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These “Farmscrapers” Are Entire Cities In Crazy, Wobbly Looking Towers

Architect Vincent Callebaut’s “Asian Cairn” project imagines a future where we house residences, offices, and even entire food systems in gorgeous, stacked skyscrapers.

These incredible looking buildings are designed by a Belgian architect named Vincent Callebaut. Called “Asian Cairns,” after the rock stacks left on mountainsides, the “farmscrapers” are pebble-like pods stacked on top of each other.

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The design incorporates housing, office, and leisure spaces, as well as urban farming to reduce the need for imports from the countryside. The pebbles are made of steel rings wrapped around “horizontal double-decks,” and linked to the central “spinal column.” Power, as you would expect, comes from “photovoltaic and photo thermal solar cells,” and “a forest of axial wind turbines.”

Callebaut’s website spares no hyperbole describing the concept:

The master plan is designed under the shape of three interlaced spirals that represent the three elements which are fire, earth, and water, all organized around air in the middle. Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems implanting the biodiversity in the heart of the City under the shape of vast public orchards and urban agriculture fields. Huge basins of viticulture and vast lagoons of phyto-puration recycle the grey waters rejected by the inhabited vertical farms.


Callebaut has conceived several other novel structures, including this wild-looking floating ecopolis, and this Dragonfly urban farm. Now he just needs to get some of these built.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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