By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Former Milanese Municipal Counsellor for Culture, architect Stefano Boeri, has used his skills and love of green buildings to create an eco-residential area in the Italian fashion capital: Bosco Verticale, or the Vertical Forest.
Boeri, along with Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra, and all their associates from Boeri Studio, are extremely proud to have created this pair of residential towers in Milan’s Porta Nuova district, which have been designed to green up a generally grey city.
At 119 and 87 metres, the buildings can host up to 900 trees and over 2000 plants from a wide range of species, creating a kind of mini-ecosystem. Of course, different types of plants are used depending on how they react to the sun and elements.
Besides being beautiful, the plants will help mitigate smog and produce oxygen. These eco-skyscrapers are ideal for metropolitan reforestation, since they regenerate the environment and the urban biodiversity without expanding the city towards the suburbs.
The plants also help capture CO2 and dust in the air, produce humidity, protect from acoustic pollution such as traffic and reduce the need to mechanically heat and cool the tower’s apartments. This helps mitigate the area’s urban heat island effect, especially during the summertime.
Plant irrigation will be produced through the filtering and reuse of the grey water produced by the building. Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will work together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.
This urban forest ambiance has been created thanks to botanists and horticulturalists, who were consulted by the engineering team to ensure that the structure could bear the load imposed by the plants.
Some fear that the wind gushing through the trees will make the towers topple, but there’s no need to worry–these buildings are as strong as Sequoia–and as beautiful, too.
Images: Boeri Studios