Words like “insane,” “crazy,” and “nuts” get thrown around a lot — I use them more than my fair share, if I’m being honest — but a New York design group just revealed plans for a new type of skyscraper that really can’t be described any other way. Their plan is to construct a huge structure on the surface of an asteroid and, believe it or not, that’s probably the most rational part of the proposal.
Clouds Architecture Office is the firm that wants to build the massive skyscraper, which it calls Analemma Tower. The structure, which at this point is completely conceptual and likely completely impossible, would require that an asteroid be captured and brought into near-Earth orbit. With anchor points on the asteroid, the building is designed to — this is the part where things go completely off the rails — hang completely upside down, using the asteroid like a gravitational balloon to hold the structure in place above the Earth’s surface.
The tower would be in eccentric geosynchronous orbit, and would “travel” between hemispheres on a regular daily schedule, and in a figure eight pattern. The architects say the tower would spend much of its time over New York City thanks to its planned trajectory. The building could remain completely disconnected from the surface indefinitely by drawing power from solar panels situated above cloud level. Water would be filtered within the structure in a semi-closed loop, but the tower could also capture its own water while in-flight.
As far as traveling to and from the tower, the concept suggests that people could just parachute down to Earth whenever they needed to leave. As for getting back home, the company doesn’t seem to have nailed down exactly how that will work, but by the time the tower is actually built we’ll probably have teleportation pads, too.