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This Italian Architect’s Incredible Vertical Forests Are Coming to China

The project will use 1,110 trees, 2,500 shrubs, and a total 23 local tree species.

by Madison Margolin
Feb 9 2017, 1:00pm

With little space for cultivating plants on a large scale in the Chinese city of Nanjing, this architect has a plan to help an urban garden grow up—literally. By 2018, Italian architect Stefano Boeri will complete his vertical forest installation upon the Nanjing Towers, a pair of skyscrapers each looming 656 feet and 354 feet above the city.

The project will use 1,110 trees, 2,500 shrubs, and a total 23 local tree species, to cover the facade of the two buildings and help revitalize the region's ecology. "Vertical Forest is a model for a sustainable residential building, a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory," Boeri wrote on his website, discussing the concept of Vertical Forest in general.

Nanjing Vertical Forest

Artist's rendering of the Nanjing Vertical Forest towers. Credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

The Vertical Forest can also be colonized by birds and insects, helping to reinvigorate the city's vegetation and animal life, he added, which will lend itself to improving the city's other environmental corridors, like parks or gardens. The project will also contribute to a micro climate and will filter dust particles in the urban environment. As Boeri wrote: "The diversity of the plants helps to create humidity, and absorb CO2 and dust, produces oxygen, protects people and houses from the sun's rays and from acoustic pollution."

The Vertical Forest in Nanjing won't be Boeri's first foray into this kind of project. He executed a similar project for residential towers in Milan, where he vertically planted 900 trees and over 20,000 different plants, distributing them according to best individual placement in relation to the sun. That project, dubbed the "Bosco Verticale," opened to residents back in 2014.

Nanjing Vertical Forest illustration

Another artist's rendering of the Nanjing Vertical Forest. Credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

So while the Nanjing Vertical Forest won't be ready for a year, the city can look forward not only to the luscious greenery, but also a museum, offices, rooftop clop, a Hyatt hotel, and green architecture school within the buildings, according to My Modern Met. Moreover, balconies throughout the building will let visitors take in the forest up close for themselves.

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