Innovation That Matters

Forest bathing has been found to decrease cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate. | Photo source MVRDV

Dutch villa makes ‘forest therapy’ accessible in the city

Health & Wellbeing

The Green Villa concept is a four-story tower covered in plants, with the goal of bringing the benefits of "forest therapy" to city residents

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Spotted: According to a Japanese study carried out by Chiba University, spending time in forests, or “forest therapy,” decreases cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. But how could the benefits of forest therapy be made accessible to everyone, including people who work in offices and do not have access to green areas? That is the question that the Dutch architecture and urbanism practice MVRDV aimed to answer by designing a “Green Villa.” 

Green Villa is a four-story hybrid office and residential building located along the Dommel River in the Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgeste. Construction will take place in 2020. The concept was designed in collaboration with Van Boven Architecten. 

Inside, the villa is abundant with potted plants. Outside, the tower has a “rack” of shelves entirely covered in potted plants, bushes and trees, such as jasmine, pine and birch. Each plant is labelled with a nameplate and is fully profiled. This will allow the villa to double as a “tree library” to educate the public and future residents about sustainability. The building will also recycle stored rainwater to feed the plants. 

Springwise has spotted other attempts at making urban spaces more green, including a “hanging garden” concept to recapture public space in Milan’s central Piazzale Loreto. 



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