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Vertical Forest Near Complete and Always Chic in Milan

Vertical Forest Near Complete and Always Chic In Milan

by TODD STOLARSKI | Nov. 11, 2015

On the edge of the fashionable neighborhood of Isola in Milan, Italy, will soon rest two skyscrapers that have more concrete than timber right now. Over time, however, that ratio will change. Bosco Verticale, or “vertical forest”, a concept led by Italian architecture firm Stefano Boeri Studio, combines residential living inside a metropolis with natural elements to create a lush microclimate for its inhabitants.

Breaking ground in 2009 and set to open later this year, the two towers, measuring 112 and 80 meters are already home to more than 900 trees, and over 2,000 plants of a wide diversity. They produce oxygen, create humidity, absorb CO2 and dust, and protect people and houses from the sun’s rays. Of course, with all of that vegetation must come irrigation, and all of the plants at Bosco Verticale will only be fed through in-house greywater.

According to a press release: “The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing," said engineering firm Arup, who has been working alongside Boeri Studio to bring the concept to completion. "As a new growth model for the regeneration of the urban environment, the design creates a biological habitat in a total area of 40,000 square meters," adds the ARUP statement.

For its part, Boeri Studio describes the nature and arc of its partnership with the Bosco Verticale: "This is a kind of biological architecture that refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability. The creation of a number of vertical forests in the city will be able to create a network of environmental corridors which will give life to the main parks in the city, bringing the green space of avenues and gardens and connecting various spaces of spontaneous vegetation growth".

If this sounds familiar, perhaps you saw Peter Ellis’ Restructuring American Cities presentation here in June. At that event, which ended up spawning our broader SmartWorlds initiative, Ellis spoke of further incorporating nature and more greenery into our cities around us as part of his “urban sponge” approach to city design. Yes, what seems to be finding an audience now in the U.S. may already be catching on in Europe.

Read more about the Bosco Verticale here.


To contact the author, write or find him on Twitter @toddstolarski.

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