Gallery: Spiraling Eco Tower Provides Suburban-Style Living in the City


Living in the city definitely has a lower environmental footprint, but families often miss out on having a backyard and a garden. The Spiral Tower, designed by Philipp von Bock, is a family friendly eco tower designed for Berlin. Apartments are stacked in opposite directions in a criss-cross pattern, leaving open spaces for garden terraces. This creative design allows each apartment to have its own private garden terrace, allowing families to have both the suburbs and the city.

A structural band criss-crosses up the length of the tower, narrowing as it reaches the top. Each level is shaped as an X and the remaining void is left for open space, with a larger community garden at the bottom of the void and individual balconies on each level. Pathways line the exterior of the garden terraces, just like a suburban sidewalk edges a home’s front yard. These pathways allow for neighborhood interaction, which is much more difficult in a traditional apartment tower, when each apartment is closed off from the others.

Designed specifically with Berlin in mind, The Spiral Tower aims to provide a green community in the middle of a city for families who want the best of both worlds – urban living and a suburban home. The eco tower also comes with solar panels, wind turbines, and water recollection and purification systems. Community open space, playgrounds and recreational areas are also distributed throughout the complex.

Via eVolo


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  1. TedSebastian August 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I would have to agree with Michael on this debate. If you think about it, technology has only hindered our ability to be human and taken us further away from nature. Sure, there are exceptions such as medical and I don’t argue penicillin clouds our meaning on this earth. But I do believe in order to extend our species life on this planet for as long as possible, we will have to start growing our own food and living in smaller communities that can produce for itself.

  2. The Space-Scraper Eco T... July 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

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  3. binj09 June 25, 2010 at 12:28 am

    i love it
    wow! perfect design

  4. sy7ar April 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    It’s a DNA tower

  5. michaeljanzen April 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

    “Michael, to be honest what you suggest sounds very anti-progress”

    Thanks for reading between the lines. Here’s a question to mull over… could our cultural obsession for progress and acquisition be undermining our foundation?

    Our passion for progress and acquisition does drive incredible innovation, I would agree 100%. I’ve been noodling over the issue lately because I’m beginning to question the direction and focus of our efforts.

    In other words what if more people worked toward living truly sustainable lives. It would increase economic diversity making fewer people dependent on the central systems. Progress may slow but then again maybe not. Considering our advances over the last 150 years it might mean more time to learn and explore and drive us forward faster.

    Firmer foundation + more time = more advancement, albeit with decentralized power.

  6. robertcarter April 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I love the design personally. I find it very different, but in a good way. Reminds me of the Chicago Spire.

    Michael, to be honest what you suggest sounds very anti-progress. Cities have a very important function and a world dominated by smaller communities is just not very realistic.

  7. michaeljanzen April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Why do people think living in a high rise in a city has a lower environmental impact? I would agree it’s a step up from more suburban environments where you must drive to do anything but wouldn’t everyone agree that small rural towns are the more sustainable?

    The problem I see with cities is that people are disconnected from their food and water supply requiring massive civil engineering projects to build and maintain the infrastructures required for handling food, water, waste, and energy.

    So imagine if you can a diverse landscape filled with small towns separated with natural and agricultural lands. Water is harvested from the roofs of our small homes. Power comes from small-scale wind, solar, and hydro. Waste is treated locally and ideally in our backyard humanure compost and ‘normal’ compost piles. Food is grown locally of course in our own small gardens and nearby on small farms within walking/biking/electric vehicle distance.

    Doesn’t that sound like a better future than climbing career ladders and living in pseudo-eco-skyscrapers?

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