I don't go to shopping centres much these days — in fact, they kinda terrify me. But if a geothermally heated, solar powered, sky-garden capped extravaganza like this ever made its way into my neighbourhood, OK, I'd probably check it out.
Architectural design firm Vincent Callebaut has brought us many an incredible eco-urban concept in the past, from villas that produce more energy than they consume to twisting garden skyscrapers that resemble DNA.
Their latest project, "Wooden Orchids" is described on the firm's website as an "eco-responsible shopping mall." It runs, of course, entirely on renewable energy sources, captures and recycles rainwater, and encourages organic eating with its rooftop gardens and farmers markets. The interior is replete with gardens, ponds and sunshine.
The concept is intended for provincial China, but if Berkeley residents were given a carte blanche to refashion a mid-western suburb, they'd probably come up with something similar.
We've seen enough of these futuristic living building concepts come and go that I'm not going to hold my breath for this one. Everything about the concept — like most of Vincent Callebaut's eco-designs — looks very, very expensive. But if we're ever going to move past the claustrophobic, linoleum-padded, fried-chicken scented malls of today, we've gotta dream big. [DesignBoom]
Images via Vincent Callebaut