Trees will literally be falling from the sky (well, more like hanging actually) once Sri Lanka unveils its latest marvel – the world’s tallest ever, vertically growing garden.
Fragrant plants and flowers will be turning the air sweet when the new 610-feet-high tower graces the Sri Lankan landscape. For the first time ever the world will witness a marvellous new structure rising high into the sky and cleaning the air at the same time, flourishing and blossoming to onlookers, passers-by and dwellers’ delight.
Not only will this be a first in terms of becoming the tallest garden of its kind the world has ever seen but it will also be Sri Lanka’s first ever sustainable residential development and eco-friendly high-rise building.
I for one, as a passionate nature lover and eco-conscious advocate for all things greener, am pumped about this new great construction which I hope to visit as soon as it’s finished – just picture it: being able to stretch your arm out to pick herbs right from your kitchen window or waking up to your very own piece of forestry stretching before your eyes – truly spectacular.
Read on to find out more about just how great this new natural yet man-made marvel will turn out to be and the bright new sustainable future it will bring to the local area.
A staggering architectural and natural marvel in Colombo
With a due date that lies somewhere between the end of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, Sri Lanka’s most ambitious environmentally-friendly project to date is being carried out by Milroy Perera Associates and Maga Engineering. The collaboration will result in the building of a magnificent 46-story-high tower, outfitted with numerous plants and flourishing gardens surrounding the structure.
Inspired by similar projects such as the Bosco Verticale in Milan, which is still in construction (despite having been expected by mid-2013) and which is now scheduled to be completed sometime between now and summer 2014, Sri Lanka’s verdant new tower, called Clearpoint Residencies, will be completely covered by plants but on the inside it will be just as green, with more than one self-sustaining feature ensuring minimum impact on the surrounding environment (we will go more in depth about the tower’s green features below).
But what’s more, this marvellous, awe-inspiring architectural feat will be perfectly located in close proximity to the capital city, yet secluded enough as to give residents an escape from the noise and chaos of the centre.
Upon completion, the Clearpoint Residencies tower is expected to reach a height of 186 metres, making it the world’s tallest structure of its kind, surpassing Milan’s twin towers, the tallest of which reaches 119 metres high. In the case of the only existing precedent; Milan’s Bosco Verticale - the buildings will be home to over 100 different species of trees and shrubs, including 480 large and medium-sized trees, 250 small trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 groundcover plants.
All this abundant vegetation suspended in mid-air is equivalent to 10,000 square metres of lush forest. Likewise, when finished, Sri Lanka’s vertical garden will be equivalent to numerous hectares of forest, the amount of which is not yet clear as the actual height could be pushed up at the last minute. The ambitious developers have hinted that the final height might be increased in the end, so watch this space for more updates.
A blossoming garden, innovative design and a home with a view
Clearpoint Residencies is more than a wondrous feat of engineering and clever design; it will also be the home of hundreds of lucky residents who will get to dwell amidst lush greenery and enjoy an authentic treetop-living experience.
The tower will house a total of 164 apartments, commanding what will undoubtedly be the best views of the surrounding area. The idea is, according to architect Milroy Perera, that “the main focus of the apartment will be to provide an atmosphere and sentiment of ground level living.”
Each apartment or flat will be spread out over approximately 2300 square-feet of space with an open-plan design that seeks to evoke feelings of tranquillity, privacy and intimacy in a forest-like setting but with enough modern, edgy touches to remind you of the best of civilisation.
The planted terraces that surround the overall structure of the building will also surround each apartment individually, resulting in an effective method for absorbing sound, providing shade and cleansing the air all at the same time. To provide natural cooling all of the apartments will also be cross-ventilated, also in this way reducing the need for artificial air conditioning.
Pioneering eco-friendly design and environment-loving features
But of course we all know that Clearpoint Residencies will be more than a pretty face. Beyond the allure of living in a green paradise that shelters you from the outside world, the noise and the pollution, this magnificent structure will also pay its dues to the local environment as it will be created in such a way as to respect the environment and cause minimum impact.
For starters, the plants surrounding the building will be automatically watered through a drip-irrigation system and the water used for this purpose will be a mix of harvested water as well as recycled bathroom, sink and shower water. The same water will be used for toilet-flushing, further ensuring efficient water usage that will contribute towards reducing intake from the national water supply by as much as 45 per cent (a figure that, although only an estimate, is sure impressive).
When it comes to energy expenditure, the installation of solar panels on the roof of the building is expected to cover of some of the building’s energy requirements, enough to power common facilities such as lifts, lobby lighting, onsite sewage recycling and treatment system as well as the water recycling system. Excess electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to the national grid.
On top of this, the designers and architects have taken steps to increase the size of the covered terraces and suggest the use of more plants for extra shade, thus ensuring none of the building’s windows will be exposed to direct sunlight, which in turn also means it would eliminate one of the main causes of heat gain, further reducing the need for air conditioning.
Cleaner air in the midst of a bustling city
Located a few miles from the beating heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s thriving capital and largest city, the residential tower will be beautifully poised overlooking the tranquil, glistening waters of the Diyawanna Lake in Kotte… could you possibly imagine a more idyllic setting or more sweeping views? I’m sure the price tag of the new flats will be hefty but definitely worth every penny, I can’t think of a more paradisiacal haven in which to enjoy a much-needed respite from polluted city living. In fact I’m secretly hoping that upon completion they will rent out some of these residences for eco-friendly Sri Lanka holidays. The best part is that, due to the location, this kind of accommodation would be ideal for visiting nearby Colombo and soaking up the culture.
And, whoever scoops up the penthouse or the top floor is in for a real vertigo-inducing view. And maybe, for authentic daredevils, how about a romantic tango-dancing session up on the rooftop? That is of course if the solar panels aren’t too slippery for you.