#49 - maison et objet

Forêt Blanche, a Vertical Forest on the Edge of Paris


Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

Forêt Blanche (French for “white forest”) designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti is going to be the first Vertical Forest in France. It will be built in the town of Villiers sur Marne, just southeast of Paris.

Vertical Forests are a project of the Stefano Boeri Architetti firm with the aim of contributing to reforestation and urban biodiversity without adding to urban sprawl by building upwards. The first incarnation of the project was two residential towers built in Milan measuring 110 and 76 m high with 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 other plants arranged for the facade’s sun exposure. Vertical Forests help create a microclimate that generates humidity and oxygen while absorbing dust particles and carbon dioxide. There are Vertical Forest projects ongoing at the moment in China, Europe, South America and the United States.

Vertical Forests help create a microclimate that generates humidity and oxygen while absorbing dust particles and carbon dioxide.

The Forêt Blanche will include 2,000 trees, shrubs and plants for a green surface equivalent to a hectare of forest. That’s ten times more than the lot on the ground where the building will sit. The building itself will contain apartments on the upper floors and a mix of offices and shops on the lower floors with balconies and terraces on all sides. The apartments will be naturally lit by sunlight coming in the east and west side and have a panoramic view of Paris.

Forêt Blanche is part of a larger architectural project for the town of Villier-sur-Marne called Balcon sur Paris by the Compagnie de Phalsbourg whose mission is to build ecologically and change entryways into cities, in this case Paris. Balcon sur Paris is a collection of 12 architectural structures including works by Kuma & Associates, Oxo Architectes, KOZ Architectes, Michael Green Architecture and X-Tu.

James Corner Field Operations and Paul Arène are responsible for the design of the public green spaces for the project.

Forêt Blanche will contribute to rethinking urban buildings and green spaces, specifically seeing plants as something more than just decoration but as an integral part of modern ecological architecture.

About the Author

Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator from Toronto who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is our in-house copy editor.

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