Architect Vincent Callebaut’s latest project isn’t something you can currently visit in the real world. Pollinator Park is a virtual reality experience that warns people about declining biodiversity, specifically among pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. It imagines more ecological architecture to address changes that need to be made if the rate of pollinator extinction continues on its current trajectory. (As of 2020, the extinction rate for these pollinators is 100 to 1,000 times higher than what should be expected.)
The European Commission called on Vincent Callebaut Architectures to create a VR experience that would raise action about declining biodiversity. “In his design of ‘Pollinator Park,’ architect Vincent Callebaut shows how architecture can help in the fight for a better future, integrating the best agricultural, technological, and design practices for living in harmony with nature,” says the commission.
The conceptual park is largely made of cross-laminated timber and recycled material, true to the project’s sustainability mission. These materials are used in a futuristic complex inspired by the forms of flowers. In the central area of Pollinator Park, the shape of a plant’s female organ is used as educational spiral biodomes as well as an observation platform overlooking the virtual structure.
Much of the land in the project is dedicated to agriculture as the massive domes allow plenty of sunlight for the life growing inside. “Under its futuristic domes, ‘Pollinator Park’ promotes the noble role of the farming profession,” says Callebaut. “It shows good practice in pollinator preservation on multiple levels: land-use, agricultural, forest, and urban.”