After winning multiple awards and international recognition, Stefano Boeri's next edition in his flurry of vertical forests will bring him to Utrecht, where the Milan-based architect has designed a 90-metre-tall highrise dubbed the Hawthorne Tower. The result of an international competition, the 26-storey project is the first of Boeri's vertical forest concepts to land in the Netherlands, and would be located near the Utrecht Central Train Station.

A rendering of the Hawthorne Tower, image via Stefano Boeri Architetti

The development's vegetated facade will be composed of 10,000 plants of different species, including 360 trees and 9,640 shrubs and flowers. The foliage will allow the building to absorb more than 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide. And while much of the attention is deservedly focused on the unique exterior, the interior will also boast some distinct facets, including a research centre dedicated to the education of urban forestation around the world. This publicly accessible space will be located on the ground level, connected by elevator to a roof garden on the sixth floor, where the building's interplay between the manufactured and the natural can be appreciated up close.

The building's vegetated surface makes it stand out from its neighbours, image via Stefano Boeri Architetti

The building's massing is diminished through the implementation of setbacks that optimize the penetration of natural light. The primarily residential building will be punctured in the middle by an entire floor dedicated to a restaurant.

The building's setbacks serve as platforms for further greenery, image via Stefano Boeri Architetti

An ingenious way of providing greenery within compact cities, often beset by an acute paucity of open space, the development follows in the footsteps of Boeri's previous work, most notably the Bosco Verticale complex in Milan. Construction on the Utrecht tower is expected to begin in 2019 and complete in 2022.

Trees and shrubbery bursts out of the podium, image via Stefano Boeri Architetti

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