Above the Clouds | Colonization in a Post-Nuclear War Scenario

(Student Project)

Project Description

History has proven the destructive nature of mankind and how history run in cycles. By studying the recent international political climate, population shifts between continents, modern historical events, and modern social ethics and human behaviour, we can predict the likeliness and magnitude of the consequences of the next worldwide conflict: World War III. With the advancement of modern military weaponry, the next world war would result in the use of a nuclear weapon that would affect the globe due to their destructive strength. With global superpowers stockpiling nuclear weapons since the cold war in the 1980s, the United States alone possess nuclear warheads sufficient to destroy the earth 200+ times.

This thesis explores the idea of architecture as a medium for survival and the restructuring of civilization after the breakout of nuclear war in the year 2025, creating a global nuclear winter. By re-imagining life and architecture, as well as urban settings after a nuclear winter, this thesis will create a visual narrative approach in experimenting with potential outcomes of a new colonial society. From survival devices of energy and resource harvesting, to agriculture and services areas, to larger zoning of commercial, industrial and living areas, this thesis aims to envision a new form of the city capable of sustaining civilization after the mass destruction and the onset of a harsh environment. Selectively identifying a high altitude (a remote geological location that will benefit from being outside the affected radius from the aftermath of nuclear winter) will be the foundation building block for the revitalization of human civilization in this re-imagined narrative.

As civilization is restructured under strong orders and physical constraints enforced via architecture and urban setting, humanity could recover from the destruction which once wiped out the surface of the earth. However, under limited resources and surrender of freedom in exchange for survival, as generations pass, and scares are forgotten, how long would it take until history and mistakes are once again faded in memory and the peace they have grown to know would once again become no more than a script in history?

Design Challenge

One of the toughest challenges for this project is to experiment the possibilities under extreme condition with little resource, the question of how a society could relieve itself through the means and help of architecture, architectural components and urban planning. By studying traditional building methodology as a reference as well as modern age technology, we can predict a hybrid system of both of the both to create new opportunities to help aid survival of the colonization.

Physical Context

There is always life after destruction; survivors from the initial blasts find themselves an unlikely safe haven: the world’s harshest environment - the seven summits. By using aeroplane remains and resources from the nearby villages surrounding the summit, population begins their slow recovery from the nuclear war. With little technology and limited expertise or technique, experimental structures of different means start to appear on the mountain range, attempting to harvest the essentials and energy to fulfill basic survival needs of the colony.