Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson yesterday unveiled new architectural designs from his subsidiary Virgin Buildings, including a plane-shaped building for London and a moon hotel that looks like a robotic caterpillar.
Virgin Buildings is the newest branch of Branson’s empire aimed at “capturing iconic Virgin moments in a new generation of ultra-green skyscrapers”.
The new suite of designs includes a space-shuttle-shaped Sydney skyscraper and a New York tower shaped like a bunch of balloons.
“We’ve been lucky at Virgin to have done some pretty extraordinary things, whether its the music business, trains, planes or even spaceships, but I think this project perhaps caps them all,” said Branson, who provided fuller commentary in his video, below.
According to the April 1st announcement (okay it’s one of those Internet jokes, yikes, or not?), each building will feature huge rainwater-harvesting facilities, living walls that can be used for growing food and moving walls that can adapt to suit different rooms and functions.
Branson describes the plane-shaped London tower as, “the best looking building in the city but it also has the best unique features,” which include an ability to rotate in order to face the sun to heat a particular floor or heat the whole building. He intends to take the technology to the moon and open a space hotel.
“We’re looking at being the first company in the world to have a building on the moon, and we thought, if we’re going to do it let’s try and pay for it by making it a hotel, and of course a pretty good-looking hotel,” he said.
The announcement followed news that two companies have revealed plans for a series of loaf-shaped skyscrapers to accompany the Cheesegrater, Can of Ham, Toast Rack and Sir Norman Foster’s Gherkin buildings in central London.
Property developer British Land released proposals for a 240-meter tower featuring a photovoltaic crust, nicknamed “The Slice of Bread”, while bread company Warburtons has revealed a pair of twin towers, known as “The Loaf”, to sandwich Norman Foster’s Gherkin.
Asked about the timing of the announcement a Virgin representative remarked “there are no coincidences at Virgin”.
Answers to the same query put to British Land and Warburtons were unintelligible, as their representatives were busy eating lunch.
Truth or fiction? With Branson – he likes to keep us guessing.