The Urban Forest acts as lungs for the city through a synthetic forest to improve the air quality and microclimate of Hanoi, Vietnam. It features a collection of wind towers, with an occupiable skin that neutralizes the air, and a canopy of vines that produce oxygen like trees in a forest. It also creates an interface between existing infrastructure and new — plugging into and using the roofs of tube houses as community spaces for gathering in “urban rooms.”
Hanoi, Vietnam was ranked as the second most polluted city in Southeast Asia in 2019. When the city is blanketed by a thick layer of smog on most winter days, people go about their day as if it is normal, and have become indifferent to the terrible air quality. In addition to air pollution, heat and humidity in the summer are also climatic issues for those who live in Hanoi. Only about 5% of the time throughout the year, is it comfortable without any mechanical interventions. However, if we introduce some passive design strategies such as increase sun shading, internal heat gain, and cooling in the summer, it would be up to 67% more comfortable.