Vincent Callebaut imagines a sustainable Paris

50 pictures

Vincent Callebaut's vision of a sustainable Paris (Image: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

View gallery - 50 images

One can usually count on Vincent Callebaut to produce thought-provoking renders that depict futuristic sustainable architecture, and the Belgian architectural firm certainly doesn't disappoint with this vision of a smart and sustainable Paris. The recent proposal, titled 2050 Paris Smart City, envisions remaking the City of Light into a veritable City of Green.

The ambitious proposal was commissioned by Paris City Hall in relation to a plan to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent by 2050. It also involved input from engineering firm Setec Bâtiment. Though we're still awaiting clarification from Vincent Callebaut Architectures, we'll go out on a limb and guess that it's not going to be built in its current form any time soon.

2050 Paris Smart City is reminiscent of Callebaut's past works (albeit on a larger scale), and comprises eight major parts, each dominating a significant portion of the city and boasting high-tech sustainable design and greenery. The first, dubbed Mountain Towers, is massive and features 15 separate mixed-use residential towers placed atop the rooftops of existing buildings on Paris' famous Rue De Rivoli.

Each of the 15 towers sports two large photovoltaic and thermal solar shields on its facade, the shape of which are inspired by dragonfly wings, and they would both produce electricity and heat water during the day. Meanwhile, at night, a "reversible hydro-electrical pumped storage station will let an urban cascade flow out from the top of the tower between to basins of rainwater retention tanks located at different levels," says the firm. We're not sure what this means exactly, but it sounds suitably futuristic and vaguely environmentally-friendly.

Other notable elements of the proposal include a number of large bamboo towers which support vegetable gardens, a pair of jellyfish-inspired bridges with integrated residential towers and wind turbines, and a "vertical park" that features algae bioreactors. According to Vincent Callebaut Architectures, the eight main sections of the proposal would produce large amounts of renewable energy for the city and increase viable living space.

While this proposal is unlikely to leave the drawing board, it's perhaps best considered as food-for-thought with regard to the kind of radical changes that cities may eventually need to consider if they are to become sustainable on a large scale.

View gallery - 50 images

Top stories

Recommended for you

Latest in Architecture

Editors Choice