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green building, biomimicry, future cities, One Central Park, Sydney, Australia, Jean Nouvel, Patrick Blanc, green wall, vertical garden, urban village, city park, multi-use building

Designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel in collaboration with French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc, One Central Park’s living green facade exhibits 250 species of native Australian flowers and plants. Its vines and foliage intertwine between each floor on lush balconies, in a vertical continuation of the park below.

The living and breathing structure was thoughtfully curated to ensure that every aspect of the design serves a significant purpose. This is especially apparent in the gleaming assembly of motorized mirrors that rests atop the towers, designed to capture sunlight and direct rays down onto the living landscape below. As the sun sets, the enigmatic structure transforms into a glittering display of LED lights designed by renowned lighting artist Yann Kersalé.

Related: Rainwater-Harvesting Vertical Garden Flourishes on the Facade of Barcelona’s Raval Theatre

One Central Park is part of an “urban village” in downtown Sydney that features residential towers, retail shops and collaborative spaces for artists and architects. The dynamic setting was designed around a beautiful and spacious 6,500-square-meter park. Much like New York’s iconic Central Park, the grounds will serve as a tranquil respite from city life, with a large lawn for relaxation, chessboards, an open-air cinema, and occasional festivals and live music.

One Central Park exemplifies what many envision as the future of urban architecture. As concrete structures pave skylines around the world, the urban heat island effect causes temperatures to rise, and a severe lack of greenery has worsened air quality and pollution. The innovative solutions embodied in this building offer a glorious new vision for our future cities.