Inspired by the spirited ascent of the mythical rain dragon in Chinese mythology, Shenlong Tower not only shows what can be possible when we employ natural processes to industrial endeavours – it is also has the potential to stand as an icon of a renewed national pride. Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest cities in the east partially thanks to its status as one of the busiest ports in world, but it isn’t without its problems – three of the major issues that Hong Kong faces is limited land space, heavy air pollution, and limited fresh water. Shenlong Tower is a self-sustaining visionary skyscraper that addresses these problems while improving Hong Kong’s economy and raising the bar for responsible and intelligent design.
The first issue Mikey Nitro, Josh Wong, Jon Kim, and Ini Archibong sought to address is Hong Kong’s lack of fresh water – the city spends approximately three billion HKD for freshwater imports each year. To help alleviate this, Shenlong Tower utilizes super-efficient geothermal cooling to lower the temperature of the areas along the bottom surface of the three spirals to the dew point, which in turn produces large amounts of water throughout the day. The triple helix form maximizes the available surface area for the condensation and a path for the water to travel after being collected.
Aristotle said “If one way is better than another, you may be sure it is Nature’s way” – following this philosophy, the team utilized the condensed water to help solve the second problem of air pollution. The condensed water will replicate the natural cleansing process of rain to catch the toxic pollutants, chemicals, other particles in the air. The contaminated rain will then hit a filter on the upper surface of the floor below, separating the pollutants and the pure water. The pollutants will be collected and deposited into a storage by a fleet of small robots who maintain the filter’s surface. The purified water will be split between Shenlong Tower’s usage, its green areas, and Hong Kong. The exhaust heat created from the geothermal process will be used to heat the building’s water and air.
The third problem the team addressed is the limited amount of land space. Shenlong Tower works around this by floating directly on the water while generating its own energy with a multi-layered skirt that utilizes ocean current and breaks created by boats arriving at its docks. The three-island support structure will create more dock space for the heavy population of ships and private boats and it will also host the primary green spaces for the skyscraper.