2017 Skyscraper Competition
The Mountain is a skyscraper located in California at Yosemite National Park. The structure reaches almost 3,000 feet in the year and is conceptualized to exist congruously with the existing environment.
The illusion of separation between man and nature continues to be perpetuated in the zeitgeist of a culture where forward thinking and technological advancement come at the expense of our environment. A relationship constrictively defined as occupant (man) and habitat (nature), the general consensus is that one is recurrently intruding on the other. In the pursuit to reconcile this dichotomy, The Mountain generates a spacial and functional relationship between context and program. To cultivate a harmonious environment, the structure combines synthetic and natural resources that equilibrate the necessities of man and nature.
The Mountain takes the primitive idea of naturally cavernous space and combines it with the form of a modern skyscraper. Using a grid to establish a framework for the design, the mountain cliffside becomes the host for the spaces to be carved out of. These extrusions are negative spaces embedded in the towering natural structure of the earth. Individually, the habitats are able to occupy different programs varying in scale. When aggregated together the volumes form a monolithic skyscraper reaching thousands of feet into the the air.
Against the background of a natural environment, the project seeks to encourage observation, exploration, preservation, and research. As an Observatory and Conservatory, science becomes the foundation for the program to thrive. It can respect a sensitive natural landscape and support mankind’s curiosity for knowledge and discovery. The goal is to begin an architectural typology that exemplifies the potential for a balanced environment. The Mountain draws from a primitive design concept, but in doing so is able to achieve a built environment that is forward-thinking in a natural and technical way.