Show Hide image Politics 10 July 2014 Skyscraper made of its occupants’ waste planned for London A load of old rubbish. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Everything’s going organic these days. First food, then clothes, then wine – so it was probably only a matter of time before architecture hopped on the bandwagon too. So it is that Paris-based firm Chartier-Corbasson has unveiled its designs for an “organic skyscraper” to add to the decidedly non-organic ones currently populating London’s skyline. Its facade would be made from recycled paper and plastic bottles, along with glass and other, more traditional, building materials. There’s a twist: the building would start off at only around half of its planned height, then grow over time, using plastic and paper thrown away by the building’s occupants as building materials. The waste would be processed on site and used to construct plastic and paper panels to add to the structure. The whole thing would be anchored by a criss-cross of metal pipes, modelled on the bamboo scaffolding used on building projects in Asia. This scaffolding, however, would be permanent; some pipes would even have tiny wind turbines inside to generate electricity for the building. The Organic Skyscraper’s designers deny it would feel like an eternal building site. The scaffolding would make cranes for further construction unnecessary, they say; new elements would be prefabricated and then quietly slotted into place. The architects claim the design was intended to be the “most realistic approach possible” to building a skyscraper, since it allows more levels to be added when they’re needed, cutting down on the investment required before construction can begin. The intended location is on Shoreditch’s high street, where the skyscraper would feel right at home among organic coffee vendors and vegan restaurants. Its potential uses are laid out in a remarkably opaque press release from the building’s architects: The pyramidal organisation of lifts generates spaces landings [sic], lobbies that can receive activities, spaces for common services, like fitness-rooms, conference-rooms, restaurants or bars, and, of course, on the summit, an observation platform.” Right. If the Organic Skyscraper is realised, its owners will have to pray that the building’s occupants aren’t wholly sold on being eco-friendly themselves – they’ll be relying on them to chuck away plastic bottles and long, single-sided printouts so they can keep building skywards. This is a preview of our new sister publication, CityMetric. We'll be launching its website soon - in the meantime, you can follow it on Twitter and Facebook. › In the first half of 2014, MPs have earned £150,000 for journalism work Barbara Speed is comment editor at the i, and was technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman, and a staff writer at CityMetric. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Why are people reliant on welfare support in favour of curbing benefits? Nine thoughts on the local elections What next for Joe Anderson, Liverpool's fighting mayor?