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This building's for the birds

The proposed Tower of Nests complex will be home to humans, birds, squirrels and insects in a multiple-use project likely to be built in the Pudong New Area. It wins top honors at a major architecture festival. Hu Min reports.

Birds, squirrels, bees and other insects are expected to call the proposed Tower of Nests in Shanghai home.

The building, a new kind of high-rise integrating human and animal inhabitants, has been honored as Future Project of the Year for 2011 at the World Architectural Festival in Barcelona.

Another China project, the Sanlihe Greenway in Qian'an City, Hebei Province, was named Best Landscape Project for its transformation of a polluted waterway, garbage dump and sewage drainage facility into an ecological corridor and natural habitat.

The awards were handed out early this month. The Shanghai project and the Hebei landscape were the only two China entries to receive top honors at one of the world's largest and most prestigious architectural events.

Shanghai's Tower of Nests is likely to be built in the Pudong New Area, though the designer's 50-story vision may be scaled back because of cost. There are no immediate plans for construction. Designers hope for a visionary developer.

The environmentally sustainable multiple-use tower project will have a facade of natural materials, such as wicker, straw, clay, mud and stone, as well as birds' nests. The facade, or outer skin, also provides insulation in warm and cold weather.

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