The eVolo skyscraper competition is an annual award, created in 2006 by eVolo magazine, which recognizes visionary ideas for building large projects that use technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, space organizations, and challenges the how we understand vertical architecture and its relationship to natural and built environments.
Some projects, which received an honorable mention, were interested in the problems caused by volcanoes, or in the energy release they produce and the means of recovering this energy.
Each time, it is Chinese competitors who are at the base of these "volvanic" projects, which I consider, for my part, a bit far-fetched.
In 2013, the "Volcano Electric Mask" was intended to cover the entire volcano by a giant shield.
The megalithic structure included a cogeneration plant to produce electricity from the heat of the volcano, and annexed research facilities and tourist facilities.
This giant dome has been proposed for the Popocatépetl volcano. and the possible closure of the roof of the structure designed to prevent the dispersion of ashes and tephra into the atmosphere during an eruption, and to preserve the half-million people living within a radius of 10 to 30 km around the crater.
The dome was inspired by how the body works and takes specific design cues from the nervous system as well as from the skin.
Hanging inside the dome are a series of screw-shaped tentacles that plunge into the volcano to monitor temperatures, predict eruptions and absorb CO2, which is then used to create dry ice. When the volcano is calm, the tentacles produce electricity from the steam, which is created when collected rainwater comes into contact with the lava. During this period of calm, the region is open to tourists for hiking, sightseeing and other exhibitions.
When an eruption is planned, the dome closes to contain tephra and ashes and prevent them from affecting nearby cities. Dry ice is expelled to protect the tentacles from damage and cool the lava emitted. Once the eruption is complete, tephra is collected by the dome and shipped for use in industrial processes. The research facilities in the dome provide a close-up view of the volcano in action and help scientists improve prediction and energy production through geothermal and volcanic activity.
In 2018, the "Volcanic tower" project aims to capture volcanic energy by injecting cold water into a deep borehole (five kilometers) to recover water vapor at 150 ° C and convert it into electricity.
Among the gases emitted, the carbon dioxide will be absorbed by green plants and algae to release oxygen, and the sulfur dioxide transformed by reactions with biological organisms to have no negative effects.
Tapping into the magma chamber is supposed to reduce the pressure and prevent the volcano from reaching the eruption stage.
The problem of the gas pressure balance and the maintenance of this structure in the air will be regulated by a special biofilm structure, which will allow gas exchange. On the other hand, when the membrane of the structure is filled with gas, it will have the ability to keep the whole in the air.
The example used for the design of the project seems to be a volcano in the Tengger caldera.
These projects do not correspond at the moment to existing techniques, both in the field of their interaction at high temperatures with the magmatic system of volcanoes, as their gigantism.
Who knows if they will be achievable in a more or less near future, or will remain a utopia.
-eVolo - Volcano skyscraper harnesses clean energy from active volcanoes - link
- eVolo - Volcanic tower - link