Architects are touting plant-covered tower blocks as a way to tackle air pollution and improve the quality of urban life. From one of the world’s tallest living walls to an entire “vertical forest” city in China, here are 10 examples showing the rise of verdant architecture.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel has recently designed a plant-covered luxury hotel in São Paulo, which will feature staggered terraces overflowing with trees and a latticed Corten-steel facade.
Kengo Kuma has also designed a heavily planted luxury hotel. Proposed for the Left Bank of Paris’ River Seine, the building will feature lush greenery escaping from a facade comprised of overlapping wooden blocks.
This eco-friendly apartment block in Paris is wrapped in stainless-steel netting that acts as a climbing frame for plants. When the wind blows, their seeds will be spread across the city.
A vertical garden made from 7600 plants appears to grow up the side of this five-storey Parisian block. It was created by botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, a pioneer of living walls.
MVRDV incorporated plants and trees in its design for a sprawling complex in Amsterdam’s financial district, which will feature protruding bay windows and angular balconies.
A vertical garden contrasts with traditional timber and stone cladding on the facades of this apartment block and art gallery in Beirut, inspired by an adjacent garden that is no longer accessible to the public.
Jean Nouvel teamed up with Patrick Blanc for this pair of apartment towers in Sydney that boasts balconies spilling with plants, as well as a huge vertical garden and a cantilevering structure that reflects light down to lower levels.
Plants climb all over vertical concrete louvres surrounding the facades of this holiday resort by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, which regularly features living walls in its work.
Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a vast tree-covered development for Shanghai, with a staggered roofline modelled on natural topography. It comprises 400 terraces and 1,000 plant-topped columns.
With several “vertical forest” towers already in the works, Stefano Boeri has unveiled ambitious plans for a green city that would address China’s air pollution problem. The Liuzhou Forest City will feature nearly 40,000 trees and almost one million plants.