Architecture

Heatherwick Studio's 1000 Trees project takes root

Heatherwick Studio's 1000 Tree...
The first phase of 1000 Trees is due to be completed in 2020
The first phase of 1000 Trees is due to be completed in 2020
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1000 Trees is located in Shanghai, about 20 minutes drive way from the center
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1000 Trees is located in Shanghai, about 20 minutes drive way from the center
Developed by Tian An China, 1000 Trees has been in the works since 2011
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Developed by Tian An China, 1000 Trees has been in the works since 2011
The first phase of 1000 Trees is due to be completed in 2020
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The first phase of 1000 Trees is due to be completed in 2020
1000 Trees spans 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft)
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1000 Trees spans 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft)
1000 Trees' unusual design was inspired by the awkward site it's located on
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1000 Trees' unusual design was inspired by the awkward site it's located on
1000 Trees takes the form of two tree-covered manmade mountains
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1000 Trees takes the form of two tree-covered manmade mountains
1000 Trees features hundreds of structural columns that also serve as planters
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1000 Trees features hundreds of structural columns that also serve as planters
"The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building's edges are lowered to minimize the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them," says Heatherwick Studio
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"The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building's edges are lowered to minimize the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them," says Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio is nearing completion on an ambitious new project in Shanghai, China. As you've probably guessed from its name, 1000 Trees, the large mixed-use development's defining feature is its greenery.

Developed by Tian An China, 1000 Trees has been in the works since 2011 and its first phase is due to open sometime in 2020. The project spans 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft) and is located on a 15 acre (6 hectare) site near a public park and Shanghai's arts district.

It's actually made up of two buildings conceived as a pair of tree-covered mountains that are populated by hundreds of columns. The columns both provide structural support and serve as planters, each holding a handful of trees. The unusual design was partly inspired by the site itself.

"Existing planning permission for two conventional shopping mall blocks had been granted for the site, but a huge, boxy building would need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to fit in with the surroundings," explains Heatherwick Studio. "The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building's edges are lowered to minimize the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them."

1000 Trees features hundreds of structural columns that also serve as planters
1000 Trees features hundreds of structural columns that also serve as planters

According to Dezeen, the planters contain roughly 25,000 individual plants and 46 different species, including shrubs, perennials, and climbers, with more than half of them evergreen.

Tree-covered buildings are very much in vogue at the moment and Heatherwick Studio is itself no stranger to incorporating large amounts of greenery into its buildings, such as the Learning Hub and more recent Toranomon-Azabudai district.

Source: Heatherwick Studio

3 comments
clay
Very cool and modern take on the Hanging Gardens of Bagdad.
buzzclick
Could get messy if there's a windstorm. I assume there's plumbing to water the trees in case of little rain. Looks unusual, inviting and green. We'll see what it looks like in 5-10 years.
ljaques
Cool concept, and definitely a photo op from afar. But please provide pics during all seasons, and some closeups of waterstaining after a year or 3. How storm-proof is a tree in a teacup?