Nucleus_The modular city



Name: Ilirjana Stambolliu

Nationality: Albanian

Institution / Company: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Name: Ana Hoxhaj 

Nationality: Albanian

Institution / Company: Atelier 4


-HONOURABLE MENTION of Post-Nuclear Power Plant Competition


With the repopulation of the area, Nucleus, the modular city, expands and shifts spontaneously depending on the needs of the inhabitants. Designed to face frequent and unpredictable threats such as earthquakes and tsunamis along the shoreline, it is built above ground with strong columns, providing security from flooding while protecting the environment and biodiversity of the area. After recovering from the tragic disaster, Nucleus lures nature back to its own habitat while maintaining minimal contact with the ground.

It is a self-sufficient city with its own rainwater harvesting system, solar glass windows, and greenhouses, which also benefit from the daily movements of the community. Public spaces are paved with piezoelectric tiles that transform kinetic movement into energy. The energy collected during the day from basic activities such as going to work, school gatherings, running, and other community activities serves to create energy that is used in communal areas.

Piezoelectric tiles are even used between houses. Combined with an elastic polymer membrane placed between two tiles, the system serves as a pre-cushion during an earthquake while harvesting the seismic energy. When buildings start to shake, energy transforms from the structure to PZT tiles, generating energy that is later used for housing needs. The cushion membrane between tiles prevents metal-to-metal contact by elastically softening any impact and, as a result, also structure-to-structure impact.


#Cinetic energy #seizmic energy harvesting #solar energy #self-suficient city #smart city


Jury Comments

– Martin Ehn Hillberg

A visionary proposal that uses upscaled new energy technologies. The city’s development is fully adapted to future natural disasters and spontaneous growth based on people’s needs. Powerful and monochronic illustration describes a secure life in direct proximity to the security of the Nucleus.


– Arina Agieieva

I appreciate this work for its elegant and holistic architectural concept. The Nucleus modular city is a promising development in terms of its sustainability and resilience features. Its design and infrastructure are focused on addressing the challenges posed by natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, while also promoting a green and self-sufficient lifestyle.

One notable aspect of the city is its adaptability to the changing needs of its inhabitants. With its ability to expand and shift spontaneously, the city can accommodate the growing population without compromising its ecological integrity. The use of a seismic cushion and exoskeleton to elevate the city above ground provides protection against flooding and earthquakes while minimizing the impact on the environment.

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