Underground skyscraper – your pyramid is upside down

Why settle for a simple bunker underground when you can have an entire skyscraper delving into the depths of the earth? The BNKR Arquitectura company (great URL, by the way), have come up with a concept for an upside down pyramid for the middle of Mexico City. Starting with a wide opening at the top, the pyramid piles layer upon layer going down into a single point. There’s a great full-length picture here, whilst the top looks something like this.

Humans Invent have an excellent post about the design, which features a quote on how the lighting might work:

To solve this, BNKR Arquitectura plans to cover the roof of the Earthscraper with a glass floor spanning the entire surface area of the structure. It will let natural light seep in, and illuminate the subterranean structure, which, BNKR Arquitectura says, also “allows the life of the Earthscraper to blend with everything happening on top.”

That’s all very well and good but only explains away a couple of layers. I’m assuming the further down the go, the more likely you are to be looking at fake windows and Back to the Future style projections on the blinds.

The article also looks at some other subterranean projects, including Perdu and a couple of others. For my own reference and further investigation:

  • The Earth House in South Korea, designed and built by architect Byoung Cho
  • Bolton Eco House built for footballer Gary Neville

5 thoughts on “Underground skyscraper – your pyramid is upside down

  1. Nice idea. Light won’t be a problem, today’s skyscrapers barely have natural light inside the building, except for the external offices.
    In this case the worst problem (besides money) is probably location. That square in Mexico City is huge, and it’s used for celebrations/manifestations, which means that: 1) the should do a ceiling that can withstand the weight of several thousand people, probably jumping (and the occasional truck), 2) you must convince the city’s population about it.

  2. have you ever walked on a mesh-grilled platform, high up? When I had to visit power stations (or cross Boston’s Charlestown Bridge), it’s absolutely terrifying to look down. As you walk, the mesh effect blurs into transparency and you feel like you’re floating or falling.

    This sounds scarier! I’m certain, if built, it will be over engineered though. It’ll look super dirty all the time, I reckin

  3. have you ever walked on a mesh-grilled platform, high up?

    Not really. I imagine it would be pretty scary. You can go around the outside, I guess 🙂

    The trees halfway down boggle my mind a little bit.

  4. What about fire? How would they evacuate people? Tunnels? If they had to use elevators they would be in trouble, because you’re not supposed to use them in case of fire…

    When I went to the Sky Tower in Auckland, you can stand on some very thick glass on a platform 150m in the air. The view is spectacular but your brain goes into overdrive because it simply cannot process that you are standing on nothing at all!

  5. I think Gavin may have hit the nail on the head. Evacuating people would be an absolute nightmare. I have never understood the concept of skyscrapers. I can remember arguing they were too dangerous when I was at school many years before 9/11. I kept asking what would happen if there was a fire ten floors up that spread to cover one or more complete floors? The concept of putting people at that kind of risk is weird to me.

    I imagine in an underground construction anything more than 4 floors is asking for trouble. The pyramid design looks interesting and I kind of get why it would work structurally but when it comes to potential hazards like fire you are no longer looking at a complete floor being covered before you have a catastrophe. You only need the centre part of one of the floors to be burning and the people on the narrower floors under that have nowhere to go.

    Besides if they had any imagination they should have built an upside down Eiffel Tower.

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