Architecture

Imagining the impossible: The futuristic designs of Vincent Callebaut

Imagining the impossible: The ...
New Atlas takes a look at Vincent Callebaut's most interesting architectural designs 
New Atlas takes a look at Vincent Callebaut's most interesting architectural designs 
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The Five Farming Bridges proposal envisions rebuilding five major bridges destroyed in Mosul during the recent fighting with ISIS
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The Five Farming Bridges proposal envisions rebuilding five major bridges destroyed in Mosul during the recent fighting with ISIS
The Five Farming Bridges proposal imagines the bridges becoming new residential districts
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The Five Farming Bridges proposal imagines the bridges becoming new residential districts
The Five Farming Bridges would make use of rubble as building material, with hovering drones and spider-like robots doing the heavy lifting
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The Five Farming Bridges would make use of rubble as building material, with hovering drones and spider-like robots doing the heavy lifting
As its name indicates, the Manta Ray envisions a huge manta ray-shaped ferry terminal
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As its name indicates, the Manta Ray envisions a huge manta ray-shaped ferry terminal
Manta Ray would be located in Seoul, South Korea, and would float in place to deal with seasonal flooding
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Manta Ray would be located in Seoul, South Korea, and would float in place to deal with seasonal flooding
Manta Ray's sustainable energy technology would produce so much electricity it would allow the ferry terminal to power itself and provide a surplus to send to Seoul
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Manta Ray's sustainable energy technology would produce so much electricity it would allow the ferry terminal to power itself and provide a surplus to send to Seoul
2050 Paris Smart City was created as part of a competition seeking ideas to turn the City of Light into a City of Green
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2050 Paris Smart City was created as part of a competition seeking ideas to turn the City of Light into a City of Green
2050 Paris Smart City envisions placing 15 residential towers atop the rooftops of existing buildings on the city's famous Rue De Rivoli
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2050 Paris Smart City envisions placing 15 residential towers atop the rooftops of existing buildings on the city's famous Rue De Rivoli
New Atlas takes a look at Vincent Callebaut's most interesting architectural designs 
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New Atlas takes a look at Vincent Callebaut's most interesting architectural designs 
Nautilus Eco-Resort is a posh paradise imagined for the Philippines that would be arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence
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Nautilus Eco-Resort is a posh paradise imagined for the Philippines that would be arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence
The Nautilus Eco-Resort would include a dozen spiral towers that would host tourists and rotate to follow the sun
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The Nautilus Eco-Resort would include a dozen spiral towers that would host tourists and rotate to follow the sun
The Nautilus Eco-Resort's center would be taken up by a large timber building covered with vegetable gardens and orchards that hosts leisure activities inside
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The Nautilus Eco-Resort's center would be taken up by a large timber building covered with vegetable gardens and orchards that hosts leisure activities inside
The Tour & Taxis proposal calls for the transformation of a former industrial area in Brussels into a thriving sustainable community
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The Tour & Taxis proposal calls for the transformation of a former industrial area in Brussels into a thriving sustainable community
Tour & Taxis would feature three ski jump-shaped high-rises that would be topped by solar panels and covered in greenery
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Tour & Taxis would feature three ski jump-shaped high-rises that would be topped by solar panels and covered in greenery
Tour & Taxis would also include wind turbines, natural ventilation, and rainwater harvesting tech
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Tour & Taxis would also include wind turbines, natural ventilation, and rainwater harvesting tech
Hyperions consists of a cluster of connected timber towers in New Delhi, India
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Hyperions consists of a cluster of connected timber towers in New Delhi, India
Hyperions consists is named after the world's tallest living tree and will feature extensive greenery and enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, as well as the facades, the rooftops, and in specialized greenhouses
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Hyperions consists is named after the world's tallest living tree and will feature extensive greenery and enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, as well as the facades, the rooftops, and in specialized greenhouses
Hyperions is due to be completed by 2022
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Hyperions is due to be completed by 2022
Taipei's Agora Garden Tower takes a twisting form inspired by DNA's double helix shape
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Taipei's Agora Garden Tower takes a twisting form inspired by DNA's double helix shape
The Agora Garden Tower twists 4.5 degrees each floor, to a total of 90 degrees
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The Agora Garden Tower twists 4.5 degrees each floor, to a total of 90 degrees
Once completed, the Agora Garden Tower will feature 23,000 trees, as well as a rainwater capture system and solar power
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Once completed, the Agora Garden Tower will feature 23,000 trees, as well as a rainwater capture system and solar power
View gallery - 21 images

Sometimes outlandish, often fantastical, but always compelling, Vincent Callebaut's projects range from realizable ideas like towers covered in greenery to conceptual works depicting a near-future in which architecture, technology, and nature are blended to make cities a more pleasant – and sustainable – place to live.

The Belgian architect heads his firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures in Paris, France. Over the years he has developed a recognizable design language that draws inspiration from nature and makes liberal use of honeycomb patterns and complex geometry. He seems poised for greater prominence now though, as at least two of his projects are due to be built in the next few years.

Let's take a look at some of his most interesting designs.

5 Farming Bridges

The Five Farming Bridges would make use of rubble as building material, with hovering drones and spider-like robots doing the heavy lifting
The Five Farming Bridges would make use of rubble as building material, with hovering drones and spider-like robots doing the heavy lifting

Now that the so-called Islamic State has been expelled from Mosul, Iraq, the reconstruction of the city can begin. The 5 Farming Bridges proposal involves rebuilding a like number of bridges destroyed during the fighting and using them as residential units and urban farms. Existing rubble would be used as building material, with flying drones and spider-like robots doing the actual construction.

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Manta Ray

As its name indicates, the Manta Ray envisions a huge manta ray-shaped ferry terminal
As its name indicates, the Manta Ray envisions a huge manta ray-shaped ferry terminal

The Manta Ray proposal envisions a manta ray-shaped ferry terminal in Seoul, South Korea. The remarkable-looking building would float in place to deal with seasonal flooding and sport a huge roof covered with a solar power array, along with a wind turbine farm. Biodegradable waste and high-tech water turbines would transform the river's kinetic energy into power too – all of which would allow the ferry terminal to power itself and send a surplus to Seoul.

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2050 Paris Smart City

2050 Paris Smart City envisions placing 15 residential towers atop the rooftops of existing buildings on the city's famous Rue De Rivoli
2050 Paris Smart City envisions placing 15 residential towers atop the rooftops of existing buildings on the city's famous Rue De Rivoli

Created for a competition seeking ideas to turn the City of Light into a City of Green in the coming decades, 2050 Paris Smart City calls for 15 new sustainable towers to be built on the rooftops of existing buildings on the city's famous Rue De Rivoli. The towers would feature residential units and sport dragonfly-shaped solar panels on their facade, providing all required electricity for the project.

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Nautilus Eco-Resort

Nautilus Eco-Resort is a posh paradise imagined for the Philippines that would be arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence
Nautilus Eco-Resort is a posh paradise imagined for the Philippines that would be arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence

The Nautilus Eco-Resort is a paradise imagined for the Philippines that would allow well-heeled tourists to vacation without polluting the planet (excepting on the flight there, presumably). The whole thing would be arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence and include a dozen spiral hotel towers that rotate to follow the sun. Nearby, a like number of sea snail-shaped buildings would include exhibition spaces and hotels, while at its center would be a large timber building covered with vegetable gardens and orchards.

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Tour & Taxis

The Tour & Taxis proposal calls for the transformation of a former industrial area in Brussels into a thriving sustainable community
The Tour & Taxis proposal calls for the transformation of a former industrial area in Brussels into a thriving sustainable community

Callebaut's Tour & Taxis sees the Belgian architect propose a return to his home country to transform a former industrial area in Brussels into a vibrant sustainable community. The area would comprise three ski jump-shaped high-rises that would be topped by solar panels and covered in greenery. Other notable elements include wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, and the production of fruit and vegetables.

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Hyperions

Hyperions consists is named after the world's tallest living tree and will feature extensive greenery and enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, as well as the facades, the rooftops, and in specialized greenhouses
Hyperions consists is named after the world's tallest living tree and will feature extensive greenery and enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, as well as the facades, the rooftops, and in specialized greenhouses

Hyperions consists of a cluster of connected timber towers in New Delhi, India, that are named after, and take design cues from, the world's tallest living tree. It will boast extensive greenery and enable occupants to grow their own vegetables on balconies, as well as the facades, the rooftops, and in specialized greenhouses. The interior is taken up by apartments, student housing, and office space, and it will all be powered by solar panels. According to Callebaut, this one is going to be built and is due to be completed by 2022.

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Agora Garden Tower

Once completed, the Agora Garden Tower will feature 23,000 trees, as well as a rainwater capture system and solar power
Once completed, the Agora Garden Tower will feature 23,000 trees, as well as a rainwater capture system and solar power

It can be difficult to imagine how exactly all these renders would translate into brick and mortar buildings, but Taipei's Agora Garden Tower shows the way. Sporting a twisting form inspired by DNA's double helix shape, the building twists 4.5 degrees each floor, turning a total of 90 degrees in all. Once completed, it'll feature 23,000 trees, as well as a rainwater capture system and solar power.

Read more

View gallery - 21 images
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