clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Are Stone Piles the Future of China's Overcrowded Cities?

New, 4 comments

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, the mastermind behind such sensible ideas as giant meandering lily pad cities and amphibious laboratories, has again produced some awesome-looking and totally unlikely renderings seemingly inspired by an afternoon traipse through his backyard. His Asian Cairns "farmscrapers" most definitely look like a precarious pile of river rocks, but they're actually—little did anybody know—"monolithic pebbles superimposed on each other along a vertical central boulevard." These six stacks—which look an awful lot like the nutso pile of architecture slated to rise in Indonesia—comprise a jumble of residences, offices, leisure spaces, gardens, and greenhouses, all of which will tower above public orchards and agricultural fields. Each piece of the complex—designed to look like those piles of rocks that mark hiking paths—is encased in solar panels and windfarms, purportedly producing more energy than it consumes, but, whatever, so is every other pie-in-the-sky plan for future cities. What sets this proposal apart is its mildly insane approach to biomimicry, and, all jokes aside, its potential to redefine what urbanism is or could be. So where in the world is this particular pile going to sit? China (duh); specifically, the region between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which have a combined population of over 20M people. More renderings, below.

· Vincent Callebaut Architectures: Asian Cairns in Shenzhen, China [Design Boom]
· All Architectural Craziness coverage [Curbed National]
· The Most Ambitious Buildings to Emerge From China in '12 [Curbed National]