There’s a green high-rise in Milan that is turning heads right around the world.
It’s not just eco-friendly; it is literally green, thanks to the 20,000 square metres of trees, shrubs, climbers and perennials that spread along and up every floor of the two towers, one of which is 27 storeys.
Appropriately named Vertical Forest, the apartment development was designed by Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra of Boeri Studio, and it features 700 trees, 5000 shrubs, and 15,000 climbers and perennials
And now, four years on, the average greenery per person is also impressive: two trees, eight shrubs and 40 other plants.
Not surprisingly, all that greenery gobbles up unwanted carbon dioxide, to the tune of 30 tonnes a year, and in return it produces around 20,000 kg of oxygen every year.
The design team describes Vertical Forest as a “model for a sustainable residential building”.
“This is a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity, without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory.
“The vegetal system of the Vertical Forest (creates) a microclimate, producing humidity, absorbing carbon dioxide and dust particles and producing oxygen.”
To keep the forest growing, there are two centralised monitoring stations, 280 water control systems (one for each terrace) and regular maintenance checks. Pruning happens six times a year – and there are four checks from inside the apartment and two a year on the outside.
And yes, it does use a fair bit of water, namely 3500 cubic metres a year.
The building cost was €55 million ($86 million).
This is not the only vertical forest by Boeri Studio – there are projects in other countries as well, including Switzerland.