Tree-topped development unveiled in Shanghai

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A mixed-use development taking the form of two tree-topped mountains has been unveiled on the outskirts of Shanghai.

The ‘1000 trees’ development was designed by Heathenwick Studio for developers Tian An China. It spans 3000 square metres in a residential area 20 minutes away from Shanghai’s city centre.

The development incorporates several historic buildings and is split over two plots of land, connected by a narrow government plot.  Hundreds of structural columns are used as large planters, with each of them holding a cluster of trees.

The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element

“Existing planning permission for two conventional shopping mall blocks had been granted for the site, but a huge, boxy building would need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to fit in with the surroundings,” explains Heatherwick Studio.

“The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building’s edges are lowered to minimize the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them.”

Earlier this month, Europe’s biggest ever green wall was unveiled in London. The façade of Citicape House on London’s ‘cultural mile’ was designed with the intent of capturing over eight tonnes of carbon and producing six tonnes of energy every year.

"Rather than having an isolated patch of greenery, we felt that an immersive and integrated approach would have the biggest impact on the local environmental conditions, making a better and more liveable city, as well as articulating a clear architectural statement,” said, Dan Burr, a partner at the designers of the building, Sheppard Robson.

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