Almost every architecture firm that has a futuristic feel to their projects has a design on their website of a soaring green residence, but it’s usually under the category of “ongoing” or “in progress.” You know the designs we’re talking about. The ones with trees and shrubbery exploding over every balcony, pouring off the roof, and growing where it’s seemingly impossible to grow.
A Green Urban Village
The one that we are presenting today is from the minds of Brenac & Gonzalez Architects, a very successful firm out of Paris. Their design is titled “Une tour d’habitation,” and what it is, is a complex urban village, all within one tower. It has been proposed for Boulogne-Billancourt, a suburb in the west of Paris.
The tower is asymmetrical and doesn’t seem to follow any kind of pattern. The entire building is comprised of individual units that are organized around common areas. The goal is to create a high-density tower that still has the atmosphere of an intimate, ground-level village.
Why all the Greenery?
We keep seeing designs like this one, with the facades overflowing with greenery. MAD Architects have one dated back to 2009 called, Urban Forest, which we blogged about a long time ago. But, besides looking different, what are the benefits of all the plants? For Une tour d’habitation, there a few: comfort, play areas, and protection from the elements.
Most high-rises don’t have common parkettes and gardens for residents, so the large amount of greenery would create the illusion that you are at ground level in a tightly-knit community, rather than in a multi-unit residential building.
As you know, most high-rises cater to young professionals and couples (in Toronto at least), but the outdoor play areas of Une tour d’habitation make it suitable for families, which is great.
Finally, the layers of soil on the rooftops, and the shrubbery and trees throughout would protect the building from overheating, block strong winds, and minimize the amount of noise travelling between units.
Where are these Buildings?
How many designs like this have you seen in the past few years? They are all great and seem like possible concepts, so why haven’t we seen a tower like this constructed yet? What’s holding us back from building towers that are covered in greenery? Is it too expensive?
That’s a lot of questions, but ones worth pondering. Do you know of any buildings like this one that are existing today? If so, please share them!Google+