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Honorable Mention Award Winner

Skyhive Architectural Competition 2020


By: Sergio Esquinca, Daniel Ramirez, Adrian Salinas and Alhakam Alaedh


Due to previous earthquakes in San Francisco such as the 1906 and the 1989 Loma Prieta in which 67 people perished, 3,000 were injured, and causing more than $5 billion in damages. This disaster was of the most powerful and destructive earthquakes to ever hit the United States. The architectural solution is to encounter the problem not by eliminating all earthquake risks, but instead reduce them to an acceptable level by protecting against injury and loss of life. Therefore, by taking into consideration the seismically active characteristics of the Bay Area; a new structural element was implemented called the Pin- Fuse compression joint, it is designed to deal with shear stress forces by emulating the pivotal movements of a human shoulder. These joints would start to move and react to the loads applied during an earthquake by dissipating them and minimizing the damage on the structure. 

This project promotes an alternative to reduce global emissions by replacing steel and concrete with wood. This structure is made of prefabricated glue-laminated timber ribs that merges the structure, technical infrastructure, and the practicality into an architecture element. This structure allows for further expansion in the future, by the act of stacking more ribs. These ribs would define the interior and its spatial articulation, the openings would provide indirect light to penetrate, but also a subtle glow to the interior; the ribs change throughout the structure to define different spaces from large spans to more intimate moments such as the ramp.


The ramp would allow for vertical and horizontal circulation from the underground to the roof top while complying with ADA. It would also provide different and unique vantage points of San Francisco. Overall, this project understands a wider vision and mission by acting towards the city needs, creating an opportunity to build environmentally friendly cities; and helping rural economies with new manufacturing jobs. 

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