Some time ago, I came across the artwork of the Italian artist Annibale Sicionolfi, and I am quite drawn to them, especially on how ecology and architecture are tied together. Art gallery in this link.

The artwork is supposedly set in the future, but what point--or points--of departure would I need to make all of this the architecture of 2022 instead?

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    $\begingroup$ The art gallery has many pictures, ranging from ordinary and undistinguished to outright physically impossible hallucinations. Could you describe in words what are you looking for in a great city? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 29, 2022 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I already have. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2022 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Does this architecture have to be the only type seen in major cities, Brasilia-style? It's much more usual to see a variety of architecture across a city, as buildings last longer than trends. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Dec 2, 2022 at 4:07

3 Answers 3



mile high


This is the year Frank Lloyd Wright proposes his Mile High skyscraper. In the new timeline that leads to the desired gargantuan buildings, people do not wuss out. They build the Mile High and then the party starts. Everyone needs their own Mile High. It is only a matter of time before other upstart cities, seeking to distinguish themselves, build comparably huge structures including the Super Fat Thing, the Building with Hole, and the Banyan Pit among others. Competition between buildings supplants war and sports as modes of competition and taxpayers gleefully line up to fund bizarrely impractical but groin-numbingly awesome Sicionolfiesque structures.

Then, like the tulip craze, it is over. People build practical smaller buildings. Time passes, and weeds grow on the great towers. Some of them are weed trees. The citizenry stare at the decaying hulks and wonder, groins unnumbed, at the crazy urges of their ancestors.

People still dig Lava Waterfountain building, though, and always will.


"How and where to start seeding the necessary conditions that will allow Annibale Siconolfi's cities to develop by 2022," is what you seem to me to be asking. And are you expecting to build these on Earth?

The ecologically-positive "look" of most of these city scapes portrayed seems deceiving. While they feature a lot greenery, so did the hanging gardens of Babylon, home to an early despot, Nebuchadnezzar

You would need an authoritarian dictatorship starting well before 1950. There were several then, that had conditions allowed them to continue, would've been well-placed to continue with their grand building programs. But you can go back as far as the Egyptians 4000+/- BC who had their nation-wide system to build the pyramids involving a lot of forced labor and untold riches in the hands of the ruler class.

The Siconolfi cities look like they need more materials to build than most countries can legally acquire. You'd need more wars and more colonial take-overs. Taxes sky-high and poorly-paid labor, as AI and robotics have only barely got started right now. Getting materials from off-planet, say the Moon, wouldn't be economically feasable.

Even if you begin the industrial revolution 500 years earlier, the pollution levels would've brought on climate change with its weather extremes earlier. As it is, in tropical climates where cyclones are common, with the technology of today, buildings are limited to ten floors above ground.

  • $\begingroup$ I've voted to close this question since, as AlexP has pointed out, Sicionolfi's drawings range from the "already existing" to the Escher mirages, but this answer looks as if you were looking to a completely different artist. The pictures I've seen in the gallery don't look like if they needed any special material, much less conquering a country or even the solar system in order to acquire them. Some of them look highly impractical and they would be highly expensive to build, but not that much over a big skyscrapper or football stadium. $\endgroup$
    – Rekesoft
    Nov 29, 2022 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ The question could've been worded better but being a newbie, it seemed cheeky for me to edit it. To me, the question is not about whether or not landscape-sized projects can be achieved in this day and age. @JohnWDailey hasn't clarified, but he seemed to me to be asking when in our history builders of these tremendous structures would've had to have begun to be able to have them operating by 2022. The only modern example is Dubai, not built in by a democracy with cheap labor from Bangladesh and Pakistan using big oil for finance. Should John clarify, the discussion can continue IMO. $\endgroup$
    – MocBird
    Nov 30, 2022 at 3:58

It is already architecture of 2022, there are several examples of building embedding trees in their structure.

To remain in Italy, the famous Bosco Verticale is one of the them

enter image description here

Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a pair of residential towers in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy, between Via Gaetano de Castillia and Via Federico Confalonieri near Milano Porta Garibaldi railway station. They have a height of 111 metres (364 ft) and 76 metres (249 ft) and contain more than 900 trees (approximately 550 and 350 in the first and second towers, respectively) on 8,900 square metres (96,000 sq ft) of terraces. Within the complex is an 11-storey office building; its facade does not include plants.

The towers were designed by Boeri Studio (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra). It also involved input from horticulturalists and botanists.

The building was inaugurated in October 2014

  • $\begingroup$ Too small and not bearing any resemblance to Annibale's cityscapes. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2022 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnWDailey this is why you need to describe what you are looking for as per AlexP's comment. In my opinion this doesn't at all match many of the images, while the two towers are a very good match for some of the images putting aside two towers do not make a city. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2022 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, the pictures in the link should be clear enough. $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2022 at 2:37

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