Striking Concepts: The Architectural Projects Unveiled This Month

New concepts for bold new designs and innovative schemes are always being showcased. Here we look at some of our favourites to be unveiled in the last few weeks

The Rainbow Tree

Cebu City, Philippines

Architects: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Named for native tree the Rainbow Eucalyptus, The Rainbow Tree is a mixed-use development that is designed to have a negative carbon footprint. Made from wood, it is set to be constructed from 1,200 prefabricated modules to produce a modular mass timber tower, while evoking traditional Bahay Kubo homes found in the region. Aiming for double LEED and BERDE certification, it will feature over 30,000 native plants, with cladding made from burnt cedar plants to provide fire, fungi and insect resistance. The building will house 300 residential units, alongside a restaurant, co-working space, pool, spa and fitness centre and an urban sky farm.

Image courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Mashhad Construction Engineering Organizations Headquarters

Mashhad, Iran

Architects: NextOffice

Designed to provide the new home for Mashhad Construction Engineering Organizations (Mashhad CEO), this structure is intended to serve as a space for engineers to gather and collaborate. Much of the overall design focuses around pedestrian flow into and around the building, with the spatial structural void providing an organic connection to the wider city. Inspired by traditional Iranian constructions, the building is designed to maximise the focus on key spaces within. These include the public hall where applicants will attend to get certifications or approval for technical documents, and the amphitheatre, which will house seminars, conferences and events.

Image courtesy of NextOffice

Honey Bee Research Center

Guelph, Canada

Architects: Moriyama & Teshima Architects

The home for the new Honey Bee Research Center at the University of Guelph inevitably draws inspiration from hives, with an organic grid structure that serves as both a consistent motif and effective shading thoughout the building. Set to use mass timber construction, the structure is dedicated to sustainability and the improvement of honey bee health, serving as a space for flexible research and multi-age education. It will include a multifaceted Discovery and Learning Space, exhibition area, classrooms, gift shop, café and labs, the building’s central focus is the Interpretative Tower, which will serve as a solar chimney. The roof is also fully landscaped and will function as both a public trail and pollinator-friendly habitat.

Image courtesy of Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Arctic Museum of Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Architects: Henning Larsen

Developed in collaboration with COWI, Borealis and SLA, the Arctic Museum of Norway is designed to serve as a “cluster of glowing beacons that draw visitors to Tromsø’s surrounding sea. Created to house the vast archive of Tromsø University, the building references lávvu, the homes of the indigenous Saami group. “Our design takes strong reference from the natural setting and cultural history of northern Norway,” said Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, partner at Henning Larsen. “While modern, the design builds on the language of local heritage to create a glowing landmark that will be a beacon for the island city.”

Image courtesy of Henning Larsen

Vertical Oasis Building

Saudi Arabia

Architects: FAAB Architektura

A conceptual mixed-use development for Saudi Arabia, the Vertical Oasis Building is designed to create a microclimate around the structure. Providing a home for plants and microorganisms, it is designed to purify the surrounding air and reduce noise pollution, while solar panels provide energy. It also features modular panels across the building’s skin that support unorthodox shapes and create negative spaces within the structure’s silhouette that serve as plant-lined balconies. According to FAAB, the building is designed to “change the environment in the vicinity of the building while making inhabitants of the building involved in the process”.

Image courtesy of FAAB Architektura