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    Biophilic design helps the towers of apartments in big cities return to nature

    Waiting for a pandemic in a high-rise condominium near the center of a major international city was a relatively calm experience for Kenny Yo. Last year, a 32-year-old marketing director bought the first property in London’s Canary Wharf district, one of London’s two major financial districts.

    The apartment is under development by Wardian London and has two new towers on the 50th and 55th floors, which are full of greenery. A total of 100 exotic plants from around the world are gathered, with a luxurious greenhouse-like lobby and a palm-fringed pool.

    Yeo moved to a two-bedroom apartment in the building in September 2020. Current prices start at $ 1.4 million for 845 square foot units. I chose flat, “he said. “Even the color palette in the apartment has a lot of green.”

    During the two subsequent blockades in the UK, Yeo felt that “reconnection with nature is almost urgently needed and all the plants in the building are very calm and relaxing.” “I’m from Singapore, nicknamed Garden City. It reminded me of my hometown.”

    Mr Yo also began adding his own green to his home. “There were no plants in my previous apartment,” he said. “Now I have about 16 of all different types and I’m a complete plant geek.”

    International homebuilders are rapidly recognizing how attractive buyers like Yeo will find it. Biophilic designThe formal term for a building with features such as, planting, outdoor space, large windows, and natural ventilation.

    Kenny Yo, right, Wardian London.


    The Wall Street Journal Jeremy Souteyrat

    “It’s about making our buildings more coexistent with nature,” said partner Matt Cash. Heatherwick Studio, A British company that designed the development of Eden in Singapore. Completed last year, Eden’s cantilever balconies are full of tropical plants. They not only give the inhabitants of the building a private outdoor space, but also provide shade to the house below.

    “There is a human desire for natural recovery and calm interests,” Cash said. “It’s unique to humans. It’s about planting, as well as fresh air and natural light, and natural ventilation works very well in very hot and humid climates.”

    Eden has air conditioning, but Mr. Cash said residents should rarely need to use it. Leaving the balcony doors open to allow a breeze to blow through the house also helps to “blurr the line between the inside and the outside,” he said.

    Eden has 20 apartments, each with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, covering an area of ​​just over 3,000 square feet. The building is air-conditioned, but residents rarely need to use it. Instead, leave the balcony doors open to allow a breeze to blow through your home. Video: HEATHERWICK STUDIO

    Eden’s 20 apartments, each with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, over 3,000 sq ft, were listed in 2019 and the final home was sold in May 2021. The average price was 3,549 square feet. According to a CBRE survey, the average price of real estate in Singapore is $ 1,719 per square foot.

    In November, residents will move to a 200-unit apartment complex in Zuidas, Amsterdam’s financial district. Among the traditional-looking office buildings and hotels, the valley is a visual anomaly with its richly planted tiered balconies. Tenants will pay up to $ 3,481 a month to live in one of the two-bedroom 1,216-square-foot apartments, according to a spokesman for developer Edge Technologies.

    The Valley was designed by Winy Maas, co-founder of Rotterdam-based Practice MVRDV. He created public passageways above and below the building and covered part of the façade with porous stones designed to attract moss. “It inhabits stones and can catch water, which is how cooling takes place,” he said.

    Stefano Boeri The Italian architect Stefano Boeri, the founder of Arquitetti, is one of the world’s leading bio-friendly architects. He built buildings all over the world, from the Netherlands to Albania. His latest project is 100 apartments in the Portanuova district of Milan. The Botanica Tower, scheduled to be completed in 2025, will be covered with 18,298 square feet of flowering plants and trees, including bays, pine trees, mountaineering roses, rosemary and butterfly bushes. Boeri said the color of the tower changes as the seasons change. He added that plants are more than just decorations. According to his calculations, they absorb 14 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

    Amsterdam apartment, valley.


    Vero Digital (rendering)

    Boeri’s design process begins with the selection of different plants based on the local climatic conditions. Then design the building to suit their needs, from soil depth to the optimum amount of sunlight and water. “I sometimes make a little joke and say I’m designing a plant or tree house that is also used by humans,” he said.

    Many years of experience in this type of urban forestry means that Mr. Boeri now has a lot of tricks on his sleeve when it comes to maintaining these buildings. He used ladybugs released nearby to destroy pests attacking high-rise trees, and found a mountaineering gardener expanding the building and pruning the trees.

    Rendering of the Botanica Tower. When completed, it will be covered with flowering plants and trees.


    Coima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Stefano Boeri Architetti (Rendering)

    In the United States, construction, one of the biggest experiments in bioaffinity development to date, will begin next year when work begins at One Beverly Hills, a 17.5-acre neighborhood.

    By 2027, two apartments, including about 300 homes, would have been built, each with sliding glass doors, leading to a curved petal-like terrace filled with plants, according to the developer Alagem Capital Group. increase. The project also includes hotels, shops, restaurants and an 8-acre botanical garden. The apartment has already been booked and the first home will be listed next year, Aragem said.

    Rendering of One Beverly Hills.


    Alagem Capital Group (Rendering)

    One Beverly Hills has 8 acres of botanical gardens.


    Alagem Capital Group (Rendering)

    Share your thoughts

    Do you think biophilic design will continue in the future? Join the conversation below.

    “The connection with nature begins when you look out the window,” said David Summerfield, studio director at Foster + Partners, a British architectural firm planning One Beverly Hills. “The lower dwelling overlooks the park straight up. Going up there is a huge terrace. It’s like the park is climbing up a building into your apartment.”

    Armstrong Yakubu, a senior partner at Foster + Partners, believes that this design resonates with buyers who have realized that it is important to go outdoors during the blockade.

    “The idea of ​​being in a sealed box is now like Anathema,” he said. “I think the connection with nature will be a fundamental part of our lives.”



    Live in Portanuova

    Vertical Forest, Milan, Italy | From $ 4.2 million

    The name of this development is interpreted as a vertical forest and is one of the most notable examples in the world of nature-inspired urban design. The vertical forest was designed by Stefano Boeri and is covered with more than 15,000 plants and trees. Construction was completed in 2014 and the final tranche of the apartment was launched in 2020. There are currently 11 left, ranging from $ 4.2 million for a 4-bedroom 2,874-square-foot apartment to a 5,307-square-foot penthouse. It’s over $ 17.5 million. ” Developer: COIMA


    Richmont’s, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate

    Windshell Naradhiwas, Bangkok, Thailand | $ 3.1 million

    With a 23-foot-high ceiling, this loft apartment is open and neutrally decorated to create a soothing atmosphere. Completed in 2020, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment will have French doors on either side of the living room leading to a terrace overgrown with large trees, facilitating the flow of air through the 6,053 sq ft site. Agent: Richmont’s, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate


    PLP architecture

    Park Nova, Singapore | From $ 4.3 Million

    Located in Singapore’s prestigious 10th district, this building under construction will one day be covered with 49,000 tropical shrubs and 95 trees, and when the building is completed in 2023, it can be installed on a series of undulating balconies. It will be cared for in the nursery school.

    Park Nova’s two-bedroom apartments are listed from $ 4.3 million in a 1,432 sq ft property. The 22-story building, consisting of 54 apartments, was designed by PLP Architecture, a leading British company, and states that the plants on the balconies provide both shade and a barrier against noise and air pollution. Developer: Shun Tak Group

    Copyright © 2021 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

    Biophilic design helps the towers of apartments in big cities return to nature

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