Moganshan project in pictures: The tree-covered building Heatherwick Studio is planning for Shanghai

Joe Hall
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The development is proposed for a 15 acre site next to Shanghai's main art district (Source: Heatherwick)

Images of one of what one of Heatherwick Studio's most ambitious projects yet - a 300,000 sq ft tree-covered building in the heart of Shanghai - could look like have been unveiled.

Based on a 15-acre site near Shanghai's arts district, the striking Moganshan development is being built by the minds behind the London Routemaster redesign and the Olympic Cauldron.

"Conceived not as a building but as a piece of topography, the design takes the form of two tree-covered mountains, populated by approximately one thousand structural columns," explains London architecture firm Heatherwick on its website.

"Instead of being hidden behind the facade, the columns are the defining feature of the design, emerging from the building to support plants and trees."

Read more: Google looks to Heatherwick Studio for London headquarters

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

Heatherwick, the firm set up by renowned British designer Thomas Heatherwick, was commissioned to work on the daring development following the success of the £25m UK Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo five years ago.

The Moganshan development incorporates several historic buildings to house residences, shops, hotel rooms and a school.

Trees and plants, placed on top of 1,000 columns and 400 terraces, will help the building sit naturally alongside a park and a river.

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