belgium-born and paris-based archibiotect vincent callebaut is in the research and development stages of a 3D printed oceanscraper called ‘AEQUOREA’. the futuristic underwater farm is situated at the the rio de janeiro shore and aims to find sustainable solutions to climate change by promoting sea life. the project proposes to recycle the ocean plastic pollution and to transform the floating garbage patches into building materials for the naval architecture and engineering. 

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
all images courtesy of vincent callebaut architecture




‘aequorea’ provides a sustainable housing to climate change refugees by creating a new water civilization. the complex is energy self-sufficient, recycles all waste, and fights ocean acidification. the structures continue to self-build through eco-friendly, natural calcification in the same way sea shells do — by fixing the calcium carbonate contained in water to form an external skeleton. 

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
aerial view of ipanema beach




each ‘aequorea’ village can welcome up to 20,000 aquanauts. their main access is on the water surface, through four marinas covered with a mangrove rooted on a floating dome 500 meters in diameter. modular living, co-working spaces, fab labs, recycling plants, science labs, educational hotels, sports fields, aquaponic farms and phyto-purification lagoons stack up layer by layer. the twisting of the towers is ultra-resistant to hydrostatic pressure. its geometry allows it to fight marine whirlpools and thus reduce motion sickness.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
‘aequorea’ in the south atlantic gyre




there’s no more need for coal, oil, gas or nuclear energy to get light, as it will be produced by bioluminescence thanks to symbiotic organisms that contain luciferin which emits light through oxidation. in order to produce drinking water and fresh water for aquaculture, the OTEC power plant uses the in-depth pressure to counteract the osmotic pressure, and to separate the water from the salt via a semipermeable membrane. as for food, algae, plankton, and mollusks will be grown, rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
the cleaning ships reference the klein bottle

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
floating dome for organic farming

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboompublic boating access below the floating mangrove

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboomorchard and observation deck 

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
floating food gardens and bio marina

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
the four eggs and the public amenities 

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
mangrove and cleaning klein bottles top view

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
scientific basis and engineering surfaces 



project info:


program: a multi-use oceanscraper printed in 3d from the seventh continent’s garbage
location: the 5 ocean gyres and rio de janeiro, brazil
housing surface area: 1.375.000 m²
dimensions: 500 meters width, 1000 meters depth, 250 floors (1/4 for permaculture and agroecology)
program: 10.000 housing (between 25 – 250m²), fab labs, offices, co-working spaces, workshops, scientific basis, sea farms, organic agriculture, community orchards and food gardens, phytopurification lagoons, coral gardens, etc.
building cost: 1950 euros/m²
status: research & development