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Six connected CLT towers create an urban forest in India


Six connected CLT towers create an urban forest in India

The mixed-use towers would each rise 36 stories into the sky and connect via rooftop skybridges.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | April 4, 2017

Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

A new six-tower mixed-use project from Vincent Callebaut Architectures would incorporate community orchards, food gardens, and phytopurification lagoons in an attempt to build a sustainable and eco-friendly community. Named Hyperions after the world’s tallest tree (a Northern California Sequoia sempervirens that’s specific location is kept secret), the New Delhi-located project would be built out of cross-laminated timber (CLT) before being covered with food-producing gardens.

The wood required to build the towers would come from a sustainably managed Delhi forest. The buildings would be made from a superstructure of solid wood columns, beams, and walls and would be reinforced with steel blades where columns and beams meet. There would also be a steel and concrete substructure for earthquake resiliency. In total, Hyperions’ skeleton would be made of 25% inert materials and 75% bio-sourced materials.

The buildings will use solar facades with photovoltaic and thermal scales that follow the course of the sun throughout the day to generate the towers; electricity needs. In addition, wind lampposts would be incorporated to produce electricity via magnetic-levitation, vertical-axis wind turbines integrated on their pole.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.


Each residential unit within the six towers would have vegetables and herbs such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach, saffron, and coriander growing on the balconies. There will also be an abundance of fruits and vegetables growing in hydroponic greenhouses. These plants will be irrigated with water from ponds housing several different species of fish. The waste from the fish, which is naturally rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, would help fertilize the plants. When accounting for plants in greenhouses, on balconies, and anywhere else they may be growing on the six towers (which is pretty much everywhere), the architects believe the buildings will be able to produce an annual output of four pounds of organic fruit and vegetables per square foot.

The roofs of each tower, joined together by skybridges, will be used as a large orchard space that doubles as a meeting space for the community. There will also be areas for sports, an organic pool, and playgrounds.

Heating and cooling is controlled via a natural climate control system articulated along the vertical circulation cores of wind chimneys. The system takes advantage of the earth’s thermal inertia under the foundations, which remains at a stable 64 degrees year round.

In addition to the residential spaces in each tower, business incubators, living labs, co-working spaces, and multipurpose rooms are all included. The project hopes to create more energy than it uses while also accomplishing its main objectives of energy decentralization and food deindustrialization.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.


Rendering courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures.

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