Residential “vertical forests” are on the rise

The majority of youth in the U.S., UK, and Australia want to live near a public park or green space. Thanks to a growing trend of incorporating nature into residential architecture, those green spaces could soon be closer to home.

Architecture rendering of a skyscraper built in a hollowed-out sequoia tree trunk in a sequoia forest


Named one of the most futuristic designs of the year, a conceptual scheme from four South Korean designers would aid in the preservation of ancient sequoia trees that populate the western U.S. Called Tribute: The Monument of Giant, the imaginative proposal would involve constructing towers inside the giant trees’ hollowed-out trunks where heartwood had rotted away, preventing them from falling. The project received honorable mention in the 2017 eVolo skyscraper competition and attempted to show a new architectural approach to human coexistence with nature in harmony with the nature's temporality.

High-rise blocks arranged around lush central garden in Singapore's Marina Bay


Terraced gardens echoing paddy fields fill the center of the Marina One tower development in Singapore’s Marina Bay. Comprising four high-rise blocks arranged around a central garden, the development was designed by London-based studio Gustafson Porter + Bowman to resemble a plant-covered mountain. Per Dezeen, Marina One accommodates offices, residential, and retail spaces arranged around an outdoor space called the "Green Heart," the largest public landscaped area in the region and part of Singapore’s mission to promote green spaces through structures like “Supertrees” that blur the line between architecture and nature. 

World's tallest vertical garden in the form of residential tower One Central Park Sydney


The world’s tallest vertical garden now lives and breathes in Sydney in the form of One Central Park, a residential tower completed in 2017. The high rise features a park that climbs 166 meters into the sky, with 250 species of native Australian flowers and plants across its living green façade. One Central Park is part of an urban village in downtown Sydney that features residential towers, retail shops and collaborative spaces for those who can afford it; the city's cost of living is so high that many young Australians have been inspired to choose a mobile life instead.