Gallery: EDEN FALLS: Skyscraper Zoo Topped With a Waterfall

eden falls, vision division, costanera sur, zoo

Costanera Sur is a proposal for a vertical zoo in Buenos Aires that transforms a pile of rubble into a towering pillar of falling water. Designed by Visiondivision, the project aims to reclaim debris left over from the construction of Buenos Aires’ decades-old highways, is entirely self-sufficient, and could theoretically provide water and energy to surrounding structures.

Costanera Sur features a central pipe structure that draws water from a nearby river, filters it, and pumps it through the building, eventually overflowing a rooftop pool and creating a waterfall that flows over the building’s facade. At the basement level, energy from the waterfall is turned into electricity through the use of turbines and a central generator.

Visiondivison‘s vertical zoo is a mixed-use structure, with monkeys and birds allowed to roam free in the building, which also contains food storage, a veterinary facility, observation decks, and a cafe. Other animals are contained on separate floors that feature appropriate habitats and individual balconies. The rooftop pool also houses dolphins.

Costanera Sur is an imaginative idea if nothing else, but we’re skeptical about the practicalities of keeping dolphins on the roof and letting monkeys wander free. There’s also some improbable physics to be worked out with finding a way to transport all that water to the top of the building, even if it generates some energy on the way down (perpetual motion, anyone?) Still, we like the idea of making a more interactive zoo — especially one that is completely self-sufficient.

+ Visiondivision


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  1. Foster + Partners Unvei... August 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    […] yet another competition-winning design – this time for a beautiful bank headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The energy-efficient building will echo the landscaping of the nearby park on its […]

  2. Nico B.A. December 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Energy self-sufficiency is not possible for this building as described. It takes more energy to pump the water to the top of the building than it can be generated from the waterfall by turbines or any other devices. The mechanical efficiency of pumps and turbines is less than 1, and there would be also friction and other losses.
    Then, there would be other power consumers within the building (e.g. lighting, heating, air conditioning, elevators, etc.)
    They say they will SELL energy to neighbors? This is a stupid idea.
    Unless, of course, they have thought of solar panels (some square km of them) or wind turbines or geo-thermal energy, or nuclear reactors…
    PS. I live in Buenos Aires and wouldn’t like to have such a FUGLY building in my city.

  3. Fruit Inspector November 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    The wildlife living in the river would appreciate keeping the river’s water there.

  4. Fruit Inspector November 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    In addition to the other criticisms that are right on, clearly the designers have never kept animals.
    mold? humidity? disease? parasites?
    lighting, energy…
    let’s work on the concept of “enough”.

  5. bicycle.ring.ring November 27, 2009 at 12:34 am

    yeah…it looks amzing but the idea of it being sustainable is quite suspicious.

  6. OceanMon November 26, 2009 at 1:40 am

    This idea is stupid.

    Not only is the idea of a zoo abhorent, but pumping so much water is a waste of energy.

  7. Justin_ November 25, 2009 at 11:04 am


  8. ekscrypto November 25, 2009 at 10:03 am

    It takes a tremendous amount of energy to displace that much water; how can they even hope to be energy self-sufficient AND sell energy to neighbors?

    Sure, the water falling down can be used to spin off some turbines, but it takes as much energy to bring it back up plus the the turbines nor the pumps will run at 100% efficiency.

    I’ll put that in the doubtfull suggestion pile.

  9. Shaaban November 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Great idea, looks amazing!

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