The 1,000 Trees Development

Andy is a third year Architectural student an the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

photo of 1000 trees project in Shanghai

The 1,000 Trees development is a 300,000-square-meter project located in Shanghai by Heatherwick Studio and opened in 2020. The mixed-use project is covered in trees, attempting to imitate a hill-like topography on the relatively flat land of Shanghai. The building is going to contain a mix of retail, offices, eateries, event venues, and galleries. This project is unique and important in today’s world because of the use of greenery in the design.

The city of Shanghai is very dense and lacks a lot of greenery that other cities such as Berlin, Madrid, and Copenhagen contain. 1,000 Trees will set a great example for the design of future projects in other cities and who wish to positively impact the environment. 1,000 Trees is a very compelling contemporary architectural project because it addresses the environmental crisis but also adds a unique hill-like topography that the city of Shanghai does not have. Its multi-use program will add value to various sectors of the society.

photo of 1000 trees project in Shanghai

Architects play a major role in dealing with environmental degradation because buildings are responsible for "38% of the world's output of planet-warming gas." Lots of cities around the world suffer from terrible air quality and while it is not entirely the architect's fault, proper design can make a huge difference. If buildings that use the bare minimum of fossil fuels can be created that would greatly benefit the atmosphere around the city and clear up smog.

Shanghai suffers from bad air quality at times. According to Rob Schmitz from Marketplace, “Each day when I wake up I check my phone. Not for email, but to check the air quality. I have an app that gives me hourly readings from the air monitoring station at the U.S. consulate here in Shanghai”. The residents of Shanghai have to take extreme measures to deal with air quality and that means that there has to be a change in thinking about how to properly sustain the environment.