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Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda
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This Breathtaking 'Tree Tower' is the Changing Face of Toronto's Cityscape

Picture of Charlotte Luxford
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 8 August 2017
Inspired by Canada’s iconic Habitat 67 building, this incredible 18-storey timber tower block in Toronto shows that high-rises can be built sustainably, and can still connect with nature, even in a hectic urban environment.

The forward-thinking structure by architect firm Penda, is a massive step forward in the future of high-rise construction, as the prefab modular panels designed by Tmber will be constructed off-site and simply craned in, meaning that the building will be erected more efficiently and less wastefully, while also causing less chaos and disruption to the city’s residents.

Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda

Chris Precht, a partner at the firm, says: ‘Our cities are an assembly of steel, concrete and glass. If you walk through the city and suddenly see a tower made of wood and plants, it will create an interesting contrast. The warm, natural appearance of wood and the plants growing on its facade bring the building to life and that could be a model for environmentally friendly developments and sustainable extensions of our urban landscape.’

Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda

Using innovative timber construction methods, such as this cross-laminated timber design, could help ensure that the construction industry’s carbon footprint is substantially reduced in the future, which is why the Tree Tower Toronto is being heavily funded by the Canadian government.

Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda

Precht’s co-partner Dayong Sun says: ‘Elements of a building like wires and copper will be a scarce resources in future. To demolish a tower in an conventional way, buries most valuable elements of a building. To think about down-constructing a tower secures for a sustainable life-cycle of a building.’

The eco tower block will also incorporate substantial terraces where shrubs, veg patches and even trees will be planted, which will not only help with the immediate ventilation of the building, but will also provide fresher air for the Toronto community in general.

Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda

The 203-foot tower will offer more than 5,000 square metres of space, the majority of which will provide much-needed housing units, while 550 square metres will be given over to public spaces, including community workshops, a daycare centre and a cafe.

Undoubtedly if the building is a success on completion, it will set a benchmark for future high rises that are constructed in the city, and indeed the rest of the world, in the future.

Courtesy of Penda
Courtesy of Penda