Lush "eco district" showcases ambitious approach to sustainability
Vincent Callebaut Architectures (VCA) has revealed plans for a new "eco district" in Switzerland. As we've come to expect from the visionary Belgian architect, the project is defined by an ambitious approach to sustainable design, including a remarkable amount of greenery.
Named the Greenhouses, it would be situated next to Stefano Boeri Architetti's Cedar Trees Tower in the Lake Geneva area and would be dominated by four stepped high-rise towers. These, alongside smaller adjacent buildings would host a total of 480 homes, plus restaurants, grocery stores and more. The buildings would be prefabricated from locally and sustainably sourced cross-laminated timber (CLT) and would feature facades treated with the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method of charring wood to protect and preserve it.
The overall design is reminiscent of Callebaut's previous output, such as Archiboresence, with the buildings shaped by curved facades and generous balcony spaces. The landscaping would be extensive, both on the ground and the buildings themselves, including fruit trees, green roofs, water features, and plant-filled balconies. There would also be several greenhouses installed on the roofs of some of the buildings. According to VCA, all this would allow for the cultivation of large amounts of fruit and vegetables, offering a local source of food. It certainly looks like a pleasant place to live.
"The ambition is to create a peaceful eco-district – without cars on the surface – by creating a large urban park in the open ground dedicated solely to pedestrians and cyclists where it is good to live and have fun in the heart of lush nature," explained VCA.
The Greenhouses would feature rainwater collection systems and would also filter greywater from the kitchens and bathrooms of housing to use for toilets and irrigation.
The apartments would be naturally ventilated with chimneys using a stack effect to help cool the spaces. Additionally, solar panels would be used to reduce the project's overall draw on the grid and a geothermal system would provide hot water.
We've no word yet on when – or if – we can expect the Greenhouses to begin construction.