Vincent Callebaut unveils eco-friendly wooden towers project

Callebaut

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut continues to push the boundaries of design with his latest project – a cluster of connected wooden towers which form a “vertical village”.

A site close to New Delhi, India, has been marked out for the development which features wind and solar power, along with greywater recycling

The architect calls for small farms with livestock to be integrated into the buildings.

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The project is called Hyperions and follows Callebaut’s usual design language, with its curving form recognisable to anyone familiar with the architect’s previous output.

Named after the world’s tallest living tree, a Californian coast redwood, the project comprises six mixed-use towers of 36 floors.

Callebaut says the towers will feature extensive greenery and will enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, on façades, rooftops, and in specialised greenhouses. The design also calls for fish to be bred, and their waste used as fertiliser, in addition to small farms with livestock within the towers.

The interior is taken up by apartments of varying size, student housing, social areas, and office spaces. Furniture will be made from natural and recycled materials, and a network of sky-high suspended bridges will enable residents to move between towers.

Though due to be primarily constructed from wood, harvested from a Delhi forest, the cluster of towers will also feature concrete and steel reinforcements, including the foundations.

The sustainable tech and design destined for Hyperions is considerable and complex. Some of the most notable features include electricity-generating wind turbines and solar panels, which are affixed to the towers’ façades, and the capture and re-use of rainwater and greywater.

Callebaut said the project aims to “reconcile urban renaturation and small-scale farming with environment protection and biodiversity,” and combines low-tech and high-tech elements with the “objective of energy decentralisation and food deindustrialisation.”

Wood was chosen as the project’s base “because it is the material that provides the best environmental footprint during its lifecycle—from harvesting to recycling, through transportation, processing, implementation, maintenance, and reuse.”

Operational energy— for lighting, climate control and water heating —is produced on-site, through wind lampposts that produce their own electricity through magnetic-levitation vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) integrated into their poles.

Climate control throughout the buildings mimics that of a termite mound through vertical circulation cores of wind chimneys.

The architect said: “The system takes advantage of the earth’s thermal inertia, which remains stable at 18 degrees celsius all year round. Through natural airflow, the external air—which can reach 45 degrees celsius and fall to three degrees celsius in the winter—is therefore naturally cooled or heated in contact with the earth, and so without using a single kilowatt of electricity.”

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