ARIA Property Group is set to develop a 30-storey South Brisbane apartment tower, designed by Koichi Takada Architects, that is being described as the “world’s greenest residential building”.

The Urban Forest tower will boast more than 20,000 plants, a green spine connecting Southbank Parklands with Musgrave Park, and a new 1350 sqm public park at the base of the building, with more than half the ground floor publicly accessible.

The developers say this is the first stand-alone five-star Green Star residential building in Queensland, and the “most livable apartments in the world” with average balcony sizes of 28 sqm and  communal recreation facilities of more than 13 sqm per apartment. There will be a landmark public art and lighting design to promote the Brisbane City of Light’s initiative, an onsite education centre showcasing design and landscaping excellence, and a benchmark for Brisbane City Council’s Buildings that Breathe guideline.

Koichi Takada said, “We wanted to set a new benchmark with the Urban Forest to inspire the next generation to follow and implement our vision of ‘mass greening’ for our sustainable and greener future. I believe that the Urban Forest will change the way we live. We designed away the barrier between the building and nature. The result is the greenest residential building with generous ‘backyards in the sky’ and offers a healthier way to live. The Urban Forest is a vertical park which features five times the trees found in nearby Musgrave Park and a Green Plot Ratio 292 per cent the site area in gardens, equivalent to taking over 150 cars off the road each year. It is important to bring such a building to Brisbane at this time as unlike more populated cities, Brisbane still offers abundant opportunity to define and shift the city to a more natural and humanised approach.”

ARIA’s vision to create the greenest residential building in the world will be achieved through dense landscaping and planting and an energy efficient and highly livable ventilated tower. They say more than 1000 trees will create a living, breathing urban forest. For perspective, Musgrave Park comprises 154 trees over 43,300 sqm whilst Urban Forest has 1003 trees on 2750 sqm. ARIA proposes a variety of tree species and planting to celebrate Brisbane’s seasons with each façade tailored to respond to sun and wind seasonally.

Development Manager Michael Hurley said Brisbane enjoys Australia’s best climate conditions and this building allows residents to enjoy it in a way unprecedented in Australian apartment living. “The Urban Forest will contribute to reducing the urban heat effect by creating a truly sustainable building and setting a new Australian benchmark.”

The Glenelg Street park a the base of the building will feature a stage, outdoor classrooms, amphitheatre and event space. The design also incorporates a floating canopy bridge meandering between columns and above the park to let visitors explore and adjoins an information centre. “The information centre will be a unique focal point for the public with the ability to provide education on tree species, biodiversity, design and maintenance of the building. We want the Centre to promote the building and Brisbane as a global city, demonstrating what pioneering urban development actually represents,” said Hurley.

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