Continuing the exploration


eVolo - Annual Skyscraper Competition

Evolo is a magazine that hosts an annual competition for people all around the globe. Established in 2006, the competition recognizes "projects that through the novel novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments."

Project info

The observer is a skyscraper that functions as a telescope. This idea originates from that need to grow and explore. It contemplates the idea of a skyscraper being something more than just a building; instead this structure holds a telescope of unprecedented ability. This will be a functional apparatus that aids mankind in its quest to investigate our universe.  In the future, this telescope will be the result of the combination of our curiosity and the latest advances of technology.



We live in a universe that houses an estimated 200 billion galaxies. Our society often pretends that we are too complex to care about what happens outside the world we know; this problem is further complicated when we venture outside the Milky Way. The cost of space exploration can be overwhelming to some, but its importance is underestimated by many. Questions about the unknown scare some people while attracting the curious. 

Since the beginning of mankind, humans have had a natural desire to learn more and travel the unknown. It is because of this desire that we have progressed at a rate that enabled us to look far beyond the known and explore the vast corners of our planet. Our ability to explore is bounded by technology and our thirst to continue has pushed us to advance beyond the unimaginable. Today we still live with the desire to keep exploring but lack the means to do so. We have reached a point where the only discoveries that would satisfy us are the ones that lie outside our planet or galaxy.

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It is estimated that around 1.6 million people live in Manhattan Island. To put it into perspective, you could fit approximately 2.5 islands inside each one of the vessels in the Observer; allowing for a total of 12 million people to live in this inter-galactic colony.

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Astronomers have long contemplated the idea of a single, massive telescope in space. The problem with the size of the telescope is that it makes it harder to rotate 180 degrees to look in the opposite direction. This makes the idea of two large telescopes necessary.  The trade off in size will go largely unnoticed because the telescopes are equipped with mirrors hundreds of times bigger than any telescope ever created. The massive mirrors on both telescopes will be capable of grasping even the faintest signals of light.  


The telescope is equipped with rotating gears that  rotate at the same speed as the vessels but in the opposite direction, enabling them to rotate independently from the telescope.

The two rings that surround the telescope act as giant reflective dishes that bounce their light onto specialized receivers built in the telescope itself.

Both the front and the back of the telescope include giant mirrors on the inside, protecting them from space debris and undesired incoming light.

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  • Solar array
  • Light weight structure
  • High voltage power bus
  • High efficiency solar cells


  • System control board
  • Input filler
  • Auxiliary
  • Discharge output
  • Radiator


  • Magnetic circuit
  • Boron nitride walls
  • Outer magnetic coil
  • Inner magnetic coil
  • Anode/gas distributor
  • Cathode neutralizer