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Could this futuristic building house an entire city?

By James Frater, CNN
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
  • Beijing-based firm SURE Architecture has proposed a skyscraper mirroring a city infrastructure
  • The 300-meter high building is made up of floors of apartments, offices, shops and even parks
  • At the heart of the tower, running from the bottom to the top are two "streets"
  • The proposal has been suggested for London, although it is still in its early stages

(CNN) -- Ambitious plans for a "city in the city" skyscraper that could house apartments, offices, shops and parks have been revealed.

The award-winning proposal "Endless City" drawn up by Beijing based firm SURE Architecture could see a tower of up to 300 meters being built in London.

"We tried to design a city rather than a high rise building," SURE Architecture's global director and chief architect Kam Fai Tai told CNN.

"Endless City" by Beijing-based firm SURE Architecture is a skyscraper mirroring a city infrastructure.
"Endless City" by Beijing-based firm SURE Architecture is a skyscraper mirroring a city infrastructure.
A city in the city
Sky is no limit for skyskraper cities Sky is no limit for skyskraper cities

The proposed tower, which won the SuperSkyScrapers Award 2014, has two continuous ramps or "streets" running the entire length of the building, lined with shops, apartments, parks and museums.

Designed to replicate a DNA structure, designers hope the tower will "increase exchanges, communications and interactions" and offer views across London.

They also hope to create eye-catching internal vistas by including a series of plazas with "individual character" throughout the tower.

Inside the tower, "there is no can walk in the same way you can walk around a city," SURE's Alina Valcarce said.

The ramps are designed to widen near the top of the building, enabling natural light and ventilation to filter down and save on energy costs. It is also structured to collect and recycle rain water.

The building would be supported by six steel tubes, hiding the building's electrical wiring and plumbing.

According to the plan, the tower could rise as high as London's tallest tower, The Shard, or New York's Chrysler Building.

The architects have identified a site for the proposal, but are yet to start any application process.

Tai hopes the project will encourage people to think about vertical designs that would, in the future, bring the feeling of a city inside a building.

"'Endless' is also about continuity between the pattern, the street level and the building. Right now, buildings have a big distinction between street level and the space inside the building," Valcarce said.

Read more: Introducing the world's next tallest building -- which also cleans the air
Read more: Revealing the stories behind famous stone faces

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Nina dos Santos is a news anchor and correspondent based in London. She is the host of CNN International's show The Business View.
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