Our climate is changing, squalor, nationalism and inequality is rising, people are constantly moving into cities and the demand for a better and more sustainable living in urban areas continues to grow. The current ways are very limited and outdated and with the modern technology available we are able to create far better and more sophisticated spaces that could affect the very way of our living in the future. The Challenge is an experiment on how a vertical community in larger numbers of members could coexist in the future.

On 2017 we did an open call for architects, designers, artists, engineers, scientists, conservationists, ambient warriors, tribesmen, digital nomads, craftsmen or basically anyone with great ideas from around the globe to take part in SkyCity Challenge 17, a competition to pick the best designs and solutions for the future community that will live on J57. In this edition, we have received around 400 registrations of different teams around the world and we have selected the best 17 proposals.


The objective of the SkyCity Challenge 17 was to design the interiors of 17 large atriums inside J57 a ‘57 floor skyscraper’ located inside of Broad Town in Changsha. The skyscraper is currently unoccupied and it’s 17 hollow internal courtyards are interconnected by a long spiral 3,4 km long bike ramp that ends on the top of the 57th floor of the building. The goal was to create 17 public spaces that would interact with the future inhabitants of the tower. Each courtyard is 20m long, 16m wide and 11m high with adjacent balconies throughout three floors. Lit by efficient & low energy consumption LED lights and conditioned by 3 units of large capacity Broad airfilter - chillers. The 17 spaces are all identical and their succession for the challenge was irrelevant. The objective was to provide maximum freedom to the participants in order to engage the project without constraints in the most creative way. What is a courtyard in the middle of a vertical skyscraper in the 21st century? 

The winners have been announced on the 1st of December 2017. We have reparted $25,000 USD altogether for the best ideas, granted each team with additional $1,000 USD as traveling allowance and fully covered their stay during the SkyCity Residence Week in China.


The Jury of the SkyCity Challenge 17 biannual architectural design competition was formed by leaders from architecture and design fields including: Zhangyue [Chairman of Broad Group], Daniel Zhang [Broad Sustainable Building Co. Ltd], Richard Hsu [TEDxShanghai, School of Design and Innovation at Tongji University], Du Peng (China Office Director at CTBUH), Gábor Szentpétery [architect, founder of K-56], David McConville (Buckminster Fuller Institute), Xinlin Song (Urban researcher, founder of StreetSmart lab), Wei Chunyu [Dean of the School of Architecture at Hunan University]. The Jury selected 17 winners from 89 submitted projects from 54 different countries and invited all of the members of the winning teams (cca50 participants) for the SkyCity Residence Week held in Broad Town in March 2018. 

Sponsors: Broad Technology Group, P8 - Sustainable Innovation Community.

Following up next, are the winners of SKYCITY CHALLENGE 2017.


 Ziad Zaki / Amr Auf / Mohamed Mamdouh

“The Grid” is designed for Skycity courtyards and played by the building users, who collaborate together to build up their own designs. Those people use specific building elements, tailor made for the game, to create forms that suit their own needs, or even for having fun.


Artur Zakrzewski / Konrad Weka 

The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach, 9.8 billion in 2050 according to a United Nations report. With two-thirds of the world’s population expected to live in highly densified cities, access to the daylight and urban land are expected to become an increasingly limited resources.


Anna Andronova.

We are moving away from nature and more and more rely on our manmade infrastructures. Despite the common claim that this shift is tragic for humanity, we should critically approach it. What if it is actually positive?