Nowadays, architects are designing buildings to be as passive as possible, meaning they source their own energy, employ energy efficient measures and sustainable materials. Some designers are taking this one step above by taking the idea of a tree as an entire living system and applying it to a responsible philosophy for a tower. These are the ‘treescrapers’ of tomorrow.
Showcased are some of the most amazing designs I could find on the web that mimic nature closely: man-made, but defined by their allegiance to nature. Yes, these buildings are not natural, but they assimilate it. Balcony forests, water distillers and a view that always changes with the seasons, even downtown – someday.
Most of these designs express sustainability both on the inside and on the outside, since these include local energy production, waste recycling and sustainable materials. Some argue, however, that treescrapers carry a larger net carbon footprint than conventional buildings. A balcony tree means more steel reinforcement and concrete to support the extra weight. More open spaces increase heat exchange with the environment, meaning more energy is required to heat the treescraper so residences can enjoy a comfortable temperature. The complexity of the designs also means that these are far more expensive and take longer to build. Considering this, it’s no wonder that many of these designs might never actually get built.
For now, the only vertical forest tower in the world is the Bosco Verticale in Milan, completed in 2014.