This insane skyscraper will be hung off an asteroid and dangled over New York City

Emma Haslett
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Its designers want the Analemma Tower to be suspended above New York City (Source: Clouds AO)

Here's one way to get around pesky planning restrictions: build a tower so out-of-this world, it doesn't touch the ground.

New York-based architect Clouds AO (which has also designed an ice home on Mars and a "cloud" of inflatable homes) has pitched an idea for a skyscraper so tall, it would be suspended from an asteroid and dangled above the Earth.

The idea behind the Analemma Tower, as its designer dubbed it, is that an asteroid is put into geosynchronous orbit 31,000 miles above the earth, then a massive cable is suspended from it, with the tower constructed around it.

The upside? Because the tower doesn't have earthly foundations, it can be constructed in Dubai (where building costs are cheap), then moved to its final location above New York.

And so its inhabitants don't get bored, it can even be put into a figure of eight-shaped orbit which takes in Florida, parts of Peru and even Cuba, getting them back home to Manhattan by lunchtime.

Those living in it will sleep two-thirds of the way up, at about 26,000 feet, work near the bottom and perform "devotional activities" near the top, at 52,000 feet. Unfortunately, they'll need to wait for a mountain to come along before they can get off.

There's another drawback: its inhabitants might not make it through a day.

"While researching atmospheric conditions for this project, we realised that there is probably a tangible height limit beyond which people would not tolerate living due to the extreme conditions," admitted Clouds AO.

"For example, while there may be a benefit to having 45 extra minutes of daylight at an elevation of 32,000 metres (105,000 feet), the near vacuum and -40C temperature would prevent people from going outside without a protective suit.

"Then again, astronauts have continually occupied the space station for decades, so perhaps it’s not so bad?" it added, hopefully. Perhaps....

How the Analemma Tower will work