Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut has many ideas for the city of the future: There’s a an underwater metropolis built of recycled waste, a floating “Lily Pad” city, an Avatar-like vertical “eco-neighborhood” for India, all sorts of leafy towers for Paris, to name a few. Though most of these are merely concepts for now, there’s at least one project, a twisting tree-filled tower in Taipei, that’s well underway in construction, providing an exciting look at how Callebaut’s ideas translate to real life.
Like other fantastical visions from the Paris-based architect, this spiraling high-rise offers a sustainable approach to supporting swelling urban populations. When completed in late 2017, it will contain some 23,000 trees, capable of absorbing up to 130 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Conceived as an “inhabited tree,” the building will house residences on two sides of a central core, which is dedicated to circulation. Units will enjoy sweeping balconies, or “open air gardens,” with panoramic views of landmarks like the Taipei 101 tower.
These latest photos from the construction site show how the project is taking shape. As far as we can tell, it’s all staying pretty true to renderings, shown below. We’ll see what happens when all the trees get planted.