A new concept for a twisted tower and vertical garden city has been unveiled by two Berlin architects.
It's not the unconvential design that has everyone talking, however, with more focus place on the architects' vision to create a top-to-bottom vertical garden city that encourages sustainable living.
The curved design of the skyscraper project, titled Green8, twists into a figure-8 shape, wrapping around multiple levels of vertical gardens embedded into the buildings hollow sections.
The skyscraper will include 45,000 square metres of building space and will be located in the heart of Alexanderplatz, a large public square and transport hub in the Mitte district of Berlin.
While twisted skyscrapers have been applauded for their architectural aesthetic and their ability to reduce wind-force on buildings, Green8 will go a step further, creating a sustainable community in a typical urban setting.
The project was designed by architects Agnieskzka Preibisz and Peter Sandhaus, who were looking to help foster a stronger sense of community.
In order to create a “community” high rise, the building needed to serve multiple requirements for residents, with the lines between the private and public realms blurred. The architects envision the mixed-use skyscraper to include:
- A vertical greenhouse, farmer’s market, gardens, orchards and farms
- Maisonette residencies
- Residents’ offices and workshops
- 360 degree Panaroma, health spa, pool and bar
- Restaurant, boarding house, elderly care and kindergarden
In urban centres, vertical gardens have been most celebrated for their carbon benefits, providing improved air quality, acoustic support to buildings and visual appeal.
Through this concept, Preibisz and Sandhaus have highlighted the opportunity for proposed vertical gardens in future skyscrapers to move beyond their sustainable duties and double up as community food sources through vertical farming, an alternative to the industrial food process.
This again ignites the debate as to whether a concept like vertical garden cities could serve as a solution to food insecurity problems the world over. According to World Hunger Education Services, they can.
World Hunger reports that climate change is a current and future cause of hunger and poverty with increasing drought, flooding and changing climatic patterns. This requires a shift in crops and farming practices that vertical farming could indeed deliver.
In addition to reducing food transport costs, energy use and water waste, vertical gardens could also be feeding both its building’s residents and the extended public.
Preibisz and Sandhaus developed the concept as part of a master plan for the eastern quarter of Berlin and are currently seeking potential owners, consulting with engineers on the feasibility of Green8.
While urban farming is already gaining traction worldwide, one ground-breaking project in Linkoping, Sweden due for completion next year is set to be the world's first vertical urban farm. In addition to producing food for the entire town, the building will also be a testing hub for scientists to investigate technologies for new urban farming.
The 54-metre structure (a vertical greenhouse) is being built by Plantagon, an organisation that develops systems and technologies for urban architecture. .
Green8, like many sustainable-inspired projects, further challenges what can be accomplished with a green concept like vertical gardens.