It must be something in the air — last week, we brought you Richard Black’s Symbiotic Building concept, which essentially seeks to combine the modern office environment with a greenhouse. Today, we bring you a high-rise in France’s Boulogne-Billancourt reimagined as an urban eco-village, bursting with greenery.
The Natural Evolution building proposal (which comes to us via eVolo) was developed in response for the increasing need for high-density housing in urban areas. In accordance with that vision, it was developed for Boulogne-Billancourt, the most populous suburb of Paris and one of the most densely populated municipalities in all of Europe. The idea here is to reconcile the concepts of high-density housing and quality of life through a return to the fundamental concept of human habitation: the village.
Several layers assembled along the vertical axis form the building’s basic structure; these layers are connected via a vertical “street.” Living areas with high ceilings feel more like houses than apartments, and plenty of glass lets in an abundance of natural light while creating a sense of connection to the outdoors. But perhaps the most notable aspect of the design is its use of gardens; through a true extension of the building’s substrates, spaces are created for natural soil to be loaded in to depths of at least 3 meters (9 feet). Beyond your average landscaping and vegetable gardens, these planted areas allow for actual trees planted in the building itself. These trees act as a sunscreen, as well as a protection against wind, noise, and pollution.
In keeping with the village concept, Natural Evolution is organized around a series of common areas that are meeting places, places of exchange. These common areas are incorporated into the planted squares of the building and incorporate play areas for children.