The Botanic Center apartment block in Brussels, named after the nearby botanical gardens, is plant-centric in name only, but that could all change if a proposal from Vincent Callebaut, a Belgian proponent of sustainable architecture, moves forward.

According to, Callebaut’s concept, called the Botanic Center Bloom, would leave the original 1970s-era concrete structure in place, but calls for the installation of 274 planter beds into the existing façade. These beds would then be filled with around 10,000 plants, all specially chosen by botanists.


These plants would be drip-fed and require maintenance about twice a year. Additionally, the windows and other fittings would need to be upgraded. These changes would likely result in about 50 tons of CO2 being captured every year and increased thermal performance for the building as a whole.


The addition of the plants would offer a significant change to the current building, but another large change would be even more eye-catching. A new structure, dubbed the Chrysalis, would be built from timber and steel on top of the building to serve as retail, residential, commercial, or mixed-use space.

On top of the Chrysalis are a large solar panel array and 42 wind turbines that will produce an estimated 128,340 KWh/year. The project is currently in the design phase with no information as to its likelihood of progressing.