If buildings were trees

OAS1S invites us to imagine the unthinkable

With urban sprawls becoming increasingly gargantuan, the demand for construction materials ever – more hazardous to the environment, and our appetite for space approaching insatiable levels, perhaps it’s time we all had a rethink.

Impassioned Dutch designer and architect Raimond de Hullu, MSc, has done just that. His project, OAS1S, invites us to imagine the unthinkable – ‘what if buildings were trees, and cities forests?’- by introducing the world to a new building typology, supposedly the first in modern history to be 100% ‘green’.


Skyscrapers and mid-rises become thin stacks of living and working spaces, enveloped in foliage, built with a focus on self – sufficiency, essentially allowing nature to reclaim densely populated areas without displacing current residents or making future human expansion impossible. Still in its concept phase, despite sounding like a pipe dream the practical implementation of this proposal is actually much more achievable than sceptics would imagine.


Materials such as recycled wood, organic HQ insulation, green walls and triple glazing would be incorporated, each helping to ensure little to no footprint will be left by any of the structures. Utilities are all off-grid and from sustainable sources. Affordability is another major factor. Prohibitive costs often associated with green design and architecture are avoided in the OAS1S example, with split ownership separating homes from the land they sit on reducing the price tag.




Hence this grand plan deserving some closer inspection. Not least as there are currently multiple pilot projects being developed in multiple parts of the world. Take a look.

This article was featured in our #Futureforecast printed edition.

This story is free and open source. You have permission to republish our story under a Creative Commons license as long as you credit Design Exchange and relink back to our website.

Leave a Reply