Natural: Living with green

By Jo Phillips

Each year, the old concrete buildings in our cities are being replaced with buildings that are covered with vegetation and greenery.

The 256-foot and 344-feet twin towers Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri hosts 900 trees and over 20,000 plants ranging from shrubs to floral plants. The towers were designed so that they could contribute to the environment and urban biodiversity without having to expand the city.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti

The plant life helps produce oxygen, filter dust particles in the air, regulate heat temperatures throughout the building in the winter, and block out the harmful rays that make buildings too hot during the summer. The various trees and plants will also dampen the noise levels in the buildings.

There is also a complex irrigation system throughout the building that redirects the water used back onto the balconies to help sustain plant life. Bosco Verticale is one of many Stefano Boeri projects.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

Built in 2015, ‘Les Terrasses des Cedres‘ is a new rendition of Bosco Verticale located in Lausanne, Switzerland. This residential building was the first building in the world to be covered in evergreen trees showcasing the balance between nature and the city.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti

The 117-metre-tall tower, which includes a gym, offices, housing and a restaurant is home to over 100 trees, 6,000 shrubs and 18,000 plants. As with the Boeri’s Milan Bosco Verticale buildings, the intention for the trees is that they will trap dust fibres in the air, absorb carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen in the city. Cedar trees were chosen because of their longevity and ability to withstand all weather types.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti
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Stefano Boeri Architetti

If you think Boeri’s tree covered buildings are amazing, then imagine a city full of them! The Italian architect has plans to build China’s first Forest City. Boeri created a blueprint for new cities in China which will be covered in greenery to help fight air pollution. The new city will host around 100,000 people and require less space.

The hope is that the Forest city will become an urban ecosystem that will help reduce the CO2 emissions and maintain building temperatures due to its large amount of greenery. It should also limit the cost of public transportation and reduce energy consumption. Forest City will contribute in improving the air quality in the city.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti

Forest City will be a sustainable city, that will consist of several “Vertical Forests” such as the ones in Milan, that will be covered in various flowering plants and shrubs. The different vegetation will help reduce heat by up to 30 degrees, absorb dust pollution and reduce the audio pollution in the city.

This prototype is being built and if the city is successful then we should get ready to see more Forest cities across the world.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti

Green hanging plants overflow from concrete planters set into the sandstone walls of the Atlas Hoi An hotel, designed by Vo Trong Nghia’s firm for the historic Vietnamese town Hoi An. The architect is well known for pioneering the use of sustainable materials such as bamboo.

The hotel is made up of four raised volumes, and features 48 rooms with vies of greenery from the bedrooms and bathrooms of each suite. The walls of the building are from locally sourced sandstone blocks which were set between the exposed concrete floor slabs. The slabs support the concrete planters. The hanging plants provide shade to corridors located behind, and allow the breeze to naturally ventilate them.


Three of the hotel’s volumes are set at an angle to create a courtyard big enough for a swimming pool, which the hanging plants provide shade for. The spaces under the blocks consist of a restaurant, spa and a gym which also open to the pool. This beautiful and sustainable hotel is just one of Vo Tron Nghia’s projects.


With interior planting becoming more and more achievable, no wonder there are several books with the best advice and instructions on helping you turn your home into a lovely botanical garden. House plants are a great way to decorate your home without the heavy bill. So, if you love plants and don’t have the patience to wait until a Forest City or Vertical Forest is built in a city near you, then why not brighten your home with a plant or two.


Living with plants” by Geo-fleur founder, Sophie Lee, is a guide to some of the best plants for the home. It’s also a guide on how to care for these plants and best of all how not to kill them. This book offers a range of plants that are low maintenance and are full of health benefits whilst brightening your house.

This book teaches you how to make your own plant accessories and provides you with the best tools needed to complete your task. Whether a minimalist or a green finger, this book is for you. So go green this spring, and revive your home with a plant or two. Pre-order the book now and get a signed copy upon release at the end of May 2017.

As we all know architecture is a significant part of today’s society. The book “Architecture Matters” by Aaron Betsky is on the importance of architecture to our cities, planet and lives, it highlights the importance of understanding architecture and the decisions behind the buildings we create and the kind of world architecture can shape.

If you want want to create an even bigger contribution to the earth, then why not invest in some Natural PX frames by Austrian eye wear label neubau. This April, neubau will be releasing their lightweight and sturdy frames. You peel the seeds off, plant them, sit back and wait for them to grow. These environmentally friendly frames are made from oil extracted from the castor plant resulting in the release of less carbon dioxide emissions being released in the creating process. So if you fancy making a sustainable investment then purchase these glasses and let it grow green.


At home with plants” by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly, is a guide to help you select, plant, display and take care of your plants.

This book is chic and informative when it comes to boosting your home style with houseplants. It is filled with crafty, artistic and stylish ideas all backed up with a healthy dose of practical information. Grab yourself a copy and watch your home space flourish whilst raking in all the health benefits that come with houseplants.