Italian architect Stefano Boeri has designed a new residential complex in Milan that redefines the meaning of “sustainable housing,” and is sure to pique the interest of developers and eco-enthusiasts alike.
After five years of construction, his earth-friendly condominium concept called Bosco Verticale (which means “vertical forest”) has officially opened its doors in the city’s up-and-coming Porta Nuova district.
Two visually striking and landscaped towers comprise Bosco Verticale, with one standing at 112 meters (over 365 feet), and the other reaching 80 meters (about 260 feet). Together, they house a combined 113 apartments—all of which offer extensive city views.
The hallmark of Bosco Verticale is, of course, the vegetation integrated into its buildings, which includes a total of 780 planted trees, and a number of shrubs and plants, spanning 1,000 different species.
Each apartment has its own private garden that protects the interior living quarters, as the leaves filter sunlight and help reduce noise and air pollution.
Boeri told Design Boom he sought to increase the site’s biodiversity and bring a more “natural sphere” to an area devoid of much greenery. He and fellow designers Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra met with horticulturalists and botanists to devise and execute a plan that would bring this idea to life.
However, there is no need for “all hands on deck” to maintain the extensive flora. The lush greenery residing on each of the staggered, concrete balconies is watered through a self-replenishing irrigation process, as greywater (or wastewater) is recycled on-site.
Photovoltaic panels located at roof level convert sunlight to electricity, further contributing to the skyscrapers’ self-sufficiency.
Boeri told reporters that Bosco Verticale is an architectural and botanical experiment, and that he intends to closely monitor its continuing impact on the surrounding environment.