DATE : 2007
TYPE : Ecological web magazine
Editor : Anupam Jolly
PROJECT PRESENTED : "The Perfumed Jungle, Hong Kong 2007" LINKS : www.ecofriend.org
All of us know it very well that the environment is not the same today as it was when life on Earth began to take shape. Since the day we evolved our technology we have never been able to keep control over the degradation of the atmosphere. This degradation is now on the verge of a disaster as the natural resources with which the human society was blessed, can no longer sustain this ever growing hunger for power and technology.
Now some industries, especially electronics, have become more cautious about the ill-effects their products have on the environment. Now the time has arrived that if we don’t want to vacate planet Earth in search of an extraterrestrial location then we have to think out of the box.
A team of architects consisting of big names such as Vincent Callebaut, Arnaud Martinez, and Maguy Delrieu have a unique project in their hands – An Urban Jungle in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a central business district and is surrounded by the green hills visible from the Victoria Peak in the South and by the curved bank of the Xi Jiang, also known by the name of Pearl River in the North. This beautiful but highly polluted city is full of sky touching towers made of steel and glass. It also is a city with a disturbing population density of 30,000 inhabitants/km². To answer this ever rising threat this enormous population and pollution poses on the environment this amazing and unique project proposes to remake nature along with widening the city.
Standing in the South China Sea this harbor will renaturalize the urban landscape without sacrificing the skyscrapers this city is known for. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the real estate availability by setting up an ecologically positive strong print. This will make these space self sufficient and also produce more energies than what is required for their operation.
Redefining the Central Waterfront:
This amazing redevelopment of the Central Waterfront region will also enable the architects to study the aquatic world and to transcribe their study into a structure which by no means is anything less than what nature has done. For this the team will be developing a mesh of irregular cells that enables the water to infiltrate in the existing urban world and its hollow teeth to the Tamar Site overriding the Tun Wo Lane. This mesh will hang from the Victoria Harbor to the bottom of the towers. This model will also include all the means of transport that is airport rail, underground rail (MTR), ferries, private yachts.
Since these cells overlap they also put the visitors in the center of a continuous open space consisting of open-air swimming pools, marinas, pedestrian paths, bicycle promenades, etc. The area in the skyline of the Kowloon Peninsula a cascade of aquatic and vegetable terraces will be layered out on the fifth façade. The best feature of this new topography will be that since it will have no walls it will be ever growing, and will not only be housed by the residents of Hong Kong but also by a vast variety of animal and aquatic species that will automatically come here in search of a better place to live in.
Having their roots in the deepest parts of the South China Sea, a series of organic towers will dash their way from the water towards the sky. These technologically efficient towers will develop themselves as true trees and then multiply in rhizomes. These vertically growing towers will grow along the trunk on which many other branches will live. The inside part of these towers will be dedicated to houses and the outside of these towers will be the bureaucratic service centers. The amazing designs of these towers will soon be transformed into a somewhat vertical garden with strong ethnic identity. These amazing towers will not only make the landscape look better but also help purify and simultaneously recycle the rejections of CO2 contained in the atmosphere into oxygen by the process of photosynthesis.
For now all these designs are on the drawing board. No doubt the designs will completely transform the face of Hong Kong, but will Hong Kong, which has recently proved itself as one of the four Asian dragons, will also dare to invest in a project to build the world’s first Ecopolis…?
Copyright : Vincent Callebaut Architectures
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