8/10/2012 2:59 PM
The Atlantic Cities has resurrected a 1931 design by Japanese engineers for an inverted skyscraper, called a “depth-scraper” featured in Popular Mechanics. The 35-story anti-tower would be buried in the ground in order to combat the high number of intense earthquakes in the area.
The designers were inspired by the "fact that tunnels and subterranean structures suffer less in seismic tremors than edifices on the surface of the ground, where the vibration is unchecked," according to the original Popular Mechanics article. In the event of an earthquake, the structure's components theoretically would "vibrate together, resisting any crushing strain."
The engineers seem to have thought of everything. A giant mirror was included to reflect daylight down to the bottom of the reverse skyscraper. An "iris roof shutter" keeps precipitation out of the atrium. Fresh air is circulated through ventilators to maintain air quality.
The building design calls for only one story above ground.