Architect Vincent Callebaut in collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group, won the public vote of the “Imagine Angers” international design competition with a lush vertical forest designed as an innovative residential, multi-purpose environment. Arboricole, meaning “tree” and “cultivation,” is a 50-apartment building complete with a bar, concert hall, brewery, and art spaces.
Based on biophilic design, which is a concept that brings occupants in close contact with nature, this smart building uses plants and renewable energy technology for a functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing piece of architecture. Callebaut, who is known for his innovative green architecture, caters to young urbanites with Arboricole. As the competition pushed architects to help renew the landscape of Angers, France, Callebaut’s design is an incredible example of new city living.
The vertical forest contains residential units that a fully customizable thanks to special, removable partitions, while rentable office space and shared laboratories are an incubator for innovation. Further attracting Millennials age 25 to 35 are the concert hall and rooftop solar restaurant.
The main attraction is the incredible plantlife that can be found throughout the building. “Living in an apartment at the heart of a vertical nourishing forest reminds us of our childhood dream,” the firm writes. The selection and placement of the plants allows for variation of air temperature and humidity to mimic the surrounding environment, and filters light and shadow in a pleasing manner.
The shape of the building also mimics the path of the sun, while geothermal and solar energy helps heat and cool the building. The planters that scale the building are connected, allowing rainwater to trickle from top to bottom and pool into a first-floor pond. And to finish things off, recyclable materials are used through the construction in order to bring things full circle.
Vincent Callebaut hopes to activate the people into a better understanding about their environment, by placing people in close contact with nature and allowing them to enjoy the urban space more deeply.
Find more projects by Vincent Callebaut: vincent.callebaut.org