Taking landscaping to new heights, and using architecture as the vehicle, is an idea that stretches all the way back to the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and shows up most commonly today in the form of rooftop gardens and ivy-covered universities. But modern architects have devised new methods of sending plants skyward, whether its with a series of towering terraces or truly vertical gardens cultivated on the sides of buildings. Not only do these verdant feats of physics add a lush quality to the structures they adorn, they also provide eco-friendly benefits like producing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, and naturally cooling interior spaces. Masterminds like Herzog and de Meuron, Daniel Libeskind, Shigeru Ban, and Bjarke Ingels have all devised buildings that seamlessly blend structure and flora for a more integrative kind of architecture that recognizes our connection to the earth.

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Bosco Verticale, also known as Vertical Forest, is a set of two residential towers in Milan whose facades collectively display trees, shrubs, and ground-covering plants. Completed in 2014 by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the buildings have numerous environmental benefits, including reducing carbon dioxide.

A wall of greenery stretches up the facade of One Central Park, a residential complex in Sydney, Australia, by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. The living art installation is…