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Green Buildings: Green skyscrapers set a clear signal

Nanjing Vertical Forest, China (architecture: Stefano Boeri Architetti) - Copyright: Stefano Boeri Architetti
Nanjing Vertical Forest, China (architecture: Stefano Boeri Architetti) – Copyright: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Grey residential buildings in a sea of concrete? Current building projects all over the world are proving that this can be done differently. More green is to be introduced to the cities using plants and whole forests of plant-covered skyscrapers.

More and more architects are reacting to the growth of the cities and the increasing air pollution with green building projects. In order to compensate for built-up areas, they are adding more greenery to the buildings. Green surfaces are being added to the architecture of numerous current new buildings all over the world. Here, green skyscrapers are particularly popular; the facades of which are planted with trees or plants, setting a statement for green urban planning that is visible from a great distance.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower, Taipei/Taiwan (architecture: Vincent Callebaut Architectures) - Copyright: Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower, Taipei/Taiwan (architecture: Vincent Callebaut Architectures) –
Copyright: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

The skyscrapers of the Italian architect, Stefano Boerri, are one example of the more recent buildings of this kind. He describes his residential towers in Milan that were built in 2014 as a “Vertical Forest”, the plants planted on the exterior of each building correspond to a whole hectare of forest. One of his most recent projects is a forest-covered skyscraper ensemble in Nanjing, China. After its completion, which is planned for 2018, the complex is to take in 25 tonnes of CO² every year and thus make a contribution towards cleaning the polluted urban air.

A current project by the Paris-based architect’s office of Vincent Callebaut is to absorb even more CO². After completion, it is planned that 23,000 trees and bushes are to be used for the “Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower”, which is currently being built in Taipei, Taiwan. The idea behind the unusual high-rise building in the form of a double helix is to create an own eco-system, which brings the flora and fauna back to the city. The “M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity” in Paris, which was planned by Edouard François and which was occupied last year, is also to contribute towards making the urban area green. However, not only the inhabitants benefit from the budding facade of the residential tower, but also the environment that lacks greenery: The wind distributes the seeds of the plants across the urban environment.

Nanjing Vertical Forest, China (architecture: Stefano Boeri Architetti) - Copyright: Stefano Boeri Architetti
Nanjing Vertical Forest, China (architecture: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
– Copyright: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Further current green building projects go even further and want to realise different landscapes or an entire rain forest on a skyscraper for instance. There are ideas for residential towers where food is grown or with a city garden that invites the residents to jog or take a leisurely stroll. The green creative drive seems to know no limits here and one can certainly look forward to seeing how and whether the cities change as a result.

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