Skyscrapers and forests couldn't be more different. But Koichi Takada Architects believes, the two can coexist. The Australian firm released images of its "Urban Forest" design covering a 30-story apartment building in trees and plants, making it the "world's greenest residential building."
The Brisbane-based project will include nearly 400 homes, a two-level rooftop garden, and another ground-level park to enhance the nature-in-city vibe. But, it's the facade that will make it truly stand out. The firm plans to cover the exterior with 1,000 trees and 20,000 plants using over 250 species native to Queensland, making it the greenest design possible.
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Beyond just the visual greenery, the building will be constructed using eco-friendly materials like green concrete, a low carbon concrete—and recycled or locally sourced stone and brick elements. All of the wood will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, while the units will be made as modules to reduce waste and shorten construction times. Both minimize the impact construction can have on the environment. The goal is to get a six-star Green Star rating, the U.S's version of LEED Platinum.
Mushrooms columns will also be used to elevate the building, providing a covered portion of the park. This naturally helps cool certain areas in a typically hot climate, provides shelter during a downpour, and minimizes flood risk. Each apartment also has its own shaded area to promote comfortable indoor-outdoor living, and a communal rooftop pool helps create that oasis vibe.
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The idea for the design, according to the firm, came post COVID-19. They used the trying time to rethink how to live a more natural life, even in an urban environment. We are living things, and founder Koichi Takada believes architecture should be too.
An onsite tourist center will also be included so people can learn about biodiversity and building design.