Hot on the heels of the world’s first Forest City in China, Stefano Boeri Architetti has announced their winning bid for the first Vertical Forest in the Netherlands. Set to rise in Utrecht, the Hawthorn Tower will, like its Milanese predecessor, be blanketed in greenery – and it’s expected to absorb over 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide. The equivalent of one hectare of woods will be installed on the tower to create a real urban ecosystem with over 30 different vegetal species.



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Slated to begin construction in 2019, the Hawthorn Tower will infuse greenery into the heart of Jaarbeursboulevard area close to Utrecht Station. The tower is one of two tall buildings in the development, the other designed by Amsterdam-based MVSA studio. “The 90 meters in height tower designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti attempts to create, in Utrecht city center, an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature,” said the architects. Around 10,000 plants of different species—360 trees, 9,640 shrubs and flower—will be installed on all sides of the facade.

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The mixed-use building is positioned as the “new healthy center of Utrecht” and will comprise offices, fitness and yoga areas, bike parking, and public leisure space. Its scale and design will thoughtfully react and complement the surrounding urban fabric. The tower will also host the Vertical Forest Hub, a research center on worldwide urban forestation that’s open to the public on the ground floor and directly connected to the sixth-floor roof garden. The research center will showcase the different technical and botanic solutions chosen for the tower and track the progress of Vertical Forests under construction around the world.

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Related: China breaks ground on first “Forest City” that fights air pollution

The Hawthorn Tower is the latest Vertical Forest of its kind to be unveiled, this time in the heart of Europe, and follows in the steps of other urban forestation projects designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti. Other projects include soon-to-be-completed Vertical Forests in Nanjing and Lausanne, a greenery-covered Mountain Hotel in Guizhou, and other green buildings planned in Paris, Tirana, and Shanghai. Construction on Hawthorn Tower is expected to finish in 2022.

+ Stefano Boeri Architetti

Images by Imaginary A2 / Stefano Boeri Architetti

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