The Largest Vertical Forest In The World (Italy) Is Almost Finished

Nowadays, architects and engineers are increasingly having environmental concerns when they project new buildings. One of such concerns is the integration of botany (this is, trees, floral plants and so on) in our constructions - green roofs are a popular example.

But what if someone made a building entirely covered in plants, on all 5 faces of the building? It might seem strange and hard to achieve, but it is happening and nearing its conclusion in Milan.

Bosco Verticale, Italian for "Vertical Forest", is a project designed as part of the rehabilitation of a historic district in Milan. It consists of two towers, named Tower E and D. Tower E is 26 floors and 119 meters high, while Tower D is smaller with 18 floors and 87 meters high. Together they will have 400 condominium units, with areas going from 65 to 450 square meters. They are quite expensive though, with a tag starting at 3,000€ (over 4,000 USD) per square meter. The condos also possess balconies and terraces, obviously nearly connected to the plants.

The construction of these towers began at the end of 2009 and the structures were completed in the middle of 2012. Right after, in June 2012, the installation of the plants began. When the installation is complete, both towers will have 730 plants (480 large, 250 small), 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 perennials and groundcover on its facades. All this vegetation is, by comparison, what can be found in a one hectare woodlot.

While Milan is one of Europe's most polluted cities, this is undoubtedly a viable solution to improve the air quality in the city. Not only in Milan, of course, as this solution may virtually be adopted by any city in the world. Also, Bosco Verticale towers will also have use wind and solar energies, and the irrigation of the plants will be made reusing water from the towers.

Even though this was an expensive project, costing above 60 million euros (over 80 million USD), it sets an important example for other cities and city planners to watch and apply.

What do you think about Bosco Vertical? Let us know in the comments.

Jan 29, 2014
by Anonymous

Milan isn't the capital of

Milan isn't the capital of Italy, Rome is.

Jan 30, 2014
by is2u

Planting shrubs and small

Planting shrubs and small trees shouldn't be expensive.  I'd like to hear how they dealt with irrigation of all these plant life.  Its an incredible idea.  Everybody should have their balconies nestled with life.  Probably most people don't think it would be very rewarding (it would be) and it would be too much work (its not work if you enjoy it) though this would decrease as your skills improve.  

Jan 31, 2014
by Diogo Costa
Diogo Costa's picture

Indeed, thank you for the

Indeed, thank you for the warning. I've fixed it.

Jan 31, 2014
by Diogo Costa
Diogo Costa's picture

@is2u, in the first image of

@is2u, in the first image of the article, the left scheme shows the irrigation system of the buildings (Sistema Idrico, in Italian). Then, as I've mentioned in the text, that irrigation is made by reusing the water from the towers, so they probably have some sort of water treatment station.