James Law is a self-proclaimed “cybertect.” Working within the realm of futuristic design, cybertecture fuses architecture, infrastructure and city planning with emergent technologies and artificial intelligence. At first glance, this seems like the plot synopsis of a bad, made-for-The SciFi Channel movie. However, the design for the new “Cybertecture Egg” in Mumbai could also very well be the zeitgeist of the architectural revolution of the 21st century.
The 13-floor, egg-shaped office building is a hybrid of environmentally focused design with new engineering and intelligent systems. The original design concept was to recreate the world as an eco-system, where life is allowed to evolve sustainably. “[Buildings] are no longer about concrete, steel and glass, but also the new intangible materials of technology, multimedia, intelligence and interactivity,” according to the firm’s website. In addition to several interactive features (such as the ability of an occupant to change his or her “view” at their desk to real time imagery of places around the world), the building will also feature a green roof, wind turbines, and a water filtration system that will process the building’s grey water.
The egg shape is also supposed to represent a planetary object, a shining light representing hope and life. The “iconic” design and aesthetics of the tilt of the egg structure may be nothing more than posturing to critics within the architectural design community; though, the tilted planes will nonetheless serve to alleviate the solar gain of the building. One of the more interesting aspects of the design, however, will be the implementation of a structure derived from egg skins that create spans of column-less floors. Law’s release of the design did not go much more into detail about the process, unfortunately.
According to WorldArchitectureNews.com, which first reported on the new design, the building will also monitor an occupant’s health, marking the recent trend in design that accounts for user wellness, which is also becoming more and more a part of “green” design. Within the “Egg,” a series of washrooms will be equipped with vital sign monitors that will keep track of one’s blood pressure and weight that can then be sent to a physician if the system deems necessary.
How much utility there is monitoring one’s blood pressure and weight is still to be seen. But what it does represent is how, as technology becomes increasingly more and more sophisticated, the function of the building can have a much larger effect on the world around it – in terms of its resource consumption, in terms of what it symbolically represents, and in terms of the people that use it day in and day out.
(Photo Source: James Law Cybertecture International)