Take a look at India's new tree-lined apartments
Edouard François' Gurgaon 71 development sees high-rise horticulture planned for the outskirts of New Delhi
The award-winning French architect Edouard François always takes an interest in the natural world. Next year his Paris practice will complete the M6B2 Tower in the French capital, which uses "wind to spread first-generation seeds and promote the regeneration of plants" throughout the wider city. Meanwhile, the Planted Tower of Nantes "studied the creation of a unique vertical exhibition of plants from the Botanical Garden of Nantes, compiled by explorers of the entire world".
Now, Maison Edouard François has more high-rise horticulture planned for the outskirts of New Delhi. Gurgaon is a well-heeled suburb to the south west of the capital, and Gurgaon 71 is an up-market apartment block within the conurbation. It may look startlingly high-tech, yet to describe the development, François has reached for an arboreal simile: "The towers are implanted like trees, creating a calm and green environment."
Indeed, he has plans for 'green clouds' in the highest handful of storeys, where five-metre ceilings allow trees to be grown, along with flowers and organic vegetables. Residents, regardless of which floor they occupy, would have access to the cloud via private lifts. Up there, they could use the domestic facilities of living room, kitchen and loos. François imagines that on the hottest nights "inhabitants can shelter themselves in these cool spaces and even sleep here."
The architect likens Gurgaon 71's leafy extensions to "tea pavilions in the garden of a chateau: they embody French-style luxury living". That seems a bit of a stretch to us, though they'll appeal to anyone who likes their sylvan idyll to be in close proximity to their urban retreat.
And while the top floors purport to have a French flavour, much of the inspiration behind their configuration lies closer to home. "The rooms are oriented according to the principles of vastu," François explains, "an ancient doctrine on how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. A space in each residence is reserved for divinity altars."
Find out more about Gurgaon 71 here. To learn more about the greater trends within contemporary architecture, please take a look at our Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, which features over 1,000 of the most outstanding works built since 2000.