Did you know that Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Italy? Apparently urban sprawl and increased emissions are major causes for slumping air quality in the international fashion capital. So Italian architect Stefano Boeri has formulated an unusual plan to give the city back what it’s lacking: namely, some greenery.
Bosco Verticale is Italian for “Vertical Forest.” The project took inspiration from traditional Italian towers covered in ivy. Boeri has simply multiplied the amount of foliage to a dramatic degree, envisioning residential buildings that resemble tall boxy trees. Each apartment unit has a balcony attached, with a lush garden enveloping the structure. The two towers will provide roots for 900 trees, as well as plenty of shrubbery and other floral vegetation. Their footprint, when flattened, is equal to 10,000 square meters of forest. Bosco Verticale provides a plan to make reforestation possible within the confines of a developed city.
Though Harvard Design Magazine called the project “dreamily utopian,” this tower is no fantasy. Boeri posted photos of the towers’ construction on his blog last month. Take a look for yourself:
There’s lots of science behind the project to prove that it’ll actually improve the city atmosphere, and not just the skyline. Boeri’s materials state:
The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb carbon dioxide and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.
The presence of this vegetation will also encourage the presence of birds and insects within the miniature gardens. Bosco Verticale intends to balance out the city’s environmental damage, and to create a self-sufficient ecosystem. And with construction costing only five percent higher than that of a typical skyscraper, the concept of a vertical skyscraper is incredibly accessible for other cities facing similar plights.
Stay tuned for project updates from the architect’s website, StefanoBoeriArchitetti.net