eVolo: Skyscraper for the XXI Century Carlo Aiello
          Review by Chris Warren

        • If you've been to DBA over the years, you're by now familiar with an annual competition called eVolo. This ideas competition asks architecture firms and students to present their ideas on the potential and possibilities for the future skyscraper. For a study on typology in the modern era, it seems that there is none better suited than a skyscraper for this endeavor. It is, after all, somewhat bound by its definition. That specificity, and the tenacity with which it is manipulated, is why you'll be very surprised by the contents of this book.

          Carlo Aiello does us a favor in the simplicity of his presentation. There are just two blocks of text that introduce us to the aims of the book. These are best summed up in the text:

          "In this book we present the top ranked projects from the 06, 07, and 08 Skyscraper Competition. The central conception of these competitions was to speculate as to the reality and future of the skyscraper, posing questions such as; What is the skyscraper in the beginning of the XXI Century? What is the historical and social context of these mega-structures? What is their response to the urban fabric? Is the modern skyscraper a city in and of itself? Is the human scale lost?"

          From this point on the reader will find sixty two-page spreads of the entries categorized within the three years of competition covered by the book, beginning each with the first, second and third place proposals. Each spread is neatly edited with the name of the project, team members and country, and followed by descriptive text from the entries' authors. And finally comes the most eye catching feature of any architecture book, some very sexy imagery.

          Whether you're a student or a practicing architect, eVolo: Skyscraper for the XXI Century is a good addition to the bookshelves. By omitting the compulsory requirements of most competitions (and sometimes the compulsory requirements of gravity) eVolo is able to provide us with some very inspirational work. This book showcases the freshness of ideas, those from graduate students to some very well established firms, and reminds us of the potential that is found within our art.

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