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Plant covered buildings flourish

Have you noticed that things are looking up when it comes to urban green spaces? From vertical sky gardens to living walls and green roofs, plant covered buildings are growing and spreading as developers integrate vegetation into building architecture.

And there are lots of good reasons why: Urban space is at a premium. And with our cities are getting warmer due to climate change and urban heat island (UHI) effect, a building envelope that features nature’s own air filters and conditioners is the perfect cooling solution that solves the lack of green space and improves air quality too.

Here are some of our favourite plant covered buildings that are growing and shaping the green cities of the future:

Wonderwoods, the Netherlands

Wonderwoods – a collaboration between architects MVSA and Stefano Boeri Architetti – takes the whole concept of plant covered buildings to new heights. Recently named the MIPIM/Architecture Review Future Project of the Year, it’s a pair of non-identical 90 metre residential towers – one designed by each office – that are more urban ecosystems than apartment blocks.

Due for completion in 2022, Wonderwoods will host around 10,000 plant species, including 360 trees and over 9,600 varieties of shrubs and flowers. It’s estimated that this incredible vertical forest will eventually absorb around 5.4 tons of CO2 and produce over 41,000 tons of oxygen, creating a cooling microclimate for apartment residents and significantly reducing energy costs.

Plant covered buildings Plant covered buildings Plant covered buildings Images sourced from MVSA and Stefano Boeri Architetti

French Dream Towers, Hangzhou, China

These four twisting glass towers proposed by French architects XTU are really bringing the concept of living, breathing green cities to life. The facades of French Dream Towers are covered in a combination of bio facades, green houses and vegetation walls. The bio facades contain algae which insulate the glass buildings, improving thermal performance whilst absorbing carbon dioxide. The sleek tower design flows rainwater to the base of the complex for recycling.

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Images sourced from XTU Architects

Tel Aviv Arcades, Tel Aviv

This Tel-Aviv high rise is a real breath of fresh air. Unveiled by Penda Architects – founded by Chris Precht and Dayong Sun – what we love most about this design is the arched, cascading terraces.

Created as a welcoming facade and a nod to Tel Aviv’s architecture, the clever layout means that every terrace is open to its surroundings, but not exposed to the harsh climate thanks to the shading provided by each outdoor garden zone.

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Images sourced from Studio Precht

How metal helps build green cities

Many of the plant covered buildings, vertical gardens and living walls you’ll find in cities are achieved through the use of a perforated metal or wire mesh facade, through which plants can grow and flourish.

The red wire mesh facade of WOHA’s award-winning Oasia Downtown Hotel in Singapore hosts over 21 different species of plants.

Plant covered buildings Plant covered buildings

Images sourced from WOHA

Whilst in Casablanca, Morocco, the Gardens of Anfa multi-tower development by Maison Edouard Francois has native vines, plants and flowers growing through the decorative, wrap-around mesh facades.

Plant covered buildings Plant covered buildings Plant covered buildings

Images sourced from Maison Edouard Francois

Metal and mesh for living walls and plant covered buildings

 If you’re inspired to create a truly green building, talk to the Arrow Metal team about a bespoke perforated metal or wire mesh facade. We can custom create a building facade to your exact specifications. Call us on (02) 9748 2200 or send us an online enquiry.

Posted: September 17, 2019

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