The Vertical Forests designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti are growing in China: the first trees have been planted in the construction sites of Huanggang and Nanjing. Once the construction of the structures was completed, the planting of the trees began, placed in the special tanks thanks to the use of cranes.
In Huanggang, in Hubei province, about 80 km from the city of Wuhan, a crane recently lifted the first mast of the Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex to the 25th floor, 90 meters above the ground. It is a specimen of Osmanthus fragrans, a native species of Hubei, to which will be added, for each tower, another 395 trees, 3,600 shrubs and 12,000 perennials. The inauguration of the two Vertical Woods will take place in February 2021.
Even in the towers of the Nanjing Vertical Forest – the first Vertical Forest built in Asia by Stefano Boeri Architetti, in the Ninjing Pukou District, 300 km from Shanghai – the trees have begun to reach the balconies that will host a total of 27 native plant species, 600 trees of large, 200 medium-sized trees and over 2,500 shrubs and hanging plants. The greenery that will cover the 4,500 square meters of surface will contribute to the regeneration of local biodiversity and to the reduction of CO2 emissions by about 18 tons, producing up to 16.5 tons of oxygen every year.
The first tower, 200 meters high and crowned at the top by a green lantern (an enclosure covered with creepers of almost 5000 square meters) houses offices and includes a museum, a green architecture school and a private rooftop club. The second tower, at 108 meters, features a Hyatt hotel with 305 rooms and a swimming pool on the fourth floor. The inauguration of the two Nanjing towers is scheduled for May 2021.
“We are happy that the concept of Vertical Forest is starting to spread in China as well”, said Stefano Boeri, founder with partner Yibo Xu of SBA China. "The towers of Huanggang and Nanjing are destined, as was the case for the first Vertical Forest built in 2014 in Milan, to become a reference model for green and sustainable architecture in China and in the countries of South East Asia”.
“With the construction of the Vertical Forests of Nanjing and Huanggang", explains Yibo Xu, partner of Stefano Boeri in SBA China, “our study has shown that it is possible, even in the heart of the great Asian cities, to build buildings capable of absorbing CO2 and fine dust generated by heating and traffic and to reduce energy consumption for indoor air conditioning”.
“Our attention is always focused on the native flora of the region in which we operate” explains agronomist Laura Gatti, who follows the development of the green of the SBA Vertical Woods. “We are looking for interesting species, little used in traditional gardening. In Huanggang, botanical research has focused on species from the Hubei region, from which many of the plants we grow in our parks and gardens have come to Europe. Although they are well known to us, several of the species selected for Huanggang were cultivated specifically for this project, as they are not found in nurseries in the region of origin, as they are considered too 'wild'. Their introduction adds value to the project in terms of biodiversity, attractiveness and identity. The exchange of experiences and knowledge between us and our Chinese colleagues is certainly a reason for mutual growth along the path traced by architect Boeri”.
The two Vertical Forest projects in China were conceived by the SBA China team directed by Yibo Xu, and led by Pietro Chiodi, Architecture Design Director.
But green projects and initiatives that stimulate creative sustainable and 'curative' solutions are also underway in Italy, particularly in Sardinia.
As part of the Steano Boeri. Be a tree digital exhibition on stazionedellartexperience.com, which retraces Milanese architect's approach in an unprecedented dialogue with artist Maria Lai, the Fondazione Stazione dell'Arte has opened a call addressed to all with the intent to tell and share online, through a text, a drawing, a poem, a song, a video or any other form of communication, one's own interpretation of the concept of landslide.
A project, with multiple voices and media, which stimulates the development of new forms of alliance with nature to prevent other landslides from being generated, in a physical sense but not only.
At the heart of the call is an artistic process that becomes a moment of shared reflection.
Today the world continues to be threatened by landslides: from climate change to environmental disasters, from risks to biodiversity to large migrations, from growing inequalities to rampant poverty, from social exclusion to the depopulation of entire territories, up to the last pandemic still in course. These are problems and critical issues that require urgent solutions and, at the same time, place communities in front of great questions. Any response can only mature from a collective commitment, in which the contribution of each one plays a fundamental role.
Following the philosophy of both Maria Lai and Stefano Boeri, who have made sharing and participation an essential component of their work, the Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte is launching an invitation to people to tell their own vision of a landslide. Contributions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The set of contents will therefore constitute a choral story and a composite reflection on the landslides that characterize our age: a sort of archive of memory, a common heritage of ideas, thoughts and points of view, from which to start again to mend the various fractures of the world.