photos: Jessica Hill
by Jessica Hill
When you’re planning your trip to Sydney you’re sure to have the city’s iconic landmarks on your site seeing list. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are definitely worth a visit, but there’s another building that’s quickly emerging as a must-see for both locals and visitors alike. It’s the world’s tallest vertical garden.
Sydney’s Central Park project features two buildings, dubbed One Central Park, entirely clad in vertical gardens. The gardens are a result of the collaboration between the building’s architects, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, and French botanist, Patrick Blanc.
Climbing over 110 metres (360 ft.) into the sky, the gardens include 350 species of plants, vines and flowers, more than half native to Australia. Blanc designed the vertical gardens to be fed by a hydroponic system rather than soil. This allows the gardens to grow without damaging the building. During the warmer months the garden explodes with growth, covering almost the entire building beneath. Fans have dubbed it “the Niagara Falls of plants.”
The urban oasis also features a cantilevered heliostat; an automated grid of mirrors designed to reflect sunlight to the landscape below. At night the heliostat dazzles onlookers with a LED lighting artwork by Yann Kersalè.
Inside the complex, visitors have access to a number of retail shops, restaurants and an art space. A glass roof also gives you another chance to see the spectacular gardens above.
For plant lovers, architects and environmentalists, One Central Park offers a glimpse into the future of green building and design.
One Central Park is located the inner-city suburb of Chippendale and is only short stroll from Central Station. Make sure you add it to your ‘must-see’ list next time you’re visiting Sydney. #itsplantporn
Jessica Hill is a freelance journalist who is interested in the relationship between plants and people. Follow her on Instagram @plantsunknown.