Milan goes green with vertical forests
- 29th November 2011
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Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Europe, but the city is going green with a stunning new development: the world’s first vertical forest.
Bosco Verticale is a 27-storey tower development in central Milan, featuring 900 trees incorporated into the structure, as well as thousands of other flora and fauna.
The plants are designed by architect Stefano Boeri to work as an oxygenator, filtering out the fumes from the city. But the green technology doesn’t stop there: heating will also be controlled naturally by the trees, which feed off the unwanted water from the block and provide shade during the summer, while energy will be generated by sunlight and wind.
The buildings will introduce 10,000 square metres of woodland to the city, albeit in a strikingly vertical form. Architect Stefano Boeri conceived the project as a response to the urban sprawl and lack of nature in city landscapes. Located in the Isola district of Milan, the residential blocks are 110m and 76m tall, according to Inhabitat.com, and if built as stand-alone units, would cover 50,000 square metres of land.
Inevitably, this green revolution comes at a towering cost. Apartments in Boeri’s bush scraper will start at €750,000 and range up to €1.2m for a prime tree house property. But the cost is not deterring other countries from following suit, as Europe turns to real estate to reduce its pollution problems.
Valencia has plans to construct Torre Huerta, a veritable forest of tree-filled balconies and solar cell energy, while Barcelona’s helical Stairscraper, which boasts gardens installed in each apartment roof, is on schedule for 2015. Even London has seen proposals for a Farm Tower this year, as the Architecture Workshop in Rome launched a competition for the best agricultural and residential design.
As pollution and energy costs continue to hang in the air, are vertical forests the way forward for overseas property? Or are developers barking up the wrong tree?
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