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This Vertical Forest in Vietnam Is Setting a New Standard in Eco-Architecture

Once completed, Solforest Ecopark outside of Hanoi will feature one of the tallest vertical gardens in the world.

Nov 11, 2020

WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS on the rise across Southeast Asia, architectural firms are seeking out new, innovative solutions to create a greener future throughout the region. One of the most ambitious luxury developments to date is Solforest Ecopark, part of an iconic residential complex outside of Hanoi. Designed by Dewan Architects + Engineers, the development will feature two towers with a spectacular view of the 54-hectare island bay of Ecopark and the Red River.

Ecopark itself is already a revolutionary concept that radically reimagines the idea of what a contemporary community in Southeast Asia can be. The stunning natural landscape of the township incorporates more than 1 million trees, meaning the ratio of trees to residents is roughly 120 per capita. This lush forest not only makes for beautiful scenery, but also helps naturally purify the air throughout the complex. In 2015, the property earned multiple accolades from the IPA (International Property Award) for its design.

Solforest’s Ecopark’s two towers are the brainchild of Dewan, a leading design firm behind some of the Middle East’s most famous structures (Abu Dhabi’s Fairmont Hotel and Strata Tower, Fountain Views Hotel in Dubai).

“Ecopark Corporation has requested us to develop two towers that will become sustainable design symbols in Vietnam and rival top green architecture around the world. It is the most challenging task given to us yet,” said a representative of Dewan.

To combat the challenge, Dewan deployed researchers to conduct fieldwork by installing hundreds of specialized equipment to collect data on solar radiation, wind intensity, seasonal temperatures and UV radiation variations in the area. With this, one could say that the buildings are tailor-made for the climate of Northern Vietnam.

While the sheer abundance of trees alone would make Ecopark exceedingly green, the architects chose to take matters a step further by incorporating 400 vertical gardens into the facade of the two towers. Once it is completed, Solforest will be 41 stories and 156 meters in height, making it both the tallest residential building in all of Vietnam and one of the highest vertical gardens on the planet.

Building something so radically different requires a high level of ingenuity, which is why Ecopark employed a team of 500 tree engineers and greenery experts to devise solutions.

Ecopark’s professional botanist conducted research and experiments on plants to decide which were suitable for the wind direction and light direction, weather conditions and height of each apartment. The plants selected would have to be able to resist extreme weather, survive significant temperature drops and would need to be evergreen plants that rarely shed leaves.

Strategies ranging from special drainage systems for the planted balconies to incorporating insect-repelling plants into the foliage help ensure that every element of this miniature ecosystem. Each balcony is 10 meters wide and features an automatic watering system custom-designed for specific trees and plants.

The results are as beneficial for the planet as they are visually impressive. In addition to its flourishing gardens, Ecopark features all sorts of other amenities, including a resort square, a bustling pedestrian street lined with parks, lakes and lush foliage, and even a saltwater swimming pool with a waterfall. A gym, spa, lounge and shopping center are just the cherries on top. This all just goes to show that eco-living can be an absolute pleasure.

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