self sustaining tower
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
March 25, 2024 ·  5 min read

Self-Sustaining 54-storey Tower Planned In The Middle Of The Wilderness

Imagine a self-sustaining tower, 54-storeys high, in the middle of the woods. It stands outside the small Québéçois village of Namur. This mythical-sounding tower, dubbed Domaine PÉKULIARI, was invented by MU Architecture, a company based in Montreal, Canada. Karim Zaghbani Cloutier, a firefighter, is investing in the project. He owns 320 acres outside of Namur and is the founder and CEO of Yul Créations Inc. He has big plans for PÉKULIARI. 

A Self-Sustaining Tower in the Middle of Nowhere? 

The tower is still only in its conception stage, and it already faces mockery. Cloutier went public with the idea for this building at a meeting in November. While most people listened politely, some thought the concept was insane. Social media users bashed the tower mercilessly. After all, it sounds like a bit of a joke — it’s a 670-foot tower near a town with only 600 residents and no form of a municipal sewage system or water supply.  

Namur houses are small and heated with wood stoves. Forest trees and a little lake surround the small settlement of a church, a village hall, a post office, a public park, two gas stations, one grocery store, a couple of restaurants, among other basic buildings all clustered close together. 

Upon hearing about the proposal for the Domaine PÉKULIARI, Mayor Gilbert Dardel made a statement. “My first impression was, tabernouche, I never thought a building like that would ever come to Namur. I thought this is maybe off the charts, that’s for sure.” [1] 

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Big Plans for PÉKULIARI 

Despite the skeptics, Cloutier is confident in his project. He plans to sell the concept, something that hasn’t been done before in North America. His vision for the self-staining tower includes a rainwater and snow treatment system, and technology to turn sewage into clean water as well. 

The residents of the self-sustaining tower would come to enjoy nature. Surrounding gardens would source their food. On the lower floors, 20 to 30 rooms are for the hotel, including enough space for about 150 employees. The rest of the rooms would be condos of varying sizes, some so large, they span across an entire floor. 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect every single view,” said Cloutier. “But I think PÉKULIARI will change the way developers think not just in Canada, but around the world.” 

He trusts that there are environmentalists who would enjoy living in nature while reducing their carbon footprint.

We absolutely need to rethink the way we occupy the land, especially the wild ones, the untouched ones,” he added. 

His idea originally was to build 150 homes. Then he got the idea to save forestland by building upward, instead of outward. “It’s not only a tower inside of a forest, it’s a fully integrated ecosystem.” 

Cloutier is dreaming large with this self-sustaining tower. However, he has never worked on a project this massive.  

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The Elements of the Self-Sustaining Tower 

The tower would include a landing pad for helicopters as well as greenhouses to supply food. Extra food would go to the community or nearby charities. Road construction will be kept at an absolute minimum to upkeep the buildings embodiment of nature, as opposed to overtaking it. Wildlife programs, such as for reinsertion of bats and ducks, will be run inside the PEKULIARI.

The futuristic building would also include services such as a grocery store, forest guides, an observatory over the lake, a bar, a cigar lounge, a gym, a spa, and pools all introduced with a grand and elegant lobby. Offices and conference rooms reside on the upper floors. [2] 

The project as such aims to be 100% self-sufficient,” said Cloutier. “The structural glasses will be mainly photovoltaic (solar energy) so the energy production will be produced directly from the tower. ” 

The Debate in Namur 

Meanwhile, Mayor Dardel isn’t turning his nose up at the idea. Namur seems split about the idea. It promises potential jobs for the residents, but it would also need substantial zoning changes from the village and the government. 

It’s a project that can change Namur forever and that’s why we want to have the pulse of as many people as possible,” he said. “If there is social acceptability, will it create more concentrated traffic in our area and in neighboring villages? Are our roads adequate to respond to that? Is there going to be an impact on the environment? These are all questions to which we must have answers.” [3]

According to some residents of Namur, some believe the self-sustaining tower could really come to light.  

“I think it would be great for the village, the area, the region,” said Jonathan Prévost, 37, owner of Station Namur, a gas station and sore. “I know it’s challenging for some people to understand a big change like that.” Still, he thinks “the concept is awesome.”  

Five-year Namur resident Dani Chenier thinks the idea is “interesting” and “audacious” but out of place. “It looks like it should be in Laval or Dubai, or Kuala Lumpur… You come down an elevator, come outside and there’s nothing to do. All you have is scrub brush.” 

Cloutier argues with her last point, since the nature-filled ‘no man’s land’ location is part of the appeal of his concept. “You want to reconnect with Mother Nature,” he said. “There’s no need, say, for racing carts on the property.” 

According to the mayor, more meetings about the Domaine PÉKULIARI will convene in the future. 

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  1. “Egan: One tall tale — plan calls for 54-storey tower to find home near tiny Quebec village.” Ottawa Citizen. Kelly Egan. December 7, 2020.
  2.   “Pekuliari Tower in Outaouais, Québec.”E-Architect. Isabelle Lomholt.November 13, 2019.
  3.   “A 54-storey condo tower in the middle of the forest in Namur?” LeDroit. Benoit Saourin. November 20, 2020.