Vincent Callebaut Architects have created a staggering structure (quite literally, in a way) that not just incorporates green features, but also amalgamates practicality with a stroke of inspiration drawn from the planet. The “Coral Reef Project” aims at providing rehabilitation, shelter and a sustained ecosystem for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. While that is a one-time use, we see it as an architectural enterprise in many other locations of the planet where similar structures could take shape and thrive.
The Coral Reef is a continuous twin wave design that holds in it identical singular housing units which just need to be replicated and stacked up to form an ecosystem of a sustainable green village. This is much like what corals manage to do in the natural world on the ocean bedrocks. They simply multiply their singular units and grow into colonies of strength.
The Coral Reef uses box-like structures, which are stacked in a series of convex and concave curves to create a “wave” image. In between these waves will be a green ecosystem that will hold natural water resources, food gardens for those who live in the Coral Reef and even possible ways of energy creation (By the use of solar panels & wind mills since we are in the tropical waters!). Tidal energy also becomes a very realistic option.
With anti-seismic basement designed to absorb earthquakes, purification plant lagoons that recycle the used waters and thriving local ecosystem, the design of the Coral Reef (built on shallow waters) is a practical solution to the for the housing needs of many even in South-East Asia. The communities in the Coral Reef can extend themselves by simple extending the wave structure by further addition of basic housing units.
The Coral Reef Project is one green architecture concept that should look spectacular in reality rather than on paper, and when it is a matter of sheltering the homeless and creating tropical green ecosystems, we would want it to take shape sooner than later… A lot sooner!
Architects: Vincent Callebaut