I was intrigued to come across the winners of the 2012 eVolo skyscraper competition. First place went to this Himalaya Water Tower.
The “Himalaya Water Tower” is a skyscraper located high in the mountain range that serves to store water and helps regulate its dispersal to the land below as the mountains’ natural supplies dry up.
The lower part of the Himalaya Water tower is comprised of six stem-like pipes that curve and wind together and collect and store water. Like the stem of a plant, these pipes grow strong as they absorb their maximum water capacity. In each of the six stems, a core tube is flanked by levels and levels of cells, which hold the water. The upper part of the building – the part that is visible above the snow line – is used for frozen storage. Four massive cores support steel cylindrical frames that, like the stems below, hold levels that radiate out, creating four steel tubes filled with ice. In between the two sections are mechanical systems that help freeze the water when the climatic conditions aren’t able to do so, purify the water and regulate the distribution of water and ice throughout the structure.
At the bottom of the structure, surrounding the six intertwined water tubes is a transport system that regulates fresh water distribution to the towns and cities below. The curving channels connect the mountains to the villages, and are also hold within them a railway for the transport of people and goods.
There's more at the link. The other winning designs are also very interesting.
I don't suppose they'll ever be built, but I have to take my hat off to the architecture students who developed the concepts entered for this competition. They're certainly very original, and fascinating brain fodder! I wonder if any of the students want to try their hand at writing science fiction?