For the design of the lush, plant-covered towers of One Central Park, Sydney Australia, the team at Jean Nouvel expertly blended sustainable design with architectural innovation

This iconic mixed-use building (residential and retail) is notable for its extensive sustainability initiatives and landmark exterior. On the design front, the first element that stands out is the massive, cantilevered heliostat, a panel of hovering mirrors that reflect glimmers of natural light onto the lower levels. At night, LEDs transform the heliostat into a shimmering light installation.One Central Park, Sydney AustraliaSimon WoodIn collaboration with French botanist Patrick Blanc, the ‘world’s tallest vertical garden’ was added to the exterior, utilizing 250 species of native Australian flowers and plants that intertwine the floors. Each planter has its own irrigation system, which uses remote-controlled dripper irrigation and a mesh-covered felt to anchor the plants to the towers’ scaffolds.

As Sydney’s ‘urban village’, One Central Park houses its own on-site tri-generation plant, an energy source that supplies electricity, heating and cooling using ‘green transformers’ powered by natural gas.

One of the most extensive elements of the structure’s sustainability efforts is its water recycling program. It creates recycled water from several natural sources, including rainwater from the roofs and irrigation from the plant gardens.One Central Park, Sydney Australia,Murray FredericksThe Central Park Water system enables residents of the towers to use recycled water for the 50-to-70 percent of non-drinking activities, like "toilet flushing, washing machine use, irrigation, green-wall watering and air cooling."

Central Park's sustainability strategy was devised with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, one of the world’s ‘leading experts on green living’.

Per Jean Nouvelle, One Central Park: "integrates the landscape architecture and that of the towers in an unprecedented way, and offers Sydney a new architectural icon that symbolizes the sustainable future of the city."One Central Park, Sydney Australia,Murray Fredericks