Manufactured Landscapes


FrenchDreamTowers is an eco-friendly high-rise complex imagined by Paris-based architect studio XTU, for the city of Hangzhou in Southern China. Currently under study, the project developed around XTU’s ‘bio-facade’ technology; that is glass panels coated with a layer of micro-algae. The extra layer of algae provides natural insulation and further absorbs carbon dioxide while producing oxygen in the process.

In turn, this will contribute to offsetting the environmental impact of the sculptural glass construction. Each tower will host its own ‘French-inspired’ zone. A Tech-Hub with offices and co-working spaces for start-ups; an Art Centre with galleries and artist residences; a hospitality tower with a hotel, spa, healthcare centre and all; and finally an ‘Haute Gastronomie’ precinct with luxury restaurants serving French cuisine and a panoramic bar.

The architects even posit that the algae could be collected from the glass facade for use in the production of various goods such as medicines and beauty products. Other sustainable strategies include greenhouses and hanging gardens on the top floor of the highest glass towers, functioning as an air filtering system, but also providing the buildings’ occupants with leafy and shaded areas to rest under.

Rainwater should be harvested as well, sliding down the sides of the towers and stored into basins below. In a word, XTU’s FrenchDreamTowers are green in every possible way.

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