A Two-Mile High Eco-Tower to House One Million People, 12 Lakes, and a Vertical Train

Eugene Tsui's design for a two-mile high, one-mile wide eco-topian tower that houses one million people and contains its own ecosystems seems like something out of a Robert Silverberg novel. But Tsui is dead serious — and he's got the architectural chops to make it happen.

Anyone who has visited the Berkeley area in California has probably wondered at one of Tsui's creations.

A Two-Mile High Eco-Tower to House One Million People, 12 Lakes, and a Vertical Train

He builds eco-friendly houses in an organic style that look like aliens with curving shell bodies and bulging eye windows. And now he's trying to make his green, alien dreams reduce our urban footprints by taking the population up into his Ultima Tower.

He suggests that the Tower will be completely non-mechanical, with air and light fed into the living areas via a central shaft. All living spaces will be 100 feet square, with at least fifty percent of that given over to ground vegetation. Floors will be full of lakes, ravines, and trees. The one-mile base of the tower will sit in a giant lake that will act as a cooling system, and later turn into precipitation on each floor.

A Two-Mile High Eco-Tower to House One Million People, 12 Lakes, and a Vertical Train

It's not so much a building, Tsui says, it's a living environment. A vertical train will take people from the ground floor to the top in about 10 minutes.

Here are the details:

Location: Any densely populated urban environment
Cost: $150,000,000,000.00
Population: 1,000,000 people
Exterior surface area of building: 150,000,000 square feet
Enclosed volume: 53,000,000,000 cubic feet
Square footage: 1,500,000,000
Total enclosed acreage: 39,000 acres
Elevator speed: 20 feet per second (13 miles per hour) 9 minutes and 40 seconds to reach the top floor from the ground floor.
Dimensions: Height—10,560 feet; Diameter at the base—6000 feet; Number of stories—500;
Total Square Feet: Approximately 5,000,000 square feet
This sounds like exactly the kind of thing that Google should be funding, along with alternative energy. In fact, Tsui has a history of working with liberal-minded Silicon Valley companies. He proposed a campus design to Apple, which sadly was rejected.

Tsui also designs fashions that look like something out of a 1970s science fiction movie. I hope when I'm living in his Ultima Tower I can just keep wearing jeans and my DefCon t-shirts, though.

Plan for the 2-Mile High "Ultima" Tower [Tsui Design + Research Inc]