Buildings vie for space in a city like plants in a forest; but the tallest skyscrapers aren’t always the most efficient, or the most pleasant to look at. CK Designworks will change all that with a new high-rise building in Melbourne, Australia, to be completed in 2014.
Although rooftop gardens and even vertical gardens have been done before, this versatile building — which will house shops, offices and 154 apartments — will combine all the good bits and throw in some new things as well.
The high-rise will have several gardens capable of growing trees up to 10 meters tall — five gardens in total, a first for any high-rise building. The triangular facades poke out of the structure, open to the sun and rain. Growing out of a pretty small 360 square meter base, the 35-story building will have more than 8,000 square meters of external wall — all designed to optimally receive and collect rainwater, as opposed to other structures where rain gets blown off by strong winds.
120 meter square garden boxes provide enough space for tree roots to flourish, while special structural supports will bear the weight of the soil. Collected rainwater will be used to water the plants and operate toilets, while heat-reflective glass and solar panels round out the smart external design.
Inside, the high-rise is just as efficient. Regularly, heating and cooling of a building are performed by air conditioners which are inefficiently devoted to single rooms; alternatively, pipes circulate warm or cold water long distances throughout the whole structure, losing energy on their long journey. CK Designworks has a clever solution that makes use of the structure’s five gardens: each hotspot will only circulate water to the six floors directly around it, three on the top and three on the bottom. That way, the water is not pumped very far, minimizing any loss of heat or cooling action.
Dubbed a “vertical street”, this building is already waiting to break ground and is perfectly poised to set an example of stylish, communal green living.