Heatherwick Studio designs green mountains for 1000 Trees in Shanghai

The 1000 Trees project, split over two plots of land, uses the top of concrete columns as planters, making them a key feature of the building located near Shanghai’s arts district.

by STIRworld Published on : Dec 26, 2019

Conceptualised by Heatherwick Studio for Chinese developer Tian An China, 1000 Trees is being designed as a piece of topography that emerges from the ground symbolising the building as a mountain covered with trees.

Tree covered mountains as envisioned by Heatherwick Studio |1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio| STIRworld
Tree covered mountains as envisioned by Heatherwick Studio Image Credit: Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Situated on a 15-acre site in China’s biggest city Shanghai, the project lies next to the M50 arts district and is in close proximity to a public park. Split over two plots and connected by a narrow strip of land allocated to the government, the complex is located in a residential area only 20 minutes away from central Shanghai. The designers at the Heatherwick Studio envision the building as a fragmented collage of smaller blocks that would merge with the urban fabric and compliment the surroundings.

The staggered structure, populated by hundreds of columns, is a mixed-use development project spanning over 300,000 sqm that contains offices, eateries, event venues and galleries.

  • Staggered pixelated structure of the under-construction building |1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    Staggered pixelated structure of the under-construction building Image Credit: Qingyan Zhu
  • The structure sits in the middle of a densely populated residential area | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    The structure sits in the middle of a densely populated residential area Image Credit: Qingyan Zhu

The most eminent feature of the project, after which it is also named, are the columns across the building that hold the tree plantations. The columns form not only an integral part of the structural system but also emerge at the top of the building as large planters, each holding a handful of trees. The trees, therefore, seem as if naturally extending out of the columns with varied pot sizes.

  • Concrete columns emerging as gigantic planters, with each holding a cluster of trees |1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    Concrete columns emerging as gigantic planters, with each holding a cluster of trees Image Credit: Qingyan Zhu
  • Tree-lined mountain wrapping itself in the landscape | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    Tree-lined mountain wrapping itself in the landscape Image Credit: Qingyan Zhu

As the design of the columns underwent intense research and brainstorming, every detail was given adequate attention until the final finish. Each planter has been completed with a handmade-like finish designed to achieve a rich and interesting texture, providing an architectural identity to the space.

  • The structural columns are designed not only for structural stability but also provide an aesthetic appeal | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    The structural columns are designed not only for structural stability but also provide an aesthetic appeal Image Credit: Noah Sheldon
  • First phase of the mixed-use development under construction | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio| STIRworld
    First phase of the mixed-use development under construction Image Credit: Noah Sheldon

Collectively, the planters contain approximately 25,000 individual plants and 46 different plant species including shrubs, perennials, climbers. Each planter has a unique combination of plants sourced from Shanghai's Chongming Island, a fertile strip of land within the Yangtze river delta, and more than half of them are evergreen to ensure a lush green building throughout the year.

The trees and plants include diverse and locally sourced species |1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
The trees and plants include diverse and locally sourced species Image Credit: Noah Sheldon

Another unique aspect of the 1000 Trees project is its southern façade that consists of an art wall lined with billboards and street art. Developed in collaboration with local and international graffiti artists, it honours graffiti artists from all across the world, including those who used to paint there. Contrary to the pixelated massing of the design, this façade is flat and appears as if the mountain emerging from the ground has been sliced open like a section of an architectural drawing.

01 min watch A glimpse of Heatherwick Studio’s 1000 Trees | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
A glimpse of Heatherwick Studio’s 1000 Trees Video Credit: Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Upon completion, the structure will house 10 levels of mixed-use facilities with several large atriums letting natural light deep into its core. Enveloped by multiple outdoor terraces, 1000 Trees hopes to serve not only as a visual delight but also provide some breathing space to the highly congested area it is situated in.

  • Southern facade lined with billboards and street art | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    Southern facade lined with billboards and street art Image Credit: Qingyan Zhu
  • An aerial view of 1000 Trees | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    An aerial view of 1000 Trees Image Credit: Noah Sheldon
  • The riverside elevation where ground level will have a new public park and riverside walkway | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio | STIRworld
    The riverside elevation where ground level will have a new public park and riverside walkway Image Credit: Noah Sheldon

The second phase of the project aims to be even more diversified in its scale and will be connected to the first mountain by an enclosed link bridge, tunnel and ground floor drop-off. The next stage of development also seeks to ensure additional landscaping including a 900-metre-long stretch of riverside public space and a 12,000 sqm landscape park that will include a jogging path, sculpture garden and series of outdoor event spaces.

1000 Trees has been conceived as a piece of topography that takes the form of two tree-covered mountains | 1000 Trees | Heatherwick Studio| STIRworld
1000 Trees has been conceived as a piece of topography that takes the form of two tree-covered mountains Image Credit: Noah Sheldon

The project is set to be completed in 2020.

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
1393,1444,1213,1206,1438

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

Collaborate with us

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE