Lonely Planet Writer

A forest city is born - Asia’s first vertical forest towers are being built in China

Asia is set to welcome its first vertical forest, with two living towers that feature over 1000 trees already under construction in Nanjing, China.

Vertical Forest Nanjing
An artist’s rendering of the Nanjing Vertical Forest. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti
Vertical Forest
A photograph of a completed living forest tower in Milan, Italy. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti

Designed by Stefano Boeri Architects, the unique towers are located in the Pukou district and will include a total of 1100 trees from 23 local species, as well as 2500 cascading plans and shrubs that will cover a 6000-square-metre area. The living towers will help to regenerate local biodiversity and will provide 25 tonnes of CO2 absorption each year. As well as this, the forests will produce about 60 kilograms of oxygen per day. The taller tower will be 200-metres-high and crowned on the top by a green lantern. It will host offices from the eighth to the 35th floor and will include a museum, a green architecture school and a private rooftop club. The second tower, 108-metres-high, will provide the Hyatt hotel with 247 rooms of different sizes as well as a rooftop swimming pool.

Vertical Forest Milan
The Milan towers were inaugurated in 2014. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti
Vertical Forest
The Nanjing build will feature a stunning 1,100 trees. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti

The build is the third prototype, following vertical forests that have already been created in Milan and Lausanne. The Milan towers were inaugurated in November 2014 in the Porto Nuova Isola area as part of a wider renovation project led by Hines Italia. The design consists of two towers that host 480 large and medium trees, 300 small trees, 11,000 perennial and covering plants and 5000 shrubs. The design creates a special environment inhabited by birds and insects, promoting the spontaneous re-population of flora and fauna in a city space.

Vertical Forest
An image of the balconies and growth in Milan. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti
The Nanjing towers are due to be completed in 2018.
The Nanjing towers are due to be completed in 2018. Image by Stefano Boeri Architetti

The Vertical Forest project is under development in future cities around the world, including Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, Guizhou, Shanghai and Chongqing in China. A book edited by the architecture firm responsible for the builds is set to be published under the title, “A Forest City”. The Nanjing Vertical Forest project is scheduled to be finished in 2018.

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