Bosco Verticale

Bosco Verticale, designed by Boeri Studio. (Daniele Zacchi/Boeri Studio)

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.

Tour des Cèdres, designed by Boeri Studio for Lausanne, Switzerland. (Boeri Studio)

Tour des Cèdres, designed by Boeri Studio for Lausanne, Switzerland. (Boeri Studio)

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.

One Central Park, designed by Jean Nouvel with Patrick Blanc, for Sydney. (Murray Fredericks/Frasers Property)

One Central Park, designed by Jean Nouvel with Patrick Blanc, for Sydney. (Murray Fredericks/Frasers Property)

For now, the only vertical forest tower in the world is the  Bosco Verticale in Milan, completed in 2014.

Angkasa Raya, designed by Büro Ole Scheeren for Kuala Lumpur. (Büro Ole Scheeren)

Angkasa Raya, designed by Büro Ole Scheeren for Kuala Lumpur. (Büro Ole Scheeren)

Angkasa Raya, designed by Büro Ole Scheeren for Kuala Lumpur. (Büro Ole Scheeren)

Angkasa Raya, designed by Büro Ole Scheeren for Kuala Lumpur. (Büro Ole Scheeren)

Asian Cairns, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Shenzhen. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Asian Cairns, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Shenzhen. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Asian Cairns, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Shenzhen. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Asian Cairns, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Shenzhen. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

The Diamond Lotus, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for Ho Chi Minh City. (Vo Trong Nghia)

The Diamond Lotus, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for Ho Chi Minh City. (Vo Trong Nghia)

The Diamond Lotus, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for Ho Chi Minh City. (Vo Trong Nghia)

The Diamond Lotus, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for Ho Chi Minh City. (Vo Trong Nghia)

Urban Forest, designed by MAD for Chongqing (MAD)

Urban Forest, designed by MAD for Chongqing (MAD)

Urban Forest, designed by MAD for Chongqing (MAD)

Urban Forest, designed by MAD for Chongqing (MAD)

Museum of Modern Art Tower, designed by Axis Mundi for New York. (Axis Mundi)

Museum of Modern Art Tower, designed by Axis Mundi for New York. (Axis Mundi)

Museum of Modern Art Tower, designed by Axis Mundi for New York. (Axis Mundi)

Museum of Modern Art Tower, designed by Axis Mundi for New York. (Axis Mundi)

Vijayawada Garden Tower, designed by Penda Architecture and Design for Vijayawada, India. (Penda)

Vijayawada Garden Tower, designed by Penda Architecture and Design for Vijayawada, India. (Penda)

Vijayawada Garden Tower, designed by Penda Architecture and Design for Vijayawada, India. (Penda)

Vijayawada Garden Tower, designed by Penda Architecture and Design for Vijayawada, India. (Penda)

Agora Tower, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Taipei. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Agora Tower, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Taipei. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Agora Tower, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Taipei. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Agora Tower, designed by Vincent Callebaut for Taipei. (Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

Impressive right? What do you think – would you live inside one? Comments appreciated.

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