Architecture

Energy-harvesting "spacecraft" tops Belgian apartment block concept

Energy-harvesting "spacecraft"...
The Bloom project is currently in the design phase
The Bloom project is currently in the design phase
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Belgian sustainable architecture proponent Vincent Callebaut has unveiled his vision for renovating Brussels' Botanic Center
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Belgian sustainable architecture proponent Vincent Callebaut has unveiled his vision for renovating Brussels' Botanic Center
The concept involves transforming the existing 1970's-era concrete building into an energy-producing and greenery-clad sustainable powerhouse
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The concept involves transforming the existing 1970's-era concrete building into an energy-producing and greenery-clad sustainable powerhouse
Bloom displays a similar design language to Callebaut's previous works
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Bloom displays a similar design language to Callebaut's previous works
The Bloom project is currently in the design phase
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The Bloom project is currently in the design phase
Callebaut envisions leaving the basic concrete structure in place, but installing 274 planter beds into the facade, filled with around 10,000 plants chosen by botanists
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Callebaut envisions leaving the basic concrete structure in place, but installing 274 planter beds into the facade, filled with around 10,000 plants chosen by botanists
The plants would be drip-fed and maintenance would need to be carried out twice a year
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The plants would be drip-fed and maintenance would need to be carried out twice a year
A rooftop structure called the Chrysalis would be added to the top of the building
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A rooftop structure called the Chrysalis would be added to the top of the building
Callebaut reckons the project would result in 50 tons of Carbon Dioxide being captured each year
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Callebaut reckons the project would result in 50 tons of Carbon Dioxide being captured each year
The Brussels' Botanic Center would have large expanses of glass at ground level
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The Brussels' Botanic Center would have large expanses of glass at ground level
The Chrysalis would be made from timber and steel and could serve as a retail, residential, commercial, or mixed-use space
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The Chrysalis would be made from timber and steel and could serve as a retail, residential, commercial, or mixed-use space
The concept involves transforming the existing 1970s-era concrete building into an energy-producing and greenery-clad sustainable powerhouse
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The concept involves transforming the existing 1970s-era concrete building into an energy-producing and greenery-clad sustainable powerhouse
View inside the Chrysalis
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View inside the Chrysalis
View inside the Chrysalis
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View inside the Chrysalis
View inside the Chrysalis
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View inside the Chrysalis
View inside the Chrysalis
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View inside the Chrysalis
Sustainable technology rated for the project centers around a large solar panel array on the roof, which would combine with 42 wind turbines to produce an estimated 128,340 kWh/year
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Sustainable technology rated for the project centers around a large solar panel array on the roof, which would combine with 42 wind turbines to produce an estimated 128,340 kWh/year

Belgian proponent of sustainable architecture Vincent Callebaut has unveiled his vision for renovating Brussels' Botanic Center apartment block (named after a nearby botanical gardens). The concept involves transforming the existing 1970s-era concrete structure into an energy-producing and greenery-clad building that more properly befits its name.

Regular readers will be familiar with Callebaut's signature style by now, and Bloom follows a similar design language to his previous works, though is more modest – and realizable – than some of his other works, such as his vision for a sustainable Paris, for example.

Callebaut envisions leaving the basic concrete structure in place, but installing 274 planter beds into its existing ornamental facade, filled with around 10,000 plants chosen by botanists. Italy's Bosco Verticale gives a real world example of this kind of approach.

The plants would be drip-fed and maintenance would need to be carried out twice a year. The windows and other fittings would need to be upgraded too, but Callebaut reckons the changes would result in both 50 tons of C02 being captured each year and the improvement of the building's thermal performance.

Sustainable technology rated for the project centers around a large solar panel array on the roof, which would combine with 42 wind turbines to produce an estimated 128,340 kWh/year
Sustainable technology rated for the project centers around a large solar panel array on the roof, which would combine with 42 wind turbines to produce an estimated 128,340 kWh/year

The other big change slated for the rather squat apartment block involves building upwards with the addition of a rooftop structure called the Chrysalis. This would be made from timber and steel and could either serve as a retail, residential, commercial, or mixed-use space.

Sustainable technology rated for the project centers around a large solar panel array on the roof of the Chrysalis, which would combine with 42 wind turbines to produce an estimated 128,340 kWh/year. This, the architect says, could go toward covering the building's electricity needs.

The project has been commissioned and is currently in the design phase. At the time of writing, there's no information available on the likelihood of it going forward.

Source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

1 comment
ljaques
It's pretty in the spring, but wait until fall/winter. That whole building would look like a ghost house, complete with dead vines from top to bottom. The city might not like those dozens of tons of leaves, either. One would think that, by now, you design guys 'n gals would have learned to weigh the pros and cons. I can't imagine it being very easy to find a landscape guy who wants to work hundreds of feet up on a rope, pruning leaves and twigs, knowwhatImean,Vern?