vincent callebaut architectures: asian cairns, shenzhen, china
original content
mar 13, 2013
vincent callebaut architectures: asian cairns, shenzhen, china


‘asian cairns’ by vincent callebaut architectures, shenzen, china

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

belgian architectect vincent callebaut is renown for taking on issues of urbanity and reframing them within an ‘eco-vision.’ his recent project
‘asian cairns’ takes aim at recurring mass rural exodus and unrestrained urbanization by proposing sustainable ‘farmscrapers’ that produce more
energy than they consume via food production, wind harnessing and solar power. assuming that density is inversely related to energy consumption,
the towers in ‘asian cairns’ use biomorphism and bionics to make an architecture that becomes cultivable in the emerging chinese megalopolis of
the pearl river delta. comprised of hong kong and shenzhen, the burgeoning megacity is in a favorable position to house callebaut’s stacked, egg-like design;
itself informed by structure of cairns, a residual neolithic practice of piling stones into tall markers. these conical rock piles take on a new life as
megalithic modules that form six mixed-use towers serving to pile up housing, offices and leisure spaces. the buildings are the acme of three interlaced
eco-spirals, implanting biodiversity and density in an expanse of public orchards and urban agriculture fields. grey water from the pod-farms will be
harvested in basins and recycled using phyto-depuration, a combination of biological, physical and chemical means wherein pollutants are removed by
favoring the most efficient microbial and plant sedimentation, absorption and assimilation processes. the structural framework for each tower is a
central vertical boulevard, orthogonal in shape and optimized for composting and circulation. each ‘pebble’ attached to this spine is a microcosm of the
eco-city. steel rings delineate space around double decking and are enclosed by a glazed skin encrusted with a field of solar cells and a forest of
wind turbines. hanging gardens fill interstitial spaces and welcome a variety of urban farming programs. the architecture posits a solution to
the problem of exponential growth and large-scale consumption– that cities can be viable ecosystems with city blocks mimicking forests and
buildings emulating the efficiency of trees.

 

 

 

the towers in the delta context

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

each tower rises from a series of eco-spirals

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

the orchards and greenery are rampant

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

mimicking the prehistoric form of cairns, the ‘stacked’ pods make space

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

glazing, wind turbines and ample greenery enclose the double-decker pebble

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

habitable stones pile and create program

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

the project strives to be energy producing

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

fall views

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

the vertical boulevard is the backbone of the curved forms

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

the forms accommodate the possibilities for urban agriculture

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

reflections of the towers on each other

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

the pod’s structure and first deck

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

pods with building systems integration

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

pod envelope

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

glazing is bolstered by photovoltaic cells and axial wind turbines

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

site plan

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

plans of the 21 pebbles in the cairn

image © designboom

images courtesy of  vincent callebaut

 

 

sections of the towers

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

section detail of the ground level garage space

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

section of common areas / swimming pool

images © vincent callebaut architectures

 

 

section of concert hall

images © vincent callebaut architectures

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