Made of six garden towers, each 36-storeys high, Hyperions contains residential and office spaces. The aim behind the project was to create a cultural hub that combines urban renaturation, small scale farming, environmental protection and biodiversity.
The concept was developed by Amlankusam, a 45 year old Agroecologist. He says “for the past five years, I’ve lived with my family in the heart of a plus-energy, vertical eco-neighborhood called Hyperions producing more energy than it consumes. In collaboration with architects, agricultural engineers, agronomists and farmers, I eco-conceived this garden towers project rooted in Jaypee Greens Sports City, with the double objective of energy decentralisation and food deindustrialisation. My approach is holistic, combining the best of low-tech and high-tech instead of systematically opposing them.”
The six garden towers acts as a vertical village with a high social and cultural mix. The flexible, evolutionary spaces dedicated to business incubators, living labs, co-working spaces, multi-purpose rooms and concierge services are located behind solar facades. All apartments big or small, as well as student housing, open onto cascading hydroponic balconies. Indoor furniture is made from natural materials such as tamarind and sandalwood, and comes from local cabinetmakers, fabrication laboratories and recycling shops.
As an Agrocologist, Amlankusam suggested that the project be covered with a genuine, virtuous feeding ecosystem based on organic aquaponics. Thus, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, saffron and coriander grow in light substrates made of clay balls on each apartment’s balcony and in hydroponic greenhouses. This vertical farming gives residents some food autonomy while saving the land. The food would be produced mostly onsite or in neighbouring agroforestry fields. The project would save up to 90% of peoples water needs, since it circulates in a closed loop via small pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES) plants.
The towers are linked together with footbridges, and converge under a large orchard roof that serves as a meeting place for the small urban farmer community. Whether it is summer, monsoon or winter, families can meet there, pick fruit, go for a run, get some exercise in the sports hall’s kabaddi field, swim in the organic pool, or watch over their kids playing kho in the playgrounds. These communal footbridges are irrigated by collecting rainwater and residents’ greywater, and the filtered water’s organic nutriments are absorbed by the plants’ roots. This network of sky-high suspended walkways allows residents to move from one tower to the other, from one use to the other, and to forge social and interdependent relationships among neighbours.
Images: Copyright © Vincent Callebaut Architectures