The 21st century has brought about new ways for architects to express their creative vision in more fluid and natural forms. This is seen in those structures which are designed to resemble the shape of a flower. Not only are these building strikingly different and beautiful, but the majority of them are also very “green” in how they are built, making truly in tune with nature.
Wuhan. Wuhan New Energy Centre. Photo: Soeters Van Eldonk
When designing the new building to house the Wuhan Energy Center, the architects turned to nature and found inspiration in the Calla Lily. Symbolizing greatness, prosperity, and hope, which reflect the mission of the energy center which is focused on researching and developing new energy technology, the shape of the Calla Lily fit with architects’ ideas of creating a “green” building as well. The remarkable result is a huge success, and the Energy Flower Building is considered the world’s most sustainable building. At the base of the flower are leaf-shaped buildings which house the energy center’s laboratories. The tower which rises from this base is 140 meters tall and holds the main offices. The roof is shaped like the Calla Lily “petal” and is tilted at an angle so that it provides shade to offices below during the hottest times of the summer. Also, the surface of the roof is covered with solar panels and faces the sun collecting and storing energy. The roof also catches rainwater and recycles it for the toilets and rooftop garden. Within the “pistil” which rises into the sky are vertical wind turbines harnessing the energy of the wind which is used as energy for the building. It’s inspiring to know the answers to energy conservation and efficiency can be found in the simple, humble flower – if you only study it.
Lotus Temple, Dehli
Lotus Temple view from above
The amazing Lotus Temple, officially named the Baha’i House of Worship, is a temple open to all religions and faiths and is shaped in the form of a lotus blossom. Instead of using images or sculptures of idols, the design of this structure employs the elements of light and water for ornamentation. Composed of 27 petals surrounding a central dome, each petal is clad in white marble panels. The lower level of petals curve outward to form canopies of each of the nine entrances. Once inside the dome, you’ll see the shape of the lotus blossom reflected in the architectural ribs of the dome and in the skylights at the apex. Surrounding the exterior of the temple are nine reflecting pools that are designed in such a manner as to give the illusion the temple is floating on water. Additionally, the pools help keep the inside of the temple cool when fresh air moves over the water and into the temple. The Lotus Temple is also one of the first temples in Delhii to use solar power.
Lotus Inspired Conference Center in Wujin, China
Wujin Lotus Conference Center
The three structures of the conference center are designed after the bud, ripe bloom, and opened blossom of the lotus flower.
Magnolia-like Qizhong Tennis Center
Qizhong Tennis Center
When his steel retractable roof opens, it resembles the blossoming of a magnolia flower.