In a world that is going through a phase of global warming, the term “climate change refugee” is something that will become progressively more familiar as sea levels continue to rise and freak weather incidents increase, leaving communities of coastal dwellers stranded.
Finding a solution to this possible devastation is French architect Vincent Callebaut. His water resilient designs have taken the world by storm, each year designing a new project in response to current environmental issues. Mr. Callebaut’s unique architecture style is described by the man himself as “mixing biology, information and communication technologies”; each project an incredible ecopolis, or eco-city.
His latest design labelled “Coral Reef” is termed as being a “matrix and plug in for 1,000 prefabricated passive houses”. The projects location in Haiti has been designed in order to house the victims of the horrific 2010 7.0 scale earthquake that devastated the nation.
This most recent initiative involves 1,000 modular interconnecting housing units connected in an organic formation located on an anti-seismic base, protecting inhabitants from further earthquake devastation. Each unit has its own plot of earth upon which to grow food and plants; this in culmination with aquicultural farms, purification plant lagoons, wind turbines and the inclusion of solar photovoltaic energy creates a community that is completely carbon neutral.
In addition to this innovative sustainable concept, the awe-inspiring never-before-seen aesthetics are world-class. The mixes of lush greenery flowing seamlessly into the oceanic surrounds create an organic form that reflects the natural form of a coral reef.
The project solves a major humanitarian catastrophe, promotes the epitome of sustainable ecopolis’ and sets a benchmark for design aesthetics.
This is however not the only globally conscious based design under Mr. Callebaut’s belt. It is near impossible to categorise his designs in terms of excellence, he simply presents one breathtaking architecture feat after another.
Another of these humanitarian designs is that of the “Lilypad” prototype. The design is a “proto-type of (an) auto-sufficient amphibious city”. The design is again an ecopolis that mimics the shape of a lily pad, with raise-lipped edges; a half-aquatic, half-terrestrial floating city that has the ability to house up to 50,000 climate change refugees in one unit.
The design has been prompted by global rising sea levels, but in addition to focussing on stopping the overwhelming problem, the design adapts to the current landscape. This offers a positive safe haven that is again completely sustainable. By creating zero carbon emitting environments in this way, the projects have a dual function of responding to and reversing these devastating climate change effects.
Mr. Callebaut presents an architecture future to be proud of. His designs incorporate the best of sustainability, community and modernity. The excitement that he has created in the industry is indescribable, offering not only excellence in design, but solutions to world-wide issues that have seemed impossible to solve.
If Mr. Callebaut’s plans come to fruition, our global societal future is in safe hands.