10 Awesome Buildings Incorporating Plants

There has been much valid research performed over the last couple decades about the health, economic, social, and environmental benefits of buildings incorporating plants and greenery into urban spaces – especially into commercial and residential buildings. Residents and inhabitants of the buildings feel better and perform better when exposed to more natural elements. Not to mention the added aesthetic value to the design of the building when beautiful lush plants are exposed and showcased as the building’s feature.

Modern architects, designers, and developers understand the inherent benefits of buildings that grow plants and so they’ve built entire structures to be more conducive to vegetation. Here are ten of the coolest buildings from all around the world that have integrated plants in unique ways.

Pasona HQ, Tokyo, Japan


Pasona, HQ via KONO Designs.

This commercial office building was renovated to incorporate not only plants on the exterior façade but also now includes a rooftop garden and an urban farming system. Fruits and vegetables are grown hydroponically in the building and harvested to be served in the building’s cafeterias.

Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building, Vancouver, BC


Vancouver Convention Centre via PCL Construction.

The newest addition to the Vancouver Convention Centre is a Platinum LEED Certified building with an enormous 6 acre green roof growing 400,00 indigenous plants.

Semiahmoo Library, South Surrey, BC


Semiahmoo Public Library via Green Over Grey.

This public library is home to a 3,000 square foot living wall. It is the largest outdoor living wall in North America. The technology used to grow the wall is soil-free and allows the wall to be entirely self-sufficient.

Gutman Visitation Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Gutman Visitation Center via Israeli Green Building Council.

Gutman Visitation Center via Israeli Green Building Council.

This “Living Building” differs from typical green buildings in that its primary design purpose is to harmonize the “natural flow of life” surrounding it. Its roof requires no watering and allows for wildlife to inhabit it naturally.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Blending landscape and architecture this School of Art, Design and Media has beautiful and swooping green roofs intended to inspire creativity. The roofs also serve as informal gathering spaces and harvest rainwater for irrigation.

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California


Building incorporating plants. California Academy of Sciences.

The unique 2.5 acre living roof of the Academy is landscaped with native plants that grow using a technology that does not require irrigation. The building itself is Platinum LEED Certified.

Shenzen Asian Cairn Farmscraper, Shenzen, China


Shenzen Asian Cairn Farmscraper via Vincent Callebaut Architectures.

Though just a concept design, this skyscraper is not only a mix of retail, commercial, and residential space but also integrates vertical farming. The concept is intended to be a resolution to a growing demand for food as a result of a rapidly expanding Chinese urban population.

Chaise Urbaine, Strasbourg, France


Chaise Urbaine via MVRDV.

A waterfront concept development that is a mix of office and residential incorporating a vast amount of vegetation. Designed to resemble a lounge chair facing the water, the vertical garden will be irrigated through an integrated watering system.

Ann Demeulemeester Shop, Seoul, Korea


Ann Demeulemeester Shop via Mass Studies.

As far as retail spaces go, this store has done an incredible job of integrating nature both inside and out. The designer has set herself apart from other retail shops in the area and worked towards creating a more pleasant and peaceful visit for shoppers.

Siam Paragon Shopping Center, Bangkok, Thailand


Siam Paragon Shopping Center via Patrick Blanc.

The six story shopping center hosts an interior full of living vertical walls. With plenty of ferns, vines, and moss crawling up the building’s atrium, the space feels much more like a rainforest than a mall. It was also the most Instagrammed place in 2013.

Modern designs are making more effort to integrate vegetation into the feeling of the building like in the case of Milan Italy’s, Bosco Verticale, translated to Vertical Forestthat won the 2014 International Highrise  Award. The result is a much more pleasant working and living experience for all. Share your photos of plant covered buildings with us [email protected]

Check out what the world’s most modern cities are doing to increase urban growing: Biophilia – Cities Designed With Nature in Mind

Feature Image: Siam Paragon Shopping Center via Patrick Blanc.

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.