1000 Trees by Heatherwick Studios

Located in a residential area 20 minutes from central Shanghai, 1000 Trees designed by Heatherwick Studios is a mixed-use development spanning 300,000 square metres that is under construction.

The 15-acre site is located next to the M50 arts district and a public park in central Shanghai. The development is split over two plots of land connected by a narrow government plot and incorporates several historic buildings.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio for the developer Tian An China, 1000 Trees is conceived not only as a building but as a piece of topography and takes the form of two tree-covered mountains, populated by hundreds of columns.


Renderings of 1000 Trees. Courtesy Heatherwick Studios

“Rather than hiding the columns which provide structural support, the columns emerge at the top of the building as large planters, each holding a handful of trees,” explains Heatherwick studios. “Existing planning permission for two conventional shopping mall blocks had been granted for the site, but a huge, boxy building would need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to fit in with the surroundings.”

The integrated planting acts as a natural balancing element and the building’s edges are lowered to minimise the impact where it meets the art district and park, reducing the discernible threshold between them.

Project Details

Name: 1000 trees

Design: Heatherwick Studio

Client: Tian An China

Location: Shanghai, China

Status: Under Construction

Photography: Qingyan Zhu