Harper's Bazaar March 2016 - Page 195

(Clockwise from left) Aequorea, a series of self-sufficient, underwater, eco-villages; Farmscape Towers, a part of the Paris Smart City 2050 proposal; Vincent Callebaut; Tau Zhu Yin Yuan. VINCENT CALLEBAUT, ARCHIBIOTECT IMAGES COURTESY VINCENT CALLEBAUT ARCHITECTS; ZAHA HADID; INEXHIBIT.COM If Vincent Callebaut were to have his way, the world would be no less than utopian, and we would live as one with nature. Think Lilypad, a zero emission, self-sufficient amphibian city that can accommodate 50,000 people, which he created for climate refugees in 2008. Think Dragonfly, a vertical urban farm with 28 agricultural fields and offices, labs, and houses interspersed between orchards and fields, designed for NYC in 2009. These ideas may exist only on paper, but the ‘archibiotect’ from Belgium is set to realise at least one vision—theTao Zhu Yin Yuan residential towers in Taipei, Taiwan, scheduled to open next year. “My projects are achievable in a lifetime. They are not illusion of an impossible dream but a potential that has never been experienced,” says Callebaut, who, in 2000, graduated with the Great Architecture Prize Rene Serrure at the Institute Victor Horta in Brussels; Time magazine also called his work the ‘best eco-utopian’. “My projects take place in the cities of tomorrow—metabolic, fertile, and creative. The facades become epidermis; they are intelligent, regenerative, and organic. The roofs are the new soil, and the garden isn’t attached to the building, it is the building. The architecture is cultivable, edible, and all waste is recycled, inventing a new circular economy.” His Taipei project best exemplifies his work and ambition: Twisting towers covered with 25,000 trees, shrubs, and flowers, will not only save the emission of 135 tons of CO2 each year, but also produce energy thanks to a large solar pergola. “I want to transform our cities into ecosystems, and build a sustainable society in harmony with our natural environment,” says 39-year-old Callebaut, who works with landscape architects, designers, agronomists, botanists, and international specialists in each field to make this happen. Over the years, he has built his portfolio to include the Paris Smart City 2050—a proposal that presents eight types of green towers to reduce greenhouse emissions—among other designs. And The Gate Heliopolis, a solar island comprising 1,000 apartments, a hotel, offices, and a shopping centre, will open in Cairo in 2019. “An ecological urbanism is possible,” says Callebaut. With each new project, he proves that’s true. The exterior of the Messner Mountain Museum Corones in South Tyrol, Italy ZAHA HADID, ARCHITECT Pritzker-winning architect Zaha Hadid is changing New York City’s High Line with her first residential building in the city, scheduled to open in early 2017. Hadid’s sculptural approach lends itself to the glass and steel building, which features curves and chevron patterns. But even before completion, Hadid’s imprint on the High Line—an elevated linear park—is already strong, with a swooping canopy over the site. She also built the 1,000-sq ft Messner Mountain Museum Corones, embedded in the summit of Mount Kronplatz in Italy. Plus, 2015 was a year of victories: A Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (the first individual woman winner in its 167 years); a lifetime achievement award at the The UK Creative Arts’ Leading Light Awards; and a position in the World Post’s Global Thought Leaders 2015, Artnet’s 100 Most Influential People in the Art World, and WIRED 100 of Europe’s most influential thought-leaders. ➤ 195