It may seem like something right out of a sci-fi movie, but a New York-based architecture firm has proposed to build a giant skyscraper that will be hanging from an asteroid right above our planet. Unveiling its plan, Clouds Architecture Office said in a statement that once erected, the Analemma Tower will be the world’s tallest building ever.

Analemma Tower Attached To Asteroid
Image Source: Clouds Architecture Office (screenshot)

Analemma to use recycled water

The plan includes repositioning the asteroid’s geosynchronous orbit to match our planet’s sidereal one-day rotation period. The sidereal rotation shows how much the Earth revolves relative to the stars instead of the sun. The Analemma Tower would be suspended in the air by cables from an asteroid. The whole design idea is called the “Universal Orbital Support System.”

The hanging tower would get its energy from space-based solar panels that will have constant exposure to the sunlight. It will use recycled water, with new water collected as condensate from rainwater and clouds. According to the design firm, the elevators on the tower will be cable-less and electromagnetic. Since it will be hanging from a space object, the building could be transported anywhere.

The skyscraper will be built in Dubai

As its name “Analemma” suggests, the skyscraper would follow a figure-8 like path over the Earth’s surface. It would be traveling between the northern and southern hemispheres, which means the building will return to the same point every 24 hours. The designers propose to calibrate the asteroid’s orbit such that it will move at the slowest pace when it is over the New York City.

Clouds Architecture Office proposes to build the tower in Dubai. The cost of constructing it in Dubai would be only about 20% of what it would cost to build in New York City. Analemma’s structure will be divided into different parts. The lower-most portion will be dedicated to offices and commercial spaces. Then there will be agricultural and residential areas. The top portion would be for devotional and funerary activities.

Challenges ahead

The design firm said people venturing to the top of Analemma would get about 45 minutes of extra daylight at an elevation of 32,000 meters. It’s unclear how people would travel between Earth and Analemma. The top portion will have extreme pressure and temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius. You can’t go there without a spacesuit.

The ambitious project would face many challenges. Carlo Ratti, the director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, told NBC News that a cable suspended from an asteroid in space could break under its own weight. The designers say the project taps into the human “desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility.” Clouds Architecture Office believes the Analemma Tower would fetch record prices, making the project viable.