​Lush vertical village will let residents live high among the trees

Work has started on a new high-rise near Paris, France, designed by influential Dutch firm MVRDV.  Named La Serre, the building will be defined by a steel grid facade that will host hundreds of trees and plants, allowing every resident to enjoy their own private greenery filled balcony or terrace area.

La Serre (which translates as The Greenhouse) is being created in collaboration with landscape architect Alice Tricon and developer OGIC, and will consist of 18 floors. There will be 190 apartments, 30% of which will be designated social housing, plus there will be some retail spaces on the ground floor.

The idea behind its overall design is to create a landscaped "vertical village," with multiple shared areas for residents to meet and socialize alongside the private balcony and terrace spaces mentioned.

The high-rise will host a considerable 3,000 square meters (roughly 32,000 sq ft) of outdoor space. A total of 390 trees will be planted, 338 of which will be on the building's exterior, with the rest surrounding the building. The facade will also contain 150 different plant species which have been carefully selected considering their height on the building and exposure to sun and wind. Additionally, MVRDV has collaborated with ecologists to install nesting boxes for local species of birds and bats. The building will also make use of recovered wastewater, presumably for irrigation, but this hasn't been specified yet.

"La Serre's vibrant open facade not only enhances the biodiversity of Issy but also creates connections among residents and with the city, fostering social sustainability," said MVRDV. "Over 25% of the building's inhabited area is dedicated to terraces and balconies, providing an average of 15 sq m [161 sq ft] of outdoor space per resident.

"Greenery, whether located in the communal areas or on private balconies, will be tended to by a dedicated gardener to ensure good maintenance. Stairs and footbridges connect all shared spaces, from the main hall on the ground floor to the urban window at the heart of the structure and the communal rooftop garden offering residents panoramic views of the city."

La Serre's first tree has been ceremonially planted during a ground breaking ceremony and it's expected to be completed in 2026.