Towers covered with greenery are not a new idea and the first ones are already getting built around the globe in an effort to fight the alarming pollution present in some cities. Now the Paris suburb of Villiers sur Marne is getting its own such tower. The so-called Forêt Blanche (which translates to White Forest) was designed by the famous architect Stefano Boeri, who is no stranger to proposing such vertical forest buildings. Towers based on his designs are already getting built in Switzerland and Milan, while a whole city of such towers is being planned in southern China.
Forêt Blanche will be made entirely of wood will stand 177 ft (54 m) tall. The exterior will be covered in 2,000 trees, shrubs and plants. It will feature apartment units at the top, while the lower floors will be taken up by offices and retail spaces.
The fours sides of the tower will be covered by a mix of balconies and terraces on which various plants and trees will be planted. According to the architects, this green covered area will be equivalent to one hectare of forest, which is 10 times larger than the actual footprint of the building itself. The project is still very much in the early stages, so a timeline for its construction and completion has not yet been decided upon.
However, it is a great idea, and one which more large cities should start entertaining. We must embrace nature and help it heal if we are to build a more sustainable future for our world. We will follow this project closely as new developments arise and keep you informed. Let’s hope it is just one of many such projects that we will get to report on in the next year.
When architect Stefano Boeri first came up with the concept of the so-called Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), that is two skyscrapers clad in greenery, many people believed it would remain just a concept and never see the light of day. But now, a third Vertical Forest is to be built in Nanjing, China.
The Nanjing Vertical Forest, as the project is called, will consist of two skyscrapers rising from a shared podium. One will be 656 ft (200 m) high and the other 354 ft (108 m). Apart from apartments they will also house a hotel, office space, a green architecture school, restaurants, a conference hall, an exhibition spaces, and retail space. The taller skyscraper will also have a private club on the roof, and the smaller one will have a rooftop swimming pool.
Together, the buildings will be clad in 600 tall trees and 500 medium-sized trees that will be sourced from 23 local species. The façade will also feature 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs in concrete planters that will be integrated into the units’ balconies. It is estimated that all this will absorb 25 tons of CO2 annually, an produce around 132 lbs (60 kg) of oxygen per day.
A lot of concrete will be used to construct the towers, so it’s still debatable just how sustainable these Vertical Forests actually are. But giving city dwellers a chance to have a garden in their apartment will definitely improve their quality of life.
The Nanjing Vertical Forest is being financed by the Nanjing Yang Zi State-Owned Investment Group and will be completed by 2018. Boeri is also busy improving his original designs for the Vertical Forest and hopes to see more of them built around in China in the near future, in cities such as Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, Guizhou, Shanghai and Chongqing.
The mountainous Liuzhou region in Southern China will soon be home to a whole city of vertical forest towers, which were originally the brainchild of Italian architect Stefano Boeri. This so-called Forest City will no doubt offset some of the alarming air pollution the country is facing.
The city will create homes for 30,000 people and was commissioned by the Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning department. Apart from apartments, it will also feature all the amenities normally found in cities, such as hotels, hospitals, schools, offices and so on. These towers and other structures that will make up this city will be powered by solar panels and geothermal energy.
The facades of the buildings will be covered in plants and trees, as will the parks and gardens between them. There will be a total of 40,000 trees and roughly a million plants, representing 100 different species. According to the designers, Forest City will absorb around 10,000 tons of C02 and 57 tons of pollutants, as well as produce 900 tons of oxygen every year.
Forest City will be located just to the north of the city of Liuzhou, which has about a million and a half inhabitants. A rail line of electric cars will connect these two cities. China is the third country to begin construction of such a vertical forest city, with similar projects already underway in Italy and Switzerland. More countries around the world should consider commissioning such greenery-clad cities, or at least building some vertical forest towers, in an effort to offset pollution and bring some nature back into cities.
Construction of the Chinese Forest City is already underway and will be completed by 2020.