Vincent Callebaut

Look mommy, it’s a farm in the sky…While some might start humming Pink Floyd, others don’t have that frame of reference, but you might at least consider that a skyscraper with a farm on it is a bit psychedelic. Usually, you would separate out high rises from farms, and you would be right for doing so, given that it’s an unusual sight. It’s 2014 and in walks in, Vincent Callebaut, a Belgian architect designer of a “farmescraper.”

132 stories high. To put that into perspective, the first building to ever be called a skyscraper was 10 stories high or 138 feet. Why did he design a futuristic high-rise farm? He considers that a gardening and living arrangement with a metropolitan design will lead to a “healthier, happier future” for the estimated six billion people who will live in urban areas by 2050. He took his gloominess about the future of cities due to the decrease of water, food, and energy sources and decided that he needed to fight the onset of disastrous living conditions.

He describes his new wave of urban farming:

“We need to invent new ways of living in the future. The city of tomorrow will be dense, green, and connected. The goal is to bring agriculture and nature back into the urban core so that by 2050 we have green, sustainable cities where humans live in balance with their environment. They [critics]made fun of me. They said I created a piece of science fiction.”

His concern for climate refugees didn’t just start. In June 2013, he unveiled a spiraling new cultural center for Taichung to celebrate literature and art alongside nature. It’s in the shape of a three-dimensional Möbius’ ring. A simple repetition of a standardized section turns eighty times clockwise by 4.5 degrees to make a full 360 degree revolution around a huge central patio called the Endless Patio.

The architecture is inspired by nature and is meant to grow harmoniously like a plant from the earth to the sky. It is located on the site of an old airport of Taichung city, Taiwan. The Swallow’s Nest cultural center contains basement moats between the floors. They protect against earthquakes. Glass overhangs protect against typhoons. Three vertical gardens climb up pillars in the Endless Patio. Interior galleries and reading rooms orient towards the vegetated Endless Patio or the surrounding city. It aspires to be a zero carbon emission structure.

Want another one of his cool designs? Dragonfly High-Rise Farm. And Swallows Nest.

Check out his design on water “Lilypad.”


Inquisitr, Inhabitat, Huffington Post, Arch Daily



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