Koichi Takada Architects is seeking to make all its projects carbon neutral by 2030. China is committed to doing the same by 2060. While that’s still a way off, the Solar Trees Marketplace is one step in the right direction.
The “architectural trees” that tower over the 3450 square-metre three-storey mixed-use development feature solar panels on their translucent canopies, generating power for the marketplace.
They’re supported by timber branches that sit above the footpath, also providing shelter and shade to the stalls below.
“Shanghai is home to a population larger than all of Australia combined. Imagine the importance of having a breathing space like this in the middle of the city,” explains Takada.
“It’s artificial, but it acts as if it’s a natural environment, providing the same feeling of respite and relaxation as say, the nearby Gongqing Forest Park, which was its inspiration.
“And equally, there’s the solar energy aspect. We ideally want this to be a carbon positive building. In other words, to supply that extra energy that we accumulate within the building back to the grid.”