11 April 2023

Firetree in TreeParker system at Pearling Path (Photo: Nour El Refai & Shaikh Ebrahim Center)

UNESCO world heritage is cultural and natural heritage regarded as irreplaceable, unique and owned by the whole world. It is considered of great importance to preserve world heritage. Changes or restorations to buildings or places that are listed as world heritage must therefore be carried out accurately.

Greening at world heritage

TreeBuilders’ expertise has been used on several world heritage projects. These vary from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Pearling Path in Muharraq. Although they were all very diverse buildings or places, one thing was always central: creating a harmonious combination between green, grey and blue.

Eiffel Tower in Paris

The Eiffel Tower: the symbol of Paris. With almost seven million visitors per year, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited attractions in the world. The trees suffered a lot from the ever-increasing number of visitors and Parisians. Because of the gravel layer increasing every year, the ground became so compact that tree growth came to a standstill. The need to fence off the site for security reasons and to relocate access locations presented an opportunity to improve the tree pits of the trees.

TreeBuilders, together with Vogt Landscape Architects, designed the two avenues along the Eiffel Tower to give existing trees a boost. That is why the TreeParker® system was chosen: it gives the existing trees around this breathtaking world heritage building extra growing capacity. Two years after the application of TreeParker®, the trees along the Eiffel Tower are in full bloom!

Pearling Path in Muharraq

The Pearling Path, also called ‘pearl fishing, testimony of an island economy’, was inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 2012, recognising its importance worldwide. The region bears the memory of cultural traditions of the pearling industry that dominated the Arabian Gulf in the 20th century.

The project involved the development of Pearling Path Public Squares in Muharraq (Bahrain). This included seventeen public spaces along the Pearling Path, equipped with trees that provide natural air conditioning. TreeBuilders supplied the TreeParker® system for the requested tree species ‘Firetree’. However, the ancient foundations could not withstand the extreme root strength of this tree species. TreeBuilders developed a plan to ensure that the trees could grow healthily and quickly and produce shade in the short term without damaging the surroundings. In total, tree bunkers were installed for sixteen of the Pearling Path Public Squares. To this day, visitors enjoy a calming, green outdoor space.

Parque del Buen Retiro Madrid  El Retiro Park in Madrid

The El Retiro Park, also known as ‘Parque del Buen Retiro’, is one of the largest parks in the centre of Madrid. The park has a rich history: once the Buen Retiro Palace of Philip IV stood here, of which two buildings remain. In 2021, the El Retiro Park, combined with the Paseo del Prado (boulevard), became part of the UNESCO world heritage list.

The TreeParker® system was used during the renovation of Paseo de México – the main entrance route – to combine the atmosphere of the past with the most modern techniques. The same goes for the trees that were newly planted. Due to the intensive use of the promenade, an engineered floor was chosen, preventing compaction of the terrain and creating a continuously draining pavement for rainwater infiltration.

During the work, archaeological remains from the 17th century were found: Río Chico, an important access road. Because of these unexpected excavations, landscape architects chose the TreeParker® system. The main reason for this was TreeParker®’s flexibility and adaptability to unexpected underground conditions. In addition, TreeParker® is suitable for permeable paving, as rainwater still reaches the tree roots through the pavement.

Two years after its construction, the El Retiro Park stands in all its glory with large, healthy trees. In the process, the historical value of the park has been preserved. A successful combination of green, grey and blue!

Combining green, grey and blue for your project?

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