Italian architect Stefano Boeri has revealed designs for a plant-covered 36-storey tower in Lausanne, Switzerland, continuing the "vertical forest" concept he trialled with a pair of towers in Milan (+ slideshow).
According to Boeri, the building in the Chavannes-Près-Renens district of the city will be the first tower in the world to be covered with evergreen trees.
Renderings released by Boeri's Milan studio today show facades comprising projecting terraces that are faced with reinforced concrete panels.
The roofs of these boxes accommodate plants including the coniferous trees that give the project its name, La Tour des Cedres, or The Cedar Trees Tower.
As with Boeri's Bosco Verticale buildings in Milan, the intention is that the leaves of the trees will help to trap fine dust, absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen to improve the city's air quality.
"With the Tower of Cedar Trees we will have the opportunity to realise a plain building that will have a great role in the Lausanne landscape," said Boeri in a statement. "An architecture even able to introduce a significant biodiversity of vegetal species in the middle of an important European city."
"The Tower, also thanks to its shape and the changing colours of cedar trees and plants during the seasons, could become a landmark in the panorama of Lake Geneva," the architect added.
"This will make Lausanne a cutting-edge city in the global challenge to implement urban quality together with sustainability and biodiversity."
Alongside 100 cedar trees, 6,000 shrubs and 18,000 plants will also contribute to green surfaces totalling approximately 3,000 square metres. Cedar was chosen because of its longevity and ability to withstand severe climatic conditions.
Stefano Boeri Architetti was awarded the project after seeing off competition from international firms including Mario Botta Architetto, Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés Architectes and Goettsch Partners.
Boeri is one of several architects to combine plants and architecture in recent years. French architect Jean Nouvel teamed up with botanist Patrick Blanc to create a pair of plant-covered towers in Sydney, while a holiday resort in Vietnam by Vo Trong Nghia features concrete louvers that support climbing plants on its facades.