Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney

Urban Forest

Tree top view of tropical rainforest with a stream, Daintree Discovery Centre Canopy Walks, Queensland, Australia.

Australia’s greenest building

Urban Forest will be Australia’s greenest building, a 30-storey Carbon Neutral building covered in a thousand trees and plants, designed for Brisbane, Australia.

The mixed-use high-rise building will include 392 apartments, a two-level rooftop garden and public park positioned on ground level. The living façade achieves 292% site coverage, featuring over 1,000 trees and plus 20,000 plants selected from 259 native species. By raising the podium, the ground level becomes an extension of the surrounding parklands, giving back to the community 1,642 sqm of public park. It will also feature a world-class information centre where visitors can learn about the buildings design, plants and biodiversity.

Laid in a staggered level arrangement, each apartment will have their own Australian veranda-style balcony known to the sub-tropical climate. The vertical gardens will be an active component of sustainability, providing natural shade and natural thermal and solar insulation. Residents will also have access to a rooftop wellness garden complete with a communal swimming pool and various social communal spaces. Urban Forests integration of private and public spaces aims to restore a sense of community, the ‘breathing spaces’ for social interaction and wellbeing. It reduces the kind of isolation experienced in high rise residential living.

Post Covid-19, this is a great opportunity to pause and rethink and not just adapt but shift the paradigm from industrial to natural. 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. One take away from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis is the realisation that we are all living things. We are here to live, not defy death in some way. Our architecture should do the same.

  • Project Urban Forest
  • Statuswaiting for DA
  • ClientAria Property Group
  • Architecture designKoichi Takada Architects
  • LocationCultural precinct of South Brisbane, Australia
  • Building typeMixed-Use Residential
  • Stories30 stories with a 2-story rooftop for resident amenities
  • Site area2,782 m2
  • GFA55,000 m2
  • No. Apartments382
  • Public Park1,642 m2