Stefano Boeri’s “vertical forest” nears completion in Milan

"vertical forest" nears completion in Milan

Stefano Boeri’s “vertical forest” nears completion in Milan

The studio led by Italian architect Stefano Boeri came up with the concept of Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, as a way to combine high-density residential development with tree planting in city centres.

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The first project born from this concept is now nearing completion in the Isola area of Milan’s fast-developing Porta Nuova district. Two towers, measuring 80 and 112 metres, are set to open later this year and are already home to 900 trees.

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“The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing,” said engineering firm Arup, who is working alongside Boeri Studio to deliver the project.

“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 metres.”

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A mixture of large and small trees have been planted on balconies on all four sides of the towers, accompanied by 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants. The design team claim these will absorb dust in the air, helping to depollute the city.

“This is a kind of biological architecture that refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability,” said Boeri Studio in a statement.

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The diverse vegetation will provide urban habitats for birds and insects, and will also create a humid micro-climate that produces oxygen whilst shading residences from harsh sunlight.

“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,” said the studio.

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Photography is by Daniele Zacchi.

Here’s a project description from Boeri Studio:


Bosco Verticale/Vertical Forest

The Vertical Forest project aims to build high-density tower blocks with trees within the city. The first example of a Vertical Forest is currently under construction in Milan in Porta Nuova Isola area, part of a larger redevelopment project developed by Hines Italia with two towers which are 80 metres and 112 metres tall respectively, and which will be able to hold 480 big and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, 11.000 groundcover plants and 5.000 shrubs (the equivalent of a hectare of forest).

The Vertical Forest has at its heart a concept of architecture which demineralises urban areas and uses the changing shape and form of leaves for its facades, and thus which hands over to vegetation itself the task of absorbing the dust in the air, and of creating an adequate micro-climate in order to filter out the sunlight. This is a kind of biological architecture which refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability.