eco tower

10 plant-covered buildings that point to a greener future

Architects are touting plant-covered tower blocks as a way to tackle air pollution and improve the quality of urban life. From one of the world’s tallest living walls to an entire “vertical forest” city in China, here are 10 examples showing the rise of verdant architecture.


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Rosewood Tower, Brazil, by Jean Nouvel

Ateliers Jean Nouvel has recently designed a plant-covered luxury hotel in São Paulo, which will feature staggered terraces overflowing with trees and a latticed Corten-steel facade.

Find out more about Rosewood Tower ›


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Eco-Luxury Hotel, France, by Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma has also designed a heavily planted luxury hotel. Proposed for the Left Bank of Paris’ River Seine, the building will feature lush greenery escaping from a facade comprised of overlapping wooden blocks.

Find out more about Eco-Luxury Hotel ›


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M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity, France, by Maison Edouard François

This eco-friendly apartment block in Paris is wrapped in stainless-steel netting that acts as a climbing frame for plants. When the wind blows, their seeds will be spread across the city.

Find out more about M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity ›


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The Oasis of Aboukir, France, by Patrick Blanc

A vertical garden made from 7600 plants appears to grow up the side of this five-storey Parisian block. It was created by botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, a pioneer of living walls.

Find out more about The Oasis of Aboukir ›


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Ravel Plaza, Amsterdam, by MVRDV

MVRDV incorporated plants and trees in its design for a sprawling complex in Amsterdam’s financial district, which will feature protruding bay windows and angular balconies.

Find out more about Ravel Plaza ›


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East Village, Lebanon, by Jean Marc Bonfils

A vertical garden contrasts with traditional timber and stone cladding on the facades of this apartment block and art gallery in Beirut, inspired by an adjacent garden that is no longer accessible to the public.

Find out more about East Village ›


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Central Park, Australia, by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel teamed up with Patrick Blanc for this pair of apartment towers in Sydney that boasts balconies spilling with plants, as well as a huge vertical garden and a cantilevering structure that reflects light down to lower levels.

Find out more about Central Park ›


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The Naman Retreat, Vietnam, by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Plants climb all over vertical concrete louvres surrounding the facades of this holiday resort by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, which regularly features living walls in its work.

Find out more about The Naman Retreat ›


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50 Moganshan Road, China, by Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a vast tree-covered development for Shanghai, with a staggered roofline modelled on natural topography. It comprises 400 terraces and 1,000 plant-topped columns.

Find out more about 50 Moganshan Road ›


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Liuzhou Forest City, China, By Stefano Boeri

With several “vertical forest” towers already in the works, Stefano Boeri has unveiled ambitious plans for a green city that would address China’s air pollution problem. The Liuzhou Forest City will feature nearly 40,000 trees and almost one million plants.

Find out more about Liuzhou Forest City ›

Related story

Stefano Boeri designs “vertical forest” city to eat up China’s smog

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This might be our future home. Belgian architect Vincent Gallebaut has designed an eco-friendly compound of tower blocks that is expected to generate more energy than it uses. Named “Hyperion,” the 128-meter tower blocks will be 36 stories high and feature 1,000 homes, offices, restaurants, gyms and even swimming pools. Callebaut plans to construct the buildings in the Indian capital New Delhi by 2020.