French Architect Designs Vertical Forest Apartments to Escape City Life

Arboricole | Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Social Media Editor

In the age of co-working spaces, live/work apartment buildings and a younger generation that cares about making truly positive change in the world, this French architecture firm has designed what is perhaps the most millennial building on the planet: a vertical forest, which city dwellers can call home.

Loved by over 40s

‘Arboricole’, whose name is taken from the Latin for tree (arbor) and to cultivate (colo), is a residential concept created by Paris-based architects Vincent Callebaut Architectures.

The urban garden space was drafted for the ‘Imagine Angers’ competition, organised by the mayor of the French city of Angers as a means of choosing the most innovative and sustainable building design for a new building where residents could live, work and play.

Although Arboricole did not win the competition overall, it did win the public vote and was one of the five finalists, hence, along with how stunning it is, why the structure is going viral. design,


The architects teamed up with Bouygues Immobilier and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) to realise their immense concept, which is made up of ’50 vegetated, adaptable and experimental apartments, a next-generation hotel residence, a bar, a brewery and a concert hall’. The plans also boast ‘a cultural nursery for the development of artistic projects and a gourmet rooftop restaurant’ to, no pun intended, top it all off.

The design itself is biophilic, meaning that it aims to draw its residents into closer contact with nature. Thus, the smart building uses both plants and renewable energy, catering to young urban dwellers who want to truly experience new city living.


Looking like a forest rising from the concrete, the building, thanks to partition walls, contains fully customisable units so everyone can adapt their space to best suit their needs. And of course, there are plants throughout it all. ‘Living in an apartment at the heart of a vertical nourishing forest reminds us of our childhood dream,’ the architects explain. The plants also serve a technological purpose too, adding or taking away from the air temperature and humidity to create what become sort of atmospheres within the building. They also filter light and shadow in what is a very artistic way.

Similarly, the shape of the building itself is modelled after the path of the sun, meaning that geothermal and solar energy help regulate the building’s temperature. The planters on the building trap rainwater which ends up in a pond on the first floor. All the materials used are also recyclable.


Although it was another project, an inter-generational building entitled ‘Arborescence’, which ended up taking home the mayor’s prize, the public vote for Arboricole illustrates people’s willingness and interest in living in this type of urban forest space.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.