Architecture

Ultra-green complex in Cairo features a host of energy technologies

Ultra-green complex in Cairo f...
The planned Gate Residence will feature a host of energy-saving and generating technologies
The planned Gate Residence will feature a host of energy-saving and generating technologies
View 39 Images
The planned Gate Residence will feature a host of energy-saving and generating technologies
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The planned Gate Residence will feature a host of energy-saving and generating technologies
The site of the Gate Residence
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The site of the Gate Residence
A plan of the Gate Residence
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A plan of the Gate Residence
The solar canopy of the Gate Residence
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The solar canopy of the Gate Residence
The structural concept of the Gate Residence's solar canopy
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The structural concept of the Gate Residence's solar canopy
A aerial view of the Gate Residence
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A aerial view of the Gate Residence
An aerial view of the Gate Residence
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An aerial view of the Gate Residence
A view of the Gate Residence from a side street
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A view of the Gate Residence from a side street
A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
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A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
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A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
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A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
A view of the Gate Residence from a side street
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A view of the Gate Residence from a side street
An axonometric view of the Gate Residence
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An axonometric view of the Gate Residence
An axonometric view of the Gate Residence
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An axonometric view of the Gate Residence
A roof plan of the Gate Residence
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A roof plan of the Gate Residence
An 8th floor plan of the Gate Residence
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An 8th floor plan of the Gate Residence
A 3rd floor plan of the Gate Residence
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A 3rd floor plan of the Gate Residence
A 1st floor plan of the Gate Residence
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A 1st floor plan of the Gate Residence
A ground-floor plan of the Gate Residence
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A ground-floor plan of the Gate Residence
A parking plan of the Gate Residence
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A parking plan of the Gate Residence
Floor plans for the Gate Residence
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Floor plans for the Gate Residence
An elevation view of the Gate Residence
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An elevation view of the Gate Residence
An elevation view of the Gate Residence
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An elevation view of the Gate Residence
A façade typology diagram of the Gate Residence
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A façade typology diagram of the Gate Residence
A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
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A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
A cross section of the Gate Residence
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A cross section of the Gate Residence
A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
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A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
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A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
A cross section of the Gate Residence
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A cross section of the Gate Residence
A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
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A longitudinal section view of the Gate Residence
A cross section of the Gate Residence
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A cross section of the Gate Residence
An explanation of the Gate Residence's windcatchers
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's windcatchers
An explanation of the Gate Residence's passive geothermal cooling system
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's passive geothermal cooling system
An explanation of the Gate Residence's solar generation
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's solar generation
An explanation of the Gate Residence's solar water heating
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's solar water heating
An explanation of the Gate Residence's vertical axis wind turbines
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's vertical axis wind turbines
A diagram of the vertical axis turbines that will be used at the Gate Residence
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A diagram of the vertical axis turbines that will be used at the Gate Residence
An explanation of the Gate Residence's rooftop garden
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's rooftop garden
An explanation of the Gate Residence's green walls
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An explanation of the Gate Residence's green walls
View gallery - 39 images

Plenty of new buildings are now being built with technologies to help minimize environmental impact. Few, however, do so to the extent that Cairo, Egypt's, upcoming Gate Residence will. The complex will feature windcatchers, geothermal cooling, solar panels, solar heater tubes and wind turbines.

Much previous work by Vincent Callebaut Architectures (VCA), which has designed the Gate Residence, has also focused on environmental sustainability. Its Dragonfly concept proposed a vertical farm for New York, whilst the Agora Garden "self-sufficient building" is under construction in Taipei, China. The Gate Residence uses many of the same technologies with which the Dragonfly and Agora Garden were designed, but to a greater extent.

The Gate Residence is a mixed-use complex that features commercial, retail and residential spaces. A total of 1,000 apartment are spread across nine levels. VCA explains that its main objective is to raise awareness of green sustainable architecture. It is said to have been designed with bioclimatic rules in mind, such as the solar cycle, prevailing wind directions and endemic plant species. VCA also says that the project combines Passivhaus principles with renewable energy technologies to reduce energy usage by 50 percent.

A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street
A view of the Gate Residence from Nozha Street

Amongst the technologies used are windcatchers, not to be confused with wind turbines that also feature. The windcatchers are used to direct external airflow into the building's passive cooling system. The building is designed to regulate its temperature in another passive way too, using the surrounding natural environment. Air is passed through pipes buried in the ground before it enters the cooling system, helping to cool the house in the summer and heat it in the winter.

Water used in the house is heated to some extent using solar power. Water is collected in glass-metal tubes on the roof that are exposed to the sunlight and help to warm the water. Also installed on the roof and above other parts of the building are photovoltaic panels. These will, of course, be used to generate electricity for use in the building. Vertical axis wind turbines will additionally be employed to generate electricity.

An axonometric view of the Gate Residence
An axonometric view of the Gate Residence

In addition to the various energy-saving and generating technologies, the Gate Residence will feature a rooftop garden for growing fresh produce, and that will also serve as a place to exercise and bring residents together. Green walls, meanwhile, will help to keep the internal temperature of the building down, as well as being an aesthetic feature. Residents will be provided with a variety of home automation options to keep energy usage to a minimum. Lighting, temperature and ventilation will all be controllable.

Construction of the Gate Residence is due to start in March next year, with its completion due in 2019.

Source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

View gallery - 39 images
4 comments
John Banister
These drawings look very pretty, but I've seen video from Cairo. I don't think this project will get finished in anything like the anticipated time frame.
Matt Fletcher
I like this concept but I think with the blanket of vegetation, solar panels and support structure in place I believe very little light would be seen from the inhabitants. Notice no renderings of the views from within.
Thomas Roberts
+1 Matt. My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't want to live there.
Alien
I think this shows that great architecture need not be 800m high. The design is well suited to the climate in Cairo and will provide shade for many of the residents while still capturing plenty of natural light.
Perhaps the greatest risk could come from any future failure to maintain the green element with adequate watering while avoiding overgrowth that could block out light.
This is innovative and imaginative and I should like to see it when completed.