From Thomas Heatherwick comes the 1000 Trees project, a massive mixed use development just outside of Shanghai. Described more as future topography than as architecture, the complex has a distinctive stepped profile, populated by enormous planters and trees. Set on Suzhou Creek, the development is part of the city’s trendy M50 district.
Hundreds of columns help support the building and each hold several trees, combining to create a manmade forest of over 25,000 specially selected tree species. Referred to as the two mountains, it’s an impressive addition to a city full of concrete and glass, helping to create some needed greenery in the city of 25 million residents. Via UrDesign:
“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.”