British designer Thomas Heatherwick has unveiled a plant-covered shopping centre in Shanghai, China, that incorporates over 1,000 trees and 250,000 plants. Named 1,000 Trees to reference its planting, the nine-storey building was designed to resemble a greenery-covered mountain. 1,000 Trees is located alongside the M50 art district and the Suzhou Creek, the block was officially opened to the public in December 2021.
The latest images released by Heatherwick Studio show the exterior of the project for developer Tian An at night, as well as inside the building. The structure of the retail development was built with a grid of concrete columns arranged at a 45-degree angle to the river. Each of the columns is topped with a planter that contains a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, as well as shrubs and hanging plants. Over 1,000 trees and 250,000 plants have been placed on the building in total.
Heatherwick hopes that the grid and numerous planters will help to break down the mass of the development that contains 166 retail units. The building contains 62,706 sq m of retail space across 12 flagship stores, 91 shops, and 63 food and beverage outlets. A food court and supermarket are located in the basement, with shops on the five floors above and restaurants on the building's upper four storeys. A series of artworks curated by French street artist Paul Dezio have been placed throughout the building. Sixteen artists were commissioned to create pieces that include a 40-metre-high mural in the elevator shaft. Meanwhile, the street-facing wall of the development has also been covered in street art.
"We wanted to create a place that brings together nature, commerce and wellbeing," said Lisa Finlay, partner at Heatherwick Studio. "It's turned an ex-industrial site into a new destination exploring the powerful relationships between art, landscape and architecture."
Known as the West Mountain, the shopping centre is the first phase of the development on the site. It will be followed by 19-storey East Mountain, which will contain offices and a hotel. The development is the latest building by Heatherwick Studio to incorporate a large amount of planting. (Source: Heatherwick Studio)
(Photos by Tian An)