• Vert


With temperatures rising and heatwaves set to intensify, coupled with dwindling biodiversity in cities across the world, there is an urgent need for a rethink in urban development. Devised in a three-way collaboration between Stefan Diez’s industrial design studio Diez Office, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), and urban greening specialists OMCºC, Vert is an experimental proposition for a modular structure that can address both issues.

Unveiled at Chelsea School of Art during London Design Festival, the project proposes a timber structure that helps to cool the city while integrating easily into its existing infrastructure. Tall sails covered in climbing plants work to fix carbon dioxide in the air while creating areas of cooling shade – sheltered spaces for people to pause. Built from sustainable materials, Vert combines aesthetic appeal with tangible environmental benefits, and represents a transformative approach to urban development.

Constructed from an engineered hardwood, red oak glulam, the structure consists of a series of timber triangles holding suspended biodegradable nets. These provide a framework for climbing plants, rooted in textile planters at the base of each net. The sails are greened with around 20 different plant species, creating a living ecosystem that enriches local biodiversity, serves as a habitat for essential insect populations, aesthetically enriches the urban landscape, and provides a sheltered space where visitors can gather and relax.