Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae-covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system.


Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection. The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar.

“The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better  insulation of buildings.”