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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Hydra Skyscraper by Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic and Milica Stankovic

March 15th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

What would happen when the ultimate source of energy could be free for all humans, when it could be possible to replace all fossil fuels with   alternative ? In an effort to reduce global climate change, we made a facility which can produce the most rewarding alternative sources of sustainable energy – Hydrogen . As we know hydrogen does not exist alone in nature, and it is a very important element because it can be used as a non-toxic energy storage and transport medium. Hydrogen can provide a promising method to help the World to achieve energy independence, make strides in environmental stewardship, and develop a thriving economy.

Research Facility

  • Architects: Milos Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic and Milica Stankovic
  • Project: Hydra Skyscraper

Exterior View

HYDRA project represents a 500m long mega-structure whose assignment is to entice and conduct electric discharge of Lightning to the mega-battery, where it should be stored and later used in a process of electrolysis of water for extraction of hydrogen from water as a final product.

Exterior View

Lightning is not uniformly distributed across the Earth. Approximately 70% of lightning strikes in the world occur in the tropics where the majority of thunderstorms develop. The area on Earth with the highest lightning activity is located over the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. This area has thunderstorms all year round as a result of moisture-laden air masses from the Atlantic Ocean encountering mountains. The average annual flash rate for this location is about 158 lightning bolts. In the United States, Florida has the highest annual flash rate with an average of 59 lightning bolts per year.

Lightening Map

Hydra is a completely adaptable superstructure. Its amorphous form allows it to be adaptable to any kind of terrain, from simple plains to giant mountain slopes. The only condition is that it must be near a natural source of water. /river, sea, lake /

Analysis of The Form

Analysis of the form

Our main inspiration for this project was the hydra. Hydra is a genus of simple fresh-water animal possessing radial symmetry. Hydras are predatory animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria and the class Hydrozoa.

The tentacles of our superstructure are used to harness electrical power from the lightnings. Hydra operates as a strong tree root anchored to the ground underneth the structure while keeping it perfectly stable.

Detail of Graphene Construction

HYDRA consists of an exoskeleton, mega-battery, “Electrolysis of water” plant , Underground residential facility and Research facility.

The Exoskeleton structure is built from graphene, which is the basic structural element of some carbon allotropes including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. Due to its fantastic properties, greatest thermal and electrical conductivity ever measured yet, graphene is the best material choice for this project and lightning harnessing. Graphene is also one of the strongest materials ever tested. It has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel. The exoskeleton is also represented as a „Faraday cage“ that protects engineers from thunder strike.

Construction Form Analysis

The Mega-battery is used as storage of electric charge which is later used for electrolysis of water during periods of poor storms. Underground residential facility, the hive, is a residential place of the whole facility. The hive is directly connected with the mega-battery and the electrolysis facility.

The Research facility is the place where all the scientific research regarding the hydra project occurs. A part of the research facility is represented as a maintenance unit. Engineers and scientist work in this part of the unit.

Scheme Process

Ligtning map

Lightning does not appear evenly around the planet. Approximately 70% of lightning occurs in the tropics where the majority of thunderstorms develop. The places where lightning occurs most often are:

  1. Near the small village of Kifuka in the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. On average this region receives 158 lightning strikes per square kilometre a year
  2. Above the Catatumbo river, which feeds Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, Catatumbo lightning flashes several times per minute, 140 to 160 nights per year
  3. Singapore has one of the highest rates of lightning activity in the world. Lying near the Equator, the weather is hot and hummid almost all year round. Conditions are favourable for the development of lightning producing thunderstorm clouds. An average of 171 thunderstorm days are recorded annually in Singapore
  4. In the US, Central Florida sees more lightning than any other area. Florida has the highest annual flash rate with an average of 59 lightning bolts per square kilometre a year


These are only some of the locations where Project Hydra is applicable. And where its purpose can be used to its fullest potential. Right now we may be standing on the brink of the next big energy transition, or diversification. The international community recognizes hydrogen as a key component to a clean, sustainable energy system. This future hydrogen economy features hydrogen as an energy carrier in the stationary power, transportation, industrial, residential and commercial sectors. As technology matures, hydrogen will be produced mainly using clean technologies like electrolysis from renewable. It may be stored, transported by truck or pipeline, and used in a fuel cell, turbine or engine to generate an electric current with water as the principal by-product.

Contact Milos Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic, Milica Stankovic

Categories: Power Plant, Sustainable Design

One Response to “Hydra Skyscraper by Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic and Milica Stankovic”

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