, the number of floors “unfolded” can be controlled, to either have a taller building with more levels, or a shorter one with just a few floors. Need helium to fill your stores’ regular party balloons? Get a free online helium quote from us here.
The inside of the building performs all of the same functions of a standard emergency relief camp, but the similarities essentially stop here.
Solar cells built into the shell of Skyshelter.zip generate clean, renewable energy for the inside floors. Rainfall can be collected at the top of the building, which is then purified by water filters built into the collapsible system. The designers even demonstrated how a hanging “vertical farm” can grow food inside the structure.
Because Skyshelter.zip stands like a traditional skyscraper, a literal fraction of the space is needed compared to a traditional disaster relief camp. Plus, the height of the building makes it immediately seen by anyone in the distance in need of finding aid.
Deflating the load-bearing helium balloon allows the entire structure to collapse back down into it’s transportation box, which can be easily and quickly moved by emergency helicopters.