Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, who previously dreamed up this Dragonfly vertical farm to be placed in New York City as well as the idea of Chinese "farmscrapers," has been deemed an eco-utopian architect, a description that seems perfectly apt in relation to his latest project: Flavours Orchard is a concept created for a private Chinese developer to build a high-tech eco-friendly city in China that centers on community gardening.
On the site of a former industrial wasteland near the city of Kunming in southern China, the enclave would include 45 energy-efficient villas designed to produce more energy than they consume, through solar panels, geothermal heat exchangers, and combined heat and power units that gather energy during the day to keep the house warm at night, according to a brief describing the concept. Inhabitants would grow food in the community’s orchard and garden, and an underground network of garages would house electric cars powered by the villas’ excess energy.
The 45 houses would be divided into three different types: the "Möbius," the "mountain" and the "shell." The first, inspired by a Möbius strip, is modeled after an endless loop, encircling two patios, one aquatic and one with terrestrial plants. Inside would be bedrooms, offices, libraries, and game rooms, with a garden on the roof. The mountain villa is arched, almost like the body of a fish leaping out of water, with a four-story atrium inside. It's built with photovoltaic glass panels, as well as panels filled with algae to produce bio-hydrogen, yet another potential fuel source. The shell villa, shaped like a Hershey's Kiss, is topped with a wind turbine and would offer 360-degree views of the surrounding orchard.
Callebaut writes that in this town, "the precursory inhabitants are linked together by their citizen commitment for a new ecological ideal that is energetically efficient, collective, and sustainable."
It definitely sounds like a cult. A hyper-efficient one with awesome houses, though.