Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney


Brisbane’s proposed ‘Urban Forest’ looks like a Green Paradise


18 September 2020

Brad Nash


A high-rise tower playing host to over 20,000 plants.

Ironically enough at a time when many cities are trying their best to cram as many people into a confined space as possible, other companies are busy at work trying to figure out a way of making Australia’s urban sprawl a naturaistic paradise once again. Most major architectural projects unveiled these days have some kind of green element to them, from the plants you see growing out of Sydney’s Central Park, to the timber-clad Atlassian HQ.

But a new design for a building proposed in Brisbane takes this philosophy to a pretty radical new high, both figuratively and literally. The Urban Forest, designed by renowned architects Koichi Takada, would, if built, be a towering sanctuary of greenery and hopefully the world’s greenest residential building.

Rising 30 storeys into the Brisbane skyline, Urban Forest would eventually play host to 320 individual homes, laid out in a staggered level arrangement which means each apartment gets a verandah-style balcony.

This is done for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, it all looks very cool and modern. Secondly, however, it provides natural shade for the abundance of greenery that is set to afford Urban Forest its name and reputation. If completed according to plan, more than 20,000 plants, including 1,000 trees, will be planted up the building in a stunning display of biodiversity. Many of these species will be natives.

“Urban Forest is probably the greenest we can design with the current greening tools and regulations available,” said Koichi Takada himself in a statement. The building will have a biodiversity education centre, a communal pool, and a private rooftop garden.

The push to make Urban Forest as low-impact as possible extends far beyond just planting a bunch of trees up and down its many facades. Every part of the construction process will be as considered as possible, with the company aiming to source low-carbon concrete and maximising the amount of natural light and ventilation in the building to minimise its eventual power needs.

“Concrete, steel and glass are very hard and solid industrial materials. Let’s call them dead materiality. We need to be embracing more living materiality – living architecture… We are here to live, not defy death in some way. Our architecture should do the same.”

For full article, visit GQ Australia


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