Constantly challenging conventional ideas and pushing architectural boundaries, multiple award-winning architect, Vincent Callebaut has single-‘handedly’ spearheaded green and sustainable design, taking it to the next level.
Words by Mira Soyza
Belgium-born, 38-year-old Vincent Callebaut is no stranger to the architecture world. Known for his eco vision that surpasses the human imagination and designs that champions sustainability, his cutting-edge ideas give hope for a better future.
Callebaut received his architecture education from the Institute Victor Horta in Brussels. From the start, the prodigy showed tell-tale signs of the brilliant architect he was destined to be. In 2000, at only 23, Callebaut was awarded with the best diploma project and graduated with the Great Architecture Prize René Serrure for the Parisian project, Metamuseum of Arts and Civilisations, Quay Branly.
His hard work paid off when he was offered the Leonardo da Vinci bursary by the European Community, and decided to live in Paris. He then spent two years as an intern at Paris top agencies, Odile Decq Benoit Cornette Architectes Urbanistes and Massimiliano Fuksas to sharpen his critical thinking and inventive skills.
In 2001, the visionary competed in a design competition and won the Grand Architecture Prize Napoléon Godecharle from the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts of Brussels with an ecological project, Elasticity—an aquatic city (a submarine town without location) of 50,000 inhabitants. The creation impressed the judges with its great dynamism, his expression force and the coherence of his concept. His ability to envision a new world and express creativity without limit was astounding, considering his background. The Belgian does not believe in the looming threat of global warming or that the destruction of the environment is the outcome human activity—Callebaut is a needle in a Sceptic haystack.
Armed with multiple successes and the determination to make a difference, he gathered a team of experts that consisted of biologists, engineers, bio-engineers and landscape architects to help him on his mission to solve as many environmental and over-population problems as possible, thus the Vincent Callebaut Architectures was born. In 2005, he became one of the finalists of the “RE-New Architecture Pleasures” out of 12 of the top figures among the French Architecture Community in Belgium.