There is no denying that the trend of greenery and living organisms infused into our habitable spaces has skyrocketed in recent years. The modern day design criteria is bound to include open spaces, natural lighting and of course flora.
This theory is supported by the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year: Greenery and more recently, the 2018 Taubmans’ Colour of the Year: Night Watch. Both colours were inspired by natural tones and aim to provide a sense of balance and harmony by incorporating elements of nature into the home.
With this being said, infusing the natural world into our designs beyond the colours of paint and textures has been taken to drastic, yet incredibly creative measures.
Stefano Boeri has taken his fascination with trees to the next level by revolutionising the way we understand architecture. His 2014 project; The Vertical Forest (located in Milan) consists of two residential towers standing at 110 and 76 meters high and covering a total of 40,000 meters squared.
Structurally, the towers are rather conventional with concrete framework and dark-grey porcelain cladding. It is the exterior foliage that makes these towers unique. The project as a whole includes a variety of plants with over 100 different species. Among these plants are 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 ornamental plants.
The towers have become a pilot project for the future generation of sustainable design. If planted on the ground, the Vertical Forest would equate to an area of 20,000 meters squared. The Vertical Forest is now an urban ecosystem and home to hundreds of birds and insects across the various levels.
The proudest aspect though according to Boeri, is the reduction in carbon emissions and the production of oxygen.
Sydneyites are lucky enough to experience a similar project. Located on Broadway in Chippendale, One Central Park has adapted a similar concept to Boeri’s Vertical Forest. Designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, the residential glass tower is lined with indigenous and exotic plants. Reaching over 50 meters high, One Central Park has become the world’s tallest vertical garden.
One Central Park is a minute’s walk from Central station in Sydney’s CBD and is a stunning piece of architecture that I highly recommend you visit.