As more people begin moving from rural areas and into swelling urban centers around the world, it usually means that local wildlife gets the boot. But now, thanks to a revolutionary new building called Tower of Nests proposed for construction in Shanghai, city squirrels, birds, and insects that might otherwise be displaced will have a high-rise to call their very own, living in peace with human residents. The designers behind the tower hope that it will usher in a new era of urban architecture -- one that promotes sustainability and harmony with nature.
The Tower of Nests, brainchild of Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture, was recently awarded first prize at the 2011 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in the Future Projects Category. At 50-stories, the tower will feature a facade of natural materials such as mud, straw, stone, and wicker as a way of inviting urban species to make their habitat in an otherwise stark city-scape. Inside, both commercial and residential space will offer Shanghai a chance to live and work alongside animals in their somewhat natural-seeming habitats.
While the building itself is pretty incredible looking, and the concept behind the Tower of Nests is no fleeting thing:
Mankind faces a challenge comparable in size with the industrial revolution to build a sustainable society. In order to succeed, we need to learn how to coexist with nature. We propose a building that aims to become a symbol; not of power nor wealth, but of a new era of harmony and interplay between nature and mankind.
The tower would poetically create closer and richer contact between humans and animals while accommodating them using the same environment. If their activities are done in the same architectural space, the natural environment becomes important to both. This will increase the responsibility in maintaining the environment, which both animals and humans use.