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Hyperions, New Delhi

Conceived with the double objective of energy decentralization and food deindustrialization, this garden towers project is very holistic, combining the best of low-tech and high-tech, instead of systematically opposing them. The designers aim is to reconcile urban renaturation and small-scale farming with environment protection and biodiversity. The Hyperions, named after the tallest tree in the world ‘the hyperion’ – a sequoia semperviren found in northern California (whose size can reach 115.55 meters, close to 380 feet), comprises six 36-storey connected towers built from cross-laminated timber, providing the best environmental footprint during its life cycle – from harvesting to recycling, through transportation, processing, implementation, maintenance, and reuse.

To optimize the residential buildings, architect opted for a mixed structure, with a steel and concrete substructure for the earthquake-resistant foundations, parking areas and vertical core bases; and a superstructure made of solid wood columns, beams and walls, reinforced with steel blades where columns and beams meet. Each wood-based structural component is made of multiple panels laid perpendicularly to each other, and bound together with pintles and gudgeonsor organic structural adhesives.

The Hyperions’ skeleton is made of 25 per cent inert materials and 75 per cent bio-sourced materials. This mixed structure is reputed for its strong mechanical resistance (including in the event of earthquakes); for its high resistance to fire; and for its high acoustic and thermal performance. The six garden towers are like a vertical village with a high social, cultural, and use mix. The flexible, evolutionary spaces dedicated to business incubators, living labs, coworking spaces, multi-purpose rooms and concierge services are located behind the solar facades.

All apartments big or small, as well as student housing, open onto cascading hydroponic balconies. Indoor furniture is made of natural materials such as tamarind and sandalwood, and comes from local cabinetmakers, fab labs and recycling shops. Indeed, an exciting vision of future architecture, the project which is aimed to create a cultural hub that combines urban greening, small scale farming, environmental protection, and biodiversity, is estimated to be completed by 2020, bringing together the best of both the city and the countryside!

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