New photographs and drone footage have been released of an almost-built 300,000m² tree-covered development near Shanghai’s art district designed by Heatherwick Studio
Under construction since 2014, the huge 1000 Trees mixed-use scheme features 400 terraces and has been designed to resemble ‘tree-covered mountains’.
The trees are supported by 1,000 structural columns covering the façade. According to the King’s Cross-based practice, the design was ‘conceived not as a building but as a piece of topography’.
Built next to a public park in a residential area 20 minutes from central Shanghai, the existing 15-acre site incorporated several historic buildings and the land was split into two plots, separated by a narrow stretch of government land. The scheme for developer Tian An China is expected to complete by 2019.
The site is located next to the M50 arts district and a public park. 1000 Trees is conceived not only as a building but as a piece of topography and takes the form of two tree-covered mountains, populated by hundreds of columns.
Rather than hiding the columns which provide structural support, the columns emerge at the top of the building as large planters, each holding a handful of trees.
Existing planning permission for two conventional shopping mall blocks had been granted for the site, but a huge, boxy building would need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to fit in with the surroundings.
The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building’s edges are lowered to minimise the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them.