Paris, 2050: The Smog-Eating Smart City of the Future?

October 26, 2017

See Vincent Callebaut Architectures plans for 8 buildings that would recast Paris as sustainable utopia.

In the year 2050, Paris could be a paradise of plant-embedded smart architecture—provided Vincent Callebaut Architectures have their way. On the heels of Paris's Climate Energy Plan to reduce 75% of greenhouse gas emissions in the next 35 years, the architecture firm collaborated with engineers at Setec Bâtiment to design eight prototypes for towers that could bring greenery back into the city and provide sources of renewable energy.

The research was conducted for Paris City Hall, and imagines a healthy, sustainable future for the most populous city of France. "Paris has always been rebuilt on itself," the firm states in their proposal. In the renderings, eco-friendly high-rises sprout up all over Paris: smog-eating buildings on the Rue de Rivoli; the abandoned Petite Ceinture of Paris railway line turned into an ecological corridor; the Montparnasse Tower with suspended gardens of green algae bioreactors; bamboo exoskeleton structures that envelop Massena's edifices; cheap honeycomb-shaped apartment complexes; vertical farms in Aubervilliers; mangrove tree-shaped train stations; and green bridges at the river gates. 

Together, these BEPOS-certified buildings could put up a good fight against increasing urban heat-island effects (the phenomenon where metropolitan areas grow warmer than their surroundings as a result of human habitation). From coiled hives to plant facades, here are the eight innovative structure prototypes from Vincent Callebaut Architecture's Paris Smart City 2050:

Mountain Towers at Rue de Rivoli

An array of 15 green, solar, and hydrodynamic towers will use vegetation to bio-air condition the famous commercial street. 

Anti-smog Towers at Petite Ceinture


 A series of five light-activated, Seusslike spiral towers will create an eco-corridor in Paris' historic 14th District.  

Photosynthesis Towers at Montparnasse

Adorned with algae-powered biofacades, the Photosynthesis Towers will be the centerpiece of a piezoelectrical Central Park-like landscape.

Bamboo Nest Towers at Massena

These thermodynamic green towers will be wrapped in bamboo meshes holding orchards and vertical food gardens.  

Honeycomb Towers at HBM Porte De Lilas

Near the "Gates of Paris," this development complex will be powered by a community-run energy solidaryti co-op.

Farmscrapers at Porte d'Aubervilliers

The countryside comes to the heart of the city through the construction of three stacked vertical farms. 

Mangrove Towers at Gare du Nord

Using piezoelectricity to power the Gare du Nord station platforms, like the swamp trees of their namesake, the Mangrove Towers will take root in their surroundings.

Bridges Towers at Pont Aval

Weblike, amphibian-populated structures will span the Seine, bridging the 12th District of Pont Amont with the 16th District of Pont Aval.

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