China’s first vertical forest has been created: located in the city of Huanggang in Hubei province, Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex is by Stefano Boeri Architetti China. The development covers an area of 4.5 hectares and is made up of five buildings, two of which ‒ standing 80 metres tall ‒ are residential and conceived as vegetation towers. The new multifunctional development stands on a site bordered by three roads and includes hotels, shops and business spaces, to meet the various needs of residents and tourists, inhabitants and temporary guests. In addition, each of the areas with its own function is connected to an open public space.
The architect Stefano Boeri has introduced a new type of vertical forest at Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex: the façade rhythm is set by alternating open and closed balconies, to create continuous movement, which is accentuated by the presence of vegetation. This unusual design featuring a series of extruded volumes for the elevation generates, on one hand, a transition space between nature and the context of human life while on the other it allows the plants to freely grow in height, enhancing the sensory experience of the forest. Instead, the elevation at the base of the towers, where business premises are located on the ground floors, is made up of vertical and modular components.
“In the Huanggang case, the façade solution enabled us to make the most of interaction with the trees and plants, present both on the balconies and in the bay windows,” the architect Stefano Boeri explained. “This allows inhabitants at the towers to experience their domestic space and the urban panorama from a different perspective, enjoying the unusual closeness to living nature.”
Created with a selection of local species, this vertical forest is made up of over 400 trees, 4,620 shrubs and more than 2,400 m2 of perennial plants, flowers and climbers. The vegetation of the Huanggang residential towers annually absorbs 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide and produces 11 tonnes of oxygen.
The architect’s scheme stands as an opportunity for urban regeneration and much more besides: through designers’ vision, a vertical forest can in fact transform the landscape of future cities, offering the scope to live in contact with nature not only in public spaces but also in private homes, for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Location: Huanggang, Cina
Client: Beijing Easyhome Vertical Forest Real Estate
Project by: Stefano Boeri Architetti China
Plants: Studio Laura Gatti
Structures: Luca Buzzoni, ARUP
Photography by RAW VISION studio, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti China