This concept design imagines buildings of the future as "farmscrapers," self-contained cities in one giant tower.

The "farmscrapers" are pebble-like pods stacked on top of each other.

These incredible looking buildings are designed by a Belgian architect named Vincent Callebaut.

The design incorporates housing, office, and leisure spaces, as well as urban farming to reduce the need for imports from the countryside.

The pebbles are made of steel rings wrapped around "horizontal double-decks," and linked to the central "spinal column."

Power comes from "photovoltaic and photo thermal solar cells," and "a forest of axial wind turbines."

Click through for even more images of the amazing city of the future.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems.

2013-03-12

These "Farmscrapers" Are Entire Cities In Crazy, Wobbly Looking Towers

Architect Vincent Callebaut’s "Asian Cairn" project imagines a future where we house residences, offices, and even entire food systems in gorgeous, stacked skyscrapers.

These incredible looking buildings are designed by a Belgian architect named Vincent Callebaut. Called "Asian Cairns," after the rock stacks left on mountainsides, the "farmscrapers" are pebble-like pods stacked on top of each other.

The design incorporates housing, office, and leisure spaces, as well as urban farming to reduce the need for imports from the countryside. The pebbles are made of steel rings wrapped around "horizontal double-decks," and linked to the central "spinal column." Power, as you would expect, comes from "photovoltaic and photo thermal solar cells," and "a forest of axial wind turbines."

Callebaut’s website spares no hyperbole describing the concept:

The master plan is designed under the shape of three interlaced spirals that represent the three elements which are fire, earth, and water, all organized around air in the middle. Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems implanting the biodiversity in the heart of the City under the shape of vast public orchards and urban agriculture fields. Huge basins of viticulture and vast lagoons of phyto-puration recycle the grey waters rejected by the inhabited vertical farms.

Callebaut has conceived several other novel structures, including this wild-looking floating ecopolis, and this Dragonfly urban farm. Now he just needs to get some of these built.

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12 Comments

  • vetxcl

    Well, it's visually stunning - perhaps the ultimate goal of the exercise. Current Urban Farming uses repurposed buildings more, as well as plots with shipped-in earth for outdoor sites kept in raised areas, so the roots don't penetrate too far down.

  • Ben Rhodes Johnson

    I always enjoy the coverage brought and the imagination employed by designers for these forward-thinking project concepts. There certainly is no shortage of good intentions and thoughtful, critical thinking applied in the design world. Letting alone the financial and constructability due diligence, the argument for these mix of uses is well-vetted and exemplified in city building history. The key challenge for moving these projects from paper to reality, even for more simplified versions, lies in the local political and legal environment. The damage that continues to be wrought by Euclidian zoning, i.e. single-use zoning, and the perspectives that perpetuate it (largely local elected planning commissions, city council and the general public), are substantial. Until these perceptions are significantly altered, these projects will regrettably remain on paper. What comprehensive strategy might be best suited to addressing this issue I'm not sure, but should at least begin by encouraging minimum thresholds of knowledge for the primary variables impacting the built environment by those public decision makers.   

  • RAV SUTHERLAND

    Air scrubbers need to be incorporated into the design as well as water purifiers. It only takes thirty feet of sand in a stream to filter water very clean and at these heights you have many gravity fed opportunities but dealing with smog so thick that you can cut it with a knife scenarios are far more difficult to contend with.
    Plants give off energy as well as oxygen and the sooner we as a human race realize that and make use of it all the better so this structure only needs to provide a pleasant atmosphere to be worthwhile.

  • Mwiebe

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P....   Similar thinking, though not the same, from many years ago.  I was fascinated then, and remain so.   Thinking differently (I believe we loosely call it "innovation" on these pages) could solve this someday. 

  • Reynard Hing

    Leaving aside the question of devoting prime space and energy towards sustaining such low-yield agricultural acreage, who in his right mind would eat vegetables grown in an urban setting that, no matter how "clean" is still likely filled with carbon residues, particulates and airborne toxins?

  • vetxcl

    Who in their right mind would eat hormone and antibiotic laden products, as well as chemically laced vegetation, in addition to animal meat from those that lanquish in their own feces, even eating it?

    So maybe you don't have much faith in plants and soil cleaning things up and producing oxygen, but somehow for hundreds of thousands of years, they kept it clean and breathable enough.

    Yeah, low-yield m-u-l-t-i-p-l-i-e-d times many low-yield sites.

  • Guillaume Bouchard

    They remind me of ARCO in SimCity 2000 and honestly we should already be building some of these if we really cared about the environment and our own future.

  • Ian Janicki

    I'm sorry. But as an architect myself, I cannot see these as sustainable structures. The amount of square footage needed to feed the amount of people who would live here is skewed. When you fly over the heartland, you really do get a sense of how massive an infrastructure we need to feed ourselves. It's a nice idea, but it really could only supply salad trimmings.

  • Reynard Hing

    Bryan, those backyards which you refer to were either in rural settings, or if they were in suburbs, they were in an age where you couldn't get sick simply breathing in city air.  Now what kind of atmosphere would a vertical farm exist in today?  I'm in favor of vertical farms, but place them reasonably far from city limits.  No, that won't defeat their logic, as real farms would be much, much farther and would gobble up tons more petrol just to be shipped to your dinner table.

  • Bryan Petty

    I think the key word is reduce the need, not replace. My grandparents, my parents, and many of my friends were able to provide their own vegetables off a relatively small space in their backyards.