Mushroom Cities: Tropical Urban Rainforests

by , 02/09/09

Tropicool@KL, Urban Cities, Vertical Parks, Sustainable Developments, Green Cities, Sustainable Utopia, green building, mushroom city, sustainable architecture

As cities stretch to accommodate the world’s skyrocketing population, loyal Inhabitat followers are surely familiar with skyscrapers and other vertical solutions to cope with urban densification. Still, an urban ecology modeled after the rainforest, complete with towering mushroom high-rises, is sure to raise some eyebrows. Designed for the heart of Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, TROPICOOL @ KL envisions a series of self-sustaining mushroom skyscrapers that incorporate natural energy sources, rainwater harvesting, and bio-mass support for off-the-grid living in a truly green environment.

Tropicool@KL, Urban Cities, Vertical Parks, Sustainable Developments, Green Cities, Sustainable Utopia, green building, mushroom city, sustainable architecture

A play upon the symbiotic nature of organisms thriving in the rainforest, TROPICOOL @ KL envisions a series of symbiotic energy-generating skyscrapers modeled after mushrooms. These tropical trees of life provide housing and recreational facilities while mimicking the five layers found within a tropical rainforest: the overstory, the canopy, the understory, the shrub layer, and the forest floor.

The structure’s circular tops are composed of miniature solar panels that provide a power source while mimicking the process of photosynthesis that takes place in rainforest canopies. Scattered throughout the branches of the mushroom tops are dwellings modeled after the Malaysian vernacular, offering living within the “rural fabric” of nature. Although definitely a work in progress, the idea of bringing a crazy rainforest canopy into the city is a novel one, and one worth considering as we chart the future of our urban environments.

+ Tropicool @ CL

Via Ecofriend

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  4. harukolavigne September 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    nice 1!!archi UPm rulezzz~~~~

  5. Hasan_AbdRahaman March 4, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Before I forget, i’m expecting people critics about “Sense Of Place” issue. It is not only for Sentul Malaysia, it is just an example of tropical site, and having vernacular theme on the home-living style. Generally, I’m designing for the tropical region along Equator, where maximum UV is available at sun angle 90 degree (right on top of your head), and sun rays are available throughout a year.Therefore, it is less suitable for North and South Latitude, as they got 4 season and shall have certain sun angle that tilt to the sideways, NOT facing straight up.

    So, if the guy in San Diego want to build this, he need to design the disc facing a bit south, so the solar cell is more efficient in that way. That’s all. I hope in the future somebody will make it a reality, For our Earth and humanity, not just for billionaires.. lol

  6. Hasan_AbdRahaman March 3, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Hello, thanx 4 commenting my design..
    FYI, this is my scheme in IFHP “Future Cities” @ Copenhagen Denmark Student Competition 2007
    (to design habitable scheme for the incoming year 2030)
    Unfortunately, not a winning scheme, just honoroubly mentioned..

    This is just a first thought about how it should look like, when we are concerning about green building in TROPICAL context. Wide surface of solar panels, rainwater harvest and biomass.. Yes, it can be located in Malaysia, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Hawaii, and Equador as well… Later I was thinking about to have canopies like Sepang F1 Circuit, but i need more study on strong wind loads and vortex.. maybe should be segmented so that wind can get through the disc plane.. I tried to utilised the technology of nano-carbon frame which is 14x stronger than conventional steel + transluscent amorphous solar panel skin.

    The “fungus” platforms is designed to mimic rainforest and the ambient setting of Malay vernacular rural village (interlocking of trees and home), and creating sort like vertical lot lands, to cater for population. In Malay village, they have their very own FRONTYARDS so that they can grow crops + relatives gathering for wedding or funeral. Unlike conventional condos which are lack of private space of activities. Safety perimeter fences are installed along the edge of these platforms

    I know, the engineering part looks ridiculous, but the concept is there.. of course we can still improvise it later..

  7. catherinedcollins February 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    These look awesome !!! I think their consideration of every aspect of the rainforest habitat is very creative and it really works – – So futuristic and eco – friendly. What’s not to love ?!

  8. davidwayneosedach February 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I love it! This tropical design would fit right in in San Diego today. We have an abundance of unsold condos, houses and just empty space.

  9. Budi Waluyo February 9, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Brilliant idea. It can be the answer for energy crisis that happen in many part of the world. At least the structure may fulfill it’s own resident not just depend on central power plant.

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