VINCENT CALLEBAUT PROPOSES 3D-PRINTING ‘FARMING BRIDGES’ TO REGENERATE WAR-TORN MOSUL
Vincent Callebaut has presented his winning project for the Rifat Chadirji prize, a competition that called for ideas to rebuild Iraq’s liberated areas in Mosul. Titled ‘five farming bridges’, the concept puts forward the construction of affordable and adaptable bridges topped with modular housing units.
The inhabited bridges are seen as a strategy to rebuild a new city over the ruins of the old one. To address the shortage of affordable housing, the bridges would be 3D printed using debris from war ruins, creating more than 53,000 homes.
The stacked housing units conceived by Vincent Callebaut are covered with urban farms and agricultural fields. This would not only guarantee food autonomy to inhabitants, but also excellent thermal inertia to the built environment. The farms and orchards are irrigated by water from the Tigris river, and plowed by Archimedes screws.
Furthermore, gray water from bathrooms and kitchens is recycled and filtered by plants in lagoon waterfalls connected with the river. Biomass composters feed the orchards and vegetable gardens suspended in biological fertilizers.
The modular units were inspired by Muqarnas — a form of ornamented vaulting used in Islamic architecture since medieval times. The houses are adaptable and adjustable, constructed by stacking 2, 5, or 10 modules. Over the years, it is imagined that the villages will develop into green-filled self-sufficient systems.
“The urban planning model can be easily replicated with the goal of rapidly increasing the housing capacity in the city and providing a practical and inspiring solution for war repatriates”, explains the architect. “This pioneering concept could change the way to construct buildings – making the process faster and less costly – fighting poverty and feeding the post-ISIS Mosul.”