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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Mixed Use Architecture
  4. France
  5. Vincent Callebaut Architectures
  6. 2015
  7. Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Vision of Paris as a "Smart City"

Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Vision of Paris as a "Smart City"

Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Vision of Paris as a "Smart City"
Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Vision of Paris as a "Smart City", View of the comprehensive city plan. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
View of the comprehensive city plan. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Addressing Paris’ housing and density issues, French firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures has developed a proposal for multiple high-rise buildings with positive energy output (BEPOS). Comprised of eight multi-use structures inhabiting various locations within Paris, the plan strives to address major sustainability problems affecting each district, while providing key functions for the city. 

Mangrove Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture Antismog Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture Bridge Tower. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture Mountain Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture +19

Farmscrapers Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
Farmscrapers Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Commissioned in wake of the Climate Energy Plan of Paris, the aptly named Smart City aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to achieve long-term energy goals, the high-rises integrate several energy-production techniques to ensure their constant adherence to sustainable efforts, as well as encourage inhabitants to adopt eco-friendly standards of living in their daily lives. Although the techniques employed are unique to each building, the overall goals of the Smart City are cohesive: respect the rich history of Paris while embracing its potential to cultivate a healthier future by decreasing its environmental impacts. 

Mountain Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
Mountain Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Each of the tower systems fits within the existing framework of the city, and often directly on top of it, such as the “Mountain Tower” transferring its structural loads through unused ducts and chimneys. The forms of these high-rises are informed by nature, while within their walls, natural processes (passive heating and cooling, oxygenation, rainwater retention) are utilized wherever possible to create self-sustaining units. Additionally, the insertion of green spaces, namely community and suspended gardens, bring the purifying effects of rural life into the city and encourage residents to involve themselves in cultivating a sustainable lifestyle. 

Mangrove Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
Mangrove Towers from street level. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

In addition to passive and natural energy-conserving strategies, the Smart City also employs innovative techniques. The skins of the towers, for example, respond to sunlight in ways that positively impact the thermal load. The skin of the “Mangrove Towers” is composed of individual cells which form a photo-sensitive electrochemical shell, utilizing the sunlight that hits it to generate electricity for the building. Similarly, the “Photosynthesis Towers” employ an insulating bio-façade, which generates its own usable biofuel. Other technology that supports Smart City’s self-sufficiency is the “phylolight,” a hybridized turbine-lamp system which supplies both lighting and the energy needed to produce it. 

Consistently throughout the Smart City plan, the towers’ programs are mixed-used, combining residential, business, and commercial functions, which are divided internally. This combats the need for extensive transportation and cuts the city’s emissions from fuel. The Smart City reinforces the idea that cities can continue to grow while maintaining their character and contributing to a healthier future. 

Bridge Tower. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
Bridge Tower. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture
  • Architects

  • Architect in Charge

    Vincent Callebaut
  • Design Team

    Agnès Martin, Fabrice Zaini, Maguy Delrieu
  • Green Engineering Consultant

    Setec
  • Client

    Paris City Hall
  • Project Year

    2015
Cite: Holly Giermann. "Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Vision of Paris as a "Smart City"" 08 Jan 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/585254/vincent-callebaut-s-2050-parisian-vision-of-a-smart-city/>
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15 Comments

gelu ciudin · January 18, 2015

this gives a whole new meaning to "urban jungle"

ruy · January 18, 2015

Terrible!

Bham · January 12, 2015

A MAD Architects design with some extra green slapped on?

Audrey Hona · January 11, 2015

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michale · January 09, 2015

i think it's sh..it

green washer · January 08, 2015

Before the digital age, this would have been called "paper architecture". I've always envied designers such as Lebbeus Woods who somehow built a career on visionary work without the political and financial woes of a real project.

artvaniik · January 09, 2015 05:05 PM

comparing this nonsense to lebbeus woods?!
woods' work was extremely political and deep.. and not just empty 'pretty' drawings .. and more 'real' than many actually built projects.
I wouldn't place this project anywhere near his work...it's an insult!....
this isn't visionary - it's 'trendy'!

artvaniik · January 08, 2015

yeahhhh... let's just throw up all over Paris with aimless forms ...... ooh and make sure you cover up the crap with a lot of trees....... because we all know 'smart design' means 'green design' which means 'you could cover up your lack of architectural creativity with plants and trees'

great job mr. architect.

paule · January 08, 2015

These look like the SimCity Biospheres circa 2000

Ali · January 08, 2015

Great design intention. Terrible design implementation.

J · January 08, 2015

Hey guys, if it isn't broken then leave it alone. Paris does not need this

Visar · January 08, 2015

This carnival would destroy Paris!

DeadKaiser · January 08, 2015

lol thought this was a joke..... check out his website for a good laugh its got the graphic style of CSI: Miami + Terrible turn of the century action movie haha....... half of it seems to have come out of GTA 8 set in 2050........ But seriously why do so many architects always want to destroy Paris.....

O and archdaily please take this down its neither design or architecture and should not be taken seriously.

RedPill · January 08, 2015

looks like shit

guest1 · January 08, 2015

Can people even live there? looks abandoned. Also the boat with the green roof is a little odd.

n11c0w · January 08, 2015

wtf?

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