‘Vertical forest’ buildings rising in China, can fight pollution

Nanjing towers

Image: Stefano Boeri Architetti

It’s an understatement to say that China has pollution problems. Beijing residents alone are unable to walk the streets without wearing a mask. However, an Italian architect is offering a solution to this predicament.

In the city of Nanjing, a “vertical forest” is rising, in the form of two buildings whose design will incorporate around 1,100 trees, combined with over 2,500 shrubs and plants, reports Cnet.

As it stands, Nanjing has an air-quality index of 167, categorized as “unhealthy.” For reference, Sydney and New York have “moderate” indexes of around 60. The new Nanjing Towers will be able to absorb a large-enough amount of carbon dioxide to pump out around 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of oxygen every day. Completion of this project is set for 2018.

However, these buildings will not be just oversized plant scaffolding. The two towers will stand 354 and 656 feet tall, respectively, with the shorter one to house a Hyatt hotel while the taller one will be home to a museum, offices and an architectural school, according to Italian publication Living.

The Nanjing Towers are actually the third such structure built. The first one was completed in Milan, Italy back in 2014, and is primarily used for residential purposes. The second one is in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Stefano Boeri, the architect behind these architectural marvels, also has plans to build similar structures in Chongqing, Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, Guizhou and Shanghai.

With the number of buildings constantly going up around Metro Manila, it can do the metropolis some good for similar environment-conscious structures to be created. Alfred Bayle