Vincent Callebaut Architecture just unveiled their design for a multi-use complex in Cairo inspired by the structure of coral reefs. The complex, named The Gate Residence, is a hyper-connected ecosystem meant to fight global warming. It features a solar roof, green terraces, sky villas and green cascades falling in each courtyard.
The Gate Project boasts several renewable energy technologies meant to assure a 50 percent energy saving and a significant reduction in carbon footprint. A mesh surface unfolds above all the building volumes as a braided dress. This second skin in white steel and cables enables integration of rooftop photovoltaic cells, the thermal tubes, and the vertical living walls.
The horizontal surface of the roof is turned into giant trees in order to push down, towards the basement, the structure’s load. It is transformed into a community rendezvous spot and a common playground area with food gardens, orchards, infinity swimming pools and sports areas.
Designed according to calculations regarding the solar cycle, prevailing wind direction, endemic plant species etc., the building integrates various renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, geothermal energy and biomass. The roof is populated with windcatchers common in traditional Egyptian architecture. These devices function in three ways: they direct airflow using direct wind entry, use wind-assisted or solar-assisted temperature gradients to direct airflow. Nine of these devices were installed on site and are meant to stimulate natural passive cooling. In addition to these, the complex features solar water heating tubes and vertical axis wind turbines.
The living units have multi-sensors to determine the number of people in the room, motion, temperature and light levels. A user interface enables the inhabitants to control different zones within their living spaces.