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Trees: The Latest Architecture and News

Nature Within: 17 Projects With Indoor Trees

© Favaro Jr.
© Favaro Jr.

Architects have long explored the concept of integrating interior and exterior, smoothing out the physical and visual boundaries in an attempt to bring the landscape into the architecture. However, when visiting the site to develop the project, two distinct scenarios may appear: an urban terrain, lacking a view, or natural elements; or a green area with trees and bushes, for example. In the latter case, many projects rely on the on-site location of each tree to accommodate the architectural design, respecting them, and creating new views, through patios and connecting them with the new landscape design. However, based on studies of the species and their size, it is increasingly common for these trees to be incorporated into the interior space, either partially or completely enclosed.

Creating Vertical Gardens and Green Facades with Steel Cables

With the high population density of cities and voracious appetite of the market for every square meter, it is not uncommon for urban vegetation to be forgotten. For this reason, forests, vegetable gardens, and vertical gardens have aroused much interest and figured into a variety of different innovative proposals. Using the vertical plane to maintain plants in an urban setting is a coherent and common-sense solution, especially when there is little possibility of bringing green to the level of the people on the streets.

Greenpeace Brasil / +K Arquitetos. Image © Ana MelloCortesia de JakobCortesia de JakobImages courtesy of Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia. Image © Simon Wood+ 22

Heatherwick Reveals Latest Images of Nearly Completed 1,000 Trees Development

Heatherwick Studio has released their latest images for the 1,000 Trees Development in Shanghai. Dating back to August 2019, the images showcase the construction progress of the 300,000-square-meter project, with the near completion of one of two mountains, set to open in 2020.

© Qingyan Zhu© Qingyan Zhu© Qingyan Zhu© Qingyan Zhu+ 12

Key Elements of Landscape Design: Spatial Planning and Tree Layouts

Just like the architectural elements that make up built space - floor, walls and ceilings - natural elements are also capable of creating spaces in large-, medium- and small-scale areas, in places like public and residential gardens.

According to Brazilian landscape architect Benedito Abbud, "Landscaping is the only artistic expression in which the five senses of the human being participate. While architecture, painting, sculpture and other visual arts use and abuse only the vision, landscaping also involves smell, hearing, taste and touch, providing a rich sensory experience by adding the most diverse and complete perceptual experiences. The more a garden can sharpen all the senses, the better it fulfills its role. " [1]

Below we list some of the key elements of landscape planning and design. See the principles and learn why you should never randomize the placement trees!

Tips For Drawing Trees in Architectural Renderings

We all have that childhood memory of drawing a little house with a door and a window, a gabled roof, and a tree. But what sets architects apart from the rest of the population is that we continue to draw this after childhood, usually with a bit more technique. And just as our residential designs were becoming more complex and complete, the design of our trees needed to improve a bit as well (that broccoli-like shape would not please customers and teachers alike.) Although generally, trees are not the main focus of drawings, they play an important role in the composition of sketches, mainly to represent the scale, intended shading, or some intention of landscaping.

BIG Reveals Skyscraper Design for First Project in South America

Soon to become the tallest building in Quito, IQON is Bjarke Ingels Group's first project to be built in South America. Currently undergoing construction, the largely residential building is a curved tower with gradually protruding balconies. Encased between the dense city and the park, the self-dubbed "urban tree farm" aims not only to encompass the surrounding views of the volcanoes and nature beyond but also to integrate the landscape within the building itself.

Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels GroupCourtesy of Bjarke Ingels GroupCourtesy of Bjarke Ingels GroupCourtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group+ 14

Comparing Tree Coverage in 10 Major Cities Around the World

New York. Image via flickr user "quintanomedia"licensed under CC BY 2.0
New York. Image via flickr user "quintanomedia"licensed under CC BY 2.0

Throughout the last two years, researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts have been using Google Street View data to study some of the world’s most prominent cities in terms of tree coverage. Developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, “Treepedia” seeks to promote awareness of the role of green canopies in urban life, and asks how citizens can be more integral to the process of greening their neighborhoods.

The ever-growing list studies cities both around and beyond the USA, using an innovative metric called the “Green View Index,” which uses Google Street View panoramas to evaluate and compare green canopy coverage in major cities. Through monitoring the urban tree coverage, citizens and planners can see which areas in their city are green and not green, compare their green canopy with other cities, and play a more active role in enhancing their local environment.

New Algorithm Finds The Greenest City in The World

There are different methods for estimating how green a city is. We can count the parks, add up all green areas, quantify only the forested areas, specify the number of trees planted, and more recently, according to this new, we can now analyze inhabitants perspective. A team of researchers led by Newsha Ghaeli, at MIT's Senseable City Lab has developed a method to find out how green an urban space is from the perspective of pedestrians.

Images taken from Google Street View are processed by an algorithm that estimates the percentage of each image that corresponds to trees and other types of vegetation. "It is important to understand the number of trees and treetops that cover the streets, as this is what we perceive in cities," Ghaeli said.

Check out below the top 10 greenest cities according to the algorithm.

12 Plants That Thrive Indoors

Adding a plant makes any space instantly cozier. No need to have a large balcony to grow them, there are many species that develop well in living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms, with little maintenance as well as space efficient. The vases used also add to the composition of well-decorated environments. Flowers add color and diversity to all environments, but it is worth mentioning that species that do not produce flowers do less photosynthesis and therefore require smaller amounts of sunshine and are therefore more suitable for indoor cultivation. It is also important to note that popular names can be quite different, so you should always pay attention to its scientific names when choosing your species. 

Below, we selected 12 ornamental plants ideal for indoor cultivation.

Heatherwick Studio Released New Construction Images and Video of the 1000 Trees Project in Shanghai

After last week’s check in on Heatherwick Studio’s 1000 Trees project in Shanghai by #donotsettle, the firm itself has released additional images and a video of its construction progress.

The 300,000-square-meter development is located 20 minutes from downtown Shanghai next to the M50 arts district, taking the form of two “tree-covered mountains.” As the name suggests, the design will feature concrete structural columns that widen at the top to create large planters for 1000 trees. The video captures the building in its half-completed status, showing how it will interacts with its surroundings and the adjacent Wusong (Suzhou) River.

© Noah Sheldon© Noah Sheldon© Noah Sheldon© Mir+ 4

Drone Footage Shows Construction Progress on Heatherwick Studio’s "Tree-Covered Mountains" in Shanghai

In #donotsettle’s latest video, architects and vlogging provocateurs Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost provide breathtaking footage of one of Shanghai’s most curious projects, M50. The 300,000-square-meter Heatherwick Studio building is an undulating mass of mixed use urban topography.

via #donotsettlevia #donotsettlevia #donotsettlevia #donotsettle+ 8

These "Artificial Trees" Can Filter as Much Pollution From the Air as 275 Natural Trees

Developed in Germany, the CityTree is a mobile structure that incorporates mosses and urban furniture to create a possible solution to the polluted air of urban centers.

Rectangular, trunkless and flat, this "tree" basically consists of a large vertical panel, a wall of mosses which, according to its creators, has the capacity to absorb the same amount of nitrogen dioxide and microscopic particles from the air as 275 natural trees.

Apple Opens its First Flagship Store in Singapore

On a tree-lined avenue in Singapore, fittingly named Orchard Road, Apple has opened its first Flagship store in the city-state, highlighting its role as a global center for creativity and innovation. Designed by Fosters + Partners, in collaboration with the design team at Apple, the Orchard Road Flagship seeks to create a new social focus by working in tandem with nature, blurring the boundaries between inside and out.

Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + PartnersCourtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners+ 4

Treepedia - MIT Maps and Analyses Tree Coverage in Major Cities

Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab have launched a new platform using Google Street View data to measure and compare the green canopies of major cities across the world. Treepedia, created in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is an interactive website which allows users to view the location and size of their city’s trees, submit information to help tag them, and advocate for more trees in their area. In the development of Treepedia, the Senseable City Lab recognizes the role of green canopies in urban life, and asks how citizens can be more integral to the process of greening their neighborhoods.

Treepedia Boston. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City LabTreepedia New York City. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City LabTreepedia Tel Aviv. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City LabTreepedia Toronto. Image Courtesy of MIT Senseable City Lab+ 7

Exhibition Examining Cesare Leonardi To Open in Genoa

The Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first monographic exhibition on the work of Cesare Leonardi (Italian, b. 1935). In the course of a career spanning more than four decades Leonardi, an architect and photographer, has continuously challenged the boundary between design and artistic practice. In spite of the recognition gained by his early furniture design, most of Leonardi’s oeuvre has remained little known, even within Italy. Cesare Leonardi: Strutture, organised in close cooperation with Leonardi’s archive, sheds light on an intimate yet multifaceted body of work.

The Planners' Guide to Trees in the Urban Landscape

Tree and Design Action Group is a group that “shares the collective vision that the location of trees, and all the benefits they bring, can be secured for future generations through better collaboration in the planning, design, construction and management of our urban infrastructure and spaces.”

“Trees make places look and feel better, as well as playing a role in climate proofing our neighborhoods and supporting human health and environmental well-being, trees can also help to create conditions for economic success.” The Trees in the Townscape guide presents a modern approach to urban forestry, providing officials and professionals with the principles and references needed to realize the potential of vegetation in urban areas.

This is an approach that keeps pace with and responds to the challenges of our times. “Trees in the Townscape offers a comprehensive set of 12 action-oriented principles which can be adapted to the unique context of [any] own town or city.”

Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020

As cities continue to attract more people, naturally vegetated areas slowly wither, leaving little to no green spaces for city dwellers to escape to, no trees to purify the air and enhance the environment. Australia plans to change this. The 202020 Vision is a concerted effort from the government, academic and private sectors to create twenty percent green areas in Australia's urban centers by 2020. “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren't incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.” Read about the 202020 initiative here, "More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative."

The Case For Tall Wood Buildings

Michael Green is calling for a drastic paradigm shift in the way we build. Forget steel, straw, concrete and shipping containers; use wood to erect urban skyscrapers. In a 240 page report - complete with diagrams, plans, renders and even typical wooden curtain wall details - Green outlines a new way of designing and constructing tall buildings using mass timber, all the while addressing common misconceptions of fire safety, structure, sustainability, cost and climate concerns.