Tropicalia, the largest single dome greenhouse in the world

Designed by the studio Coldefy and built in Northern France, it will be carbon positive and will bring the flora and fauna of the tropics into the heart of Europe.

Ideated by the French architecture firm Coldefy, Tropicalia is a design for the largest single-dome greenhouse in the world. The 35-metre-high roof is composed of pressurised air cushions made of ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene plastic held in place by an aluminium frame. The building is partially embedded in the ground to reduce its impact on the landscape while allowing trees to grow tall. Inside are 20 thousand square metres of tropical forest illuminated by natural light and maintained at a constant 26 degrees Celsius, to host a unique ecosystem with birds, butterflies, fish, reptiles and a 25-metre waterfall. 

Pictures from the installation of Tropicalia at Squero Castello, Venice. Photo AFP Andrea Ferro Photography. Courtesy Zuecca Projects and Coldefy

Energy self-sufficiency will be given by a Terraotherm system: heat produced by the greenhouse effect will be recycled and stocked. The surplus energy will be distributed to buildings close by. Tropicalia will also host a hotel, restaurant and veterinary clinic. The dome is due to be built by 2024 at Rang-du-Fliers on the Côte d’Opale, France. In the meantime, the design will be on display at the exhibition “Tropicalia – Architecture, Materials, Innovative Systems” (until 21.11.2021 at Squero Castello) as a collateral event of the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Organised by the nonprofit Zuecca in collaboration with Coldefy, the show’s models, videos, drawings and more aim to explore the impact and role of architecture on our daily lives. Visitors will peruse studies on tropical flora and fauna, and other sustainable buildings by Coldefy.

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