Architecture

Over 30,000 plants, shrubs and trees would grow from 377-ft timber tower

Over 30,000 plants, shrubs and...
The Rainbow Tree would rise to a height of 115 m (377 ft)
The Rainbow Tree would rise to a height of 115 m (377 ft)
View 11 Images
The Rainbow Tree would rise to a height of 115 m (377 ft)
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The Rainbow Tree would rise to a height of 115 m (377 ft)
The Rainbow Tree would be constructed from a total of 1,200 prefabricated CLT (cross-laminated timber) modules
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The Rainbow Tree would be constructed from a total of 1,200 prefabricated CLT (cross-laminated timber) modules
The Rainbow Tree would be covered in over 30,000 plants, shrubs, and tropical trees
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The Rainbow Tree would be covered in over 30,000 plants, shrubs, and tropical trees
The Rainbow Tree would be defined by its sculpted balconies
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The Rainbow Tree would be defined by its sculpted balconies
The Rainbow Tree's balconies would integrate planters to host the greenery
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The Rainbow Tree's balconies would integrate planters to host the greenery
The Rainbow Tree would feature a Shou Sugi Ban-treated wood exterior
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The Rainbow Tree would feature a Shou Sugi Ban-treated wood exterior
The Rainbow Tree is envisioned for Cebu, the Philippines
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The Rainbow Tree is envisioned for Cebu, the Philippines
The Rainbow Tree would include 32 floors
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The Rainbow Tree would include 32 floors
The Rainbow Tree would include a pool and spa on the 7th and 8th floors
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The Rainbow Tree would include a pool and spa on the 7th and 8th floors
The Rainbow Tree would include 300 residential units
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The Rainbow Tree would include 300 residential units
The Rainbow Tree's interior would include significant greenery and water features
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The Rainbow Tree's interior would include significant greenery and water features
View gallery - 11 images

Assuming the recently unveiled Rainbow Tree by Vincent Callebaut Architectures is actually built, the greenery-covered timber tower will rise to an impressive height of 115 m (377 ft) in Cebu, Philippines. The project will also feature significant sustainable design, including solar panels and wind turbines.

According to Vincent Callebaut Architects, the Rainbow Tree will be built from a total of 1,200 prefabricated CLT (cross-laminated timber) modules. The firm makes no mention of a concrete core, so assuming there isn’t one, it would smash the current all-timber tower record of 81 m (265 ft) held by Mjøstårnet, in Norway.

The Rainbow Tree
The Rainbow Tree

The tower’s design will be defined by its sculpted wooden balconies, which will integrate planters to hold a total of over 30,000 plants, shrubs, and tropical trees. Shou Sugi Ban-treated wood is planned for the cladding, which is the traditional Japanese technique of charring the wood to protect it from insects, as well as offering improved durability and a distinctive appearance.

Its interior will include 32 floors. This will be divided into a restaurant and co-working spaces on the lower floors, with offices a little further up. On the 7th and 8th floors a pool and spa are planned, while the rest of the available space is envisioned as residential units, which will have between one and three bedrooms. The rooftop will host an urban farm for growing vegetables.

The Rainbow Tree would include 300 residential units
The Rainbow Tree would include 300 residential units

In addition to the veggies, a solar panel array and multiple wind turbines will be installed on the roof and provide power to the building. The design will also focus on passive cooling and limiting solar heat gain and is envisioned to receive both the LEED Gold and local BERDE 4 Stars green building standards.

We’ve no official word on whether the Rainbow Tree will actually be built, though local newspaper SunStar reports that it is indeed going ahead.

Source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

View gallery - 11 images
6 comments
sadfacejack
Might want to scrap the wind turbines, unless they want to continually kill the birds who will be attracted to the flora.
piperTom
Those few, tiny wind mills in the drawing are not give much power to the extended living space below. Likewise for the invisible solar collectors. As to all those plants... they will need to be tended. I predict that will go well for five years, so-so for another ten, and then decay into an ugly brown mess. It's called "sustainable" ? That ignores the need to actually sustain it.
CarolynFarstrider
This looks amazing, but I can't help wondering what happens in a major storm when trees start being ripped out and fall from the sky. More consideration is also needed for all the elements of sustainability too - power and water supplies (not least for the watering of the plants, where the amount of pumping and volume of water required will be huge).
Michael_l
How do you tent a 115m building to get rid of the termites?? Unlike Norway, the Philippines do have termites.
Worzel
The amount of water, nutrients, and TLC to sustain all those plants will be enormous. Also the drain off from the containers, will stain and damage the building, unless it too is washed away. So, I question the term ''sustainable'' when applied to this building. I also question the necessity, as the Philippines are tropical there's no difficulty growing anything there on the ground, loads of it. As to the farm on the roof, that might just get washed away in the first monsoon season. To me, this would appear to be just another architects fantasy in the sky.
Eric Blenheim
I trust the wood will be treated to make it fireproof, but how can they fireproof trees and bushes? With a mere electrical fault, the whole thing would go up like the tragic insulation-clad Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill in London in 2017.
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