Will Your Future Office be 100 metres Underground?
You’ve heard of skycrapers, right?
Building up is a great way to maximize the use of real estate. Instead of building one office or apartment on a piece of prime, expensive, inner city real estate, you build 100 of them and stack them on top of each other. While the building may be an engineering and, if you are lucky an architectural wonder, the problem is that these mountainous structures come at a cost. They pretty much block out the sun and if clustered together in urban centres, create dark, smoggy urban jungles.
All hail the Earthscraper; hero of the hour. It has multi-story potential, but it won’t block out the sun. In fact, there will be no sun to block as earth-scrapers extend underground, (in theory of course, because no one has actually built one yet).
In fact, the one being proposed by an architecture firm in Mexcio City, BNKR arquitectura would in theory extend 300 feet below the ground and potentially house up to 100,000 people. It could be the solution to urban over-crowding. Don’t build upwards, don’t build sprawling megacities, build downwards.
The applications of earthscrapers are: endless, exciting and at the same worrying.
On the one hand we could see hi-tech and highly augmented under ground living targeted at the social elite. We could see offices and entire business parks swept underground, saving the greenbelt, perhaps allowing us to return brownfield sites to beautiful country side. Overcrowded cities, choking on pollution and traffic congestion could be gracefully depopulated.
On the other hand, these underground sites could become a social dumping ground: prisons, social housing, nuclear reactors, black market economics could all go underground, and promote a two-tiered society to an unprecedented extent.