Ummm...I don't think so. The cantilevered mirror is an interesting idea, though (what about in summer? ). Who maintains the greenery? And how?


One Central Park uses two unusual technologies for tall buildings - hydroponics and heliostats - to grow plants around the periphery of the building at all levels. The shading saves cooling energy, while the heliostat directs sunlight for heating and lighting into or away from the building and the adjoining park when it is most needed. It strategically casts light about itself to reduce rooftop heat loads and stir visual interest at height and on the ground, while enshrouding itself in lush greenery.

The world’s “best tall building” is Jean Nouvel’s high-rise jungle in Sydney

by Chris Bentley

One Central Park in Sydney. The complex consists of two towers, one lower one taller. The lower tower
has programmable mirrors (heliostat) on the roof which reflect up to the mirrors on the cantilever to
reflect light dappled down into the plaza and shopping mall in the podium. (Rob Deutscher via Flickr)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) last night named Atelier Jean Nouvel‘s One Central Park (OCP) in Sydney the year’s best tall building. OCP turned the site of a former brewery into a residential high-rise lush with hydroponic hanging gardens and a massive mirror cantilevered over the building’s courtyard that harvests sunlight for heat and lighting year-round.

One Central Park, considered the world’s tallest vertical garden, bested projects from SOM, OMA, and Cutler Anderson Architects for the award. Those buildings—a twisting tower in Dubai, a melded mass of high-rises, and a midcentury office tower reborn as a green icon—each won regional awards from CTBUH. But One Central Park’s use of greenery by botantist and green wall guru Patrick Blanc won the day.

One Central Park (Richard Braddish)

“Seeing this project for the first time stopped me dead,” said juror and CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood. “There have been major advances in the incorporation of greenery in high-rise buildings over the past few years—but nothing on the scale of this building has been attempted or achieved.”

Accepting the award in Chicago on behalf of his firm, Atliers Jean Nouvel Partner Bertram Beissel said the project increases the visibility of sustainable design. “If we do all these sustainable things and no one can see them, do they really exist?” Beissel said. “The choices we make for a sustainable future cannot be made in the future. They must be made today.”

Read more about the building on CTBUH’s website.

OMA’s CCTV Tower in Beijing won last year’s competition.

A rendering of One Central Park in Sydney, displaying the heliostat that reflects sunlight
into a generator during hot summer months and down into amenity spaces for warmth in winter.
(Atelier Jean Nouvel)