Must see: Vertical forest goes up in the heart of Milan

Some 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 floral plants have been planted on the terraces of Bosco Verticale, a new high-rise residential development in Milan.

May 14, 2014 |
Designed by Boeri Studio and developed by Hines, a vertical forest in Milan will

Designed by Boeri Studio and developed by Hines, a vertical forest in the heart of one of the Europe's most polluted cities will include two residential towers 110 meters and 76 meters high.

Altogether, 900 trees measuring between 3 meters and 6 meters have been planted, along with 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants on terraces up to the 27th floor.

The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing and was developed with the help of Arup's structural and geotechnical designs, together with consultancy services on acoustics, vibrations, ground-borne noise, and tunnelling. Arup also provided advanced design solutions related to the effects of two existing railway tunnels under the site that required a dedicated design of a base-isolation system for the main buildings.

As a new growth model for the regeneration of the urban environment, the design creates a biological habitat in an area of 40,000 square meters. The designers aim to inspire greater urban biodiversity in the face of Milan's increasing pollution.

Thanks to the huge amount of green area, the building not only optimizes but also produces energy. Besides creating oxygen and humidity, the plants also absorb carbon dioxide and dust particles, which improve the environment.



From compact two-room apartments to penthouses and duplexes, the main characteristics of the flats are the balconies, which extend 3.35 meters outward to host the greenery.

The design also includes photovoltaic energy systems to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.

“Being part of the design team of such an innovative project presented new challenges every day since the buildings and the structural itself needed to relate to an ever changing environment and new and unusual design inputs had to be thoroughly understood and incorporated in the overall picture,” said Luca Buzzoni, Project Manager, Arup Milan.

The Bosco Verticale building is part of the Porta Nuova Isola complex. This project involves the redevelopment of an area historically dedicated to light industrial and craft activities.

Following the proposal to create Bosco Verticale at the site, 70% of the area had been assigned as a public park. This new residential area includes five main buildings for public, residential and commercial use, and three underground parking levels.

Investors in the project include Coima XXI, Domo Media, Hines European Development Fund. The development will create an new environmental corridor and increase the amount of green space in the city.

Project completion and handover is scheduled for the end of 2014.


DISCOVERY CHANNEL VERTICAL FOREST from Stefano Boeri Architetti on Vimeo.

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