Organic London Skyscraper Grows as Residents Recycle

Exterior View. Image Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

Inspired by vegetative growth and the bamboo scaffolding of Asia, Thomas Corbasson and have proposed a conceptual project for an organic skyscraper for London that will incorporate waste produced by its occupants. The building will rise vertically as more and more of the glass and paper needed for construction is discarded by building residents. It is estimated that enough recycled material for the building’s façade could be produced within a year. The project earned a special mention in a recent Skyscapers and SuperSkyscapers Competition.

Growth Diagram. Image Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

Like all skyscrapers, this project will require scaffolding, but in this case the scaffolding will become part of the aesthetic.  Prefabricated tube framing will be attached to the exterior, and will rise with the building, allowing for components to be added to the building over time. This framework will also support generators supplying power to parts of the building. The tubing of the scaffolding will be hollow to minimize wind load and will be of a single size so that workers need not spend time cutting the scaffolding to size.

Scaffolding Closeup. Image Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

The building will be outfitted with recycling plants on its top floor in order to produce useable material as close to the construction area as possible.  Collection and sorting areas for the recycled material will be on the bottom floor and will, presumably, be connected to the recycling plants via elevator. The landings for the tower’s elevators will create common spaces, such as restaurants, gyms, and conference rooms, for building residents.

Programmatic Section. Image Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

The tower would be in close proximity to major public transportation systems of the city, including the metro.

Architects: Thomas Corbasson, VS-A
Location: London, UK
Architect In Charge:
Design Team: VS-A
Photographs: Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

Cite: Walker, Connor. "Organic London Skyscraper Grows as Residents Recycle" 06 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Sudar Khadka

    hmm the idea of recycling waste to create the tower is already powerful enough to stand on its own. Making the scaffolding into wind powered generators is stretching to the point of detracting from the impact of your original intent.

    • Brandon Wang

      Sudar, can you point out where in the article that the tube scaffolding would be a form of energy production? The only things I see written about the scaffolding is that each tube will be hollow and standardized to maximize construction efficiency.

      That aside, I do agree that re-appropriated waste to the point that it becomes the building itself is a very powerful rethinking of architecture and environmental productivity.

      • Sudar Khadka

        Sure, its on the second paragraph and fourth line from the top. Also see the last image called the scaffolding generator diagram.

    • Brandon Wang

      Sudar I think this project is an interesting amalgam between sustainability and productivity in architecture. Installing and wind generators inside the scaffolding is an interesting concept to multiply the purpose of structure, though I don’t see any realistic applications as to how this can actually work. But I agree as a concept, this tower being made of consumer’s recyclables is a step in the right direction in architecture.

      • Grace

        Sudar, when you say “its on the second paragraph and fourth line from the top” it really says “This framework will also SUPPORT generators…” meaning that the tubes will SUPPORT the generators, not BE the generators… :) And from the image, I understand that the WIND that enters trough the tubes will feed some FANS placed INSIDE the tubes and connected to ENERGY GENERATORS. Anyway, I think that ANYTHING that turns WASTE into USEFUL things is GOOD for the Earth…