Tree-covered tower’s lush exterior equivalent to 2.5 acres of forest

Few designers have done as much to popularize the modern trend of covering buildings in greenery as Stefano Boeri. Since his Bosco Verticale met with critical acclaim, the Italian architect’s firm has been steadily producing lush tree-covered buildings around the world. Its latest will be adorned in thousands of plants and hundreds of trees, which the firm says will be equal to around 1 hectare (approximately 2.5 acres) of forest.

The Wonderwoods Vertical Forest is nearing completion in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is actually part of a larger project that will consist of two towers. Stefano Boeri Architetti’s contribution is the taller tower that reaches a height of 105 m (344 ft), so while it’s no supertall skyscraper, it is a substantial building, especially for Europe. It will include apartments and office space, as well as a restaurant and significant landscaping. Its trees and plants will be installed into planters on the exterior, allowing residents to enjoy greenery on their balconies.

“The Wonderwoods Vertical Forest will house 200 apartments of different types intended for a wide range of users as well as 15,000 sq m [roughly 160,000 sq ft] of office space,” explained Stefano Boeri Architetti. “In addition, on its facades the towers will host around 10,000 plants and 300 trees of 30 different species, equivalent to the vegetation found in 1 hectare of forest. As such it represents a real urban ecosystem, inspired by the vegetation in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park and capable of producing approximately 41 tons of oxygen every year.”

The Wonderwoods Vertical Forest will host around 10,000 plants and 300 trees of 30 different species
The Wonderwoods Vertical Forest will host around 10,000 plants and 300 trees of 30 different species

Milan Hofmans

“Furthermore, the plants dampen the noise pollution of the city and in summer the shade of the foliage reduces the heat island effect, lowering the temperature on the facades and inside the building, with a significant impact on the local microclimate, the well-being of the inhabitants and providing energy savings with regard to air conditioning,” added the company.

The greenery will be tended by a group of “flying gardeners,” who will abseil down from the top of the building to maintain and care for it all, as is the case with several other Boeri projects. We’ve no word yet on how all the greenery will be irrigated, though previous projects by the firm have implemented rainwater capture systems.

Wonderwoods Vertical Forest is well underway, with the plants and trees currently being installed using a series of cranes and specialist gardeners. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2024.

Source: Stefano Boeri Architetti

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