Saturday, 22 March 2014

China's Futuristic Farmscrapers

Architects are often turned to when people search for a potential answer to our future cities and lifestyle. People like Leonardo da Vinci, Buckminster Fuller, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright had all attempted to paint a picture of what our future might look like on their canvases.
Usually grand scheme are conceptualized whenever there is an undeerlying social problems that are waiting to be resolved. Shenzhen in China is one such city that is currently plagued by over crowded population, increasing pollution and chaotic uncontrolled development.
Asian Cairns, a masterplan featuring sustainable ‘farmscrapers’ or horticultural towers is the solution from Belgian-born, Paris-based architect Vincent Callebaut which he believes would solve all these issues. His concept is nothing new which is basically to incorporate sustainable design strategy into a highly sophisticated high tech building. 
Callebaut and his team are famous for their fancy building design such as their scheme for 1000 passive houses in Haiti and a twisting tower block for Taipei, Agora Garden.
Their proposed towers for Shenzhen has drawn inspiration for its design from cairns, those small piles of stones hikers like to make to mark their mountain trails. Each ‘pebble’ like module is constructed of steel rings and represents an ‘eco quarter’ with hanging gardens. These quarters are held in place by the building’s central spinal column. A conventional-looking block peaks out of each tower’s summit to house the planned apartments and offices. Wind turbines perched on the pebbles’ ledges to generate power for the building to be self sustainable.
Perhaps the architect's idealistic intention is best described through his words: “The Asian Cairns project synthesises our architectural philosophy that transforms cities into ecosystems, quarters into forests and buildings into mature trees, changing thus each constraint into opportunity and each waste into renewable natural resources!”
As I mentioned before, the concept is nothing new but its form is mind boggling and thought provoking if even just one of these towers is managed to be constructed in the near future.

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