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Mushroom Cities: Tropical Urban Rainforests
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.
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.
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