The Rainbow Tree, a cross-laminated timber tower designed by Vincent Callebaut Architectures and planned for construction in Cebu City, Philippines, is inspired by and named after the rainbow eucalyptus tree found near its future home, which turns a rainbow of colors as it loses its bark. The structure is composed of 1,200 prefabricated modules arranged in a geometric stack, each made from responsibly harvested mass timber.
The structure includes a central core and “exoskeleton” façade, with an exterior covered in a careful arrangement of over 30,000 plants, shrubs, and tropical trees sourced from neighboring forests. More than 100 basket-designed wooden balconies are woven between the greenery, across black and silver cladding made from yakisugi wood, created by burning the surfaces of cedar wood planks.
“Our leitmotif is to combine functionality and elegance by sublimating natural, simple, and traditional materials,” says Vincent Callebaut, founder and CEO of Vincent Callebaut Architectures. “The Rainbow Tree is a contemporary design architecture born from a collective memory with clean curves tinged with a popular dimension, a collective ideal, and an ancestral imagination. It advocates the use and reinterpretation of the indigenous, colonial, and modern architectural and landscape styles that predominate or prevail in the city of Cebu.”
The first two floors will feature a large entrance hall, co-working space, a catering restaurant, and bike parking, while the third through eighth floors contain parking and amenity spaces, including a pool, a spa, and a fitness center. The ninth to 31st floors contain 13 apartments per level, ranging from one to three bedrooms in size, with three-bedroom units at the corners.
The top floor contains an urban hydroponics farm with fruit, vegetables, and algae cared for by residents, and the roof will contain photovoltaic and thermal solar panels.