Architecture

Bosco Verticale: the world's first vertical forest

Bosco Verticale is a planned 10,000 square meter urban forest, which will grow upwards. (image from Stefano Boeri)
Bosco Verticale is a planned 10,000 square meter urban forest, which will grow upwards. (image from Stefano Boeri)
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Bosco Verticale is a planned 10,000 square meter urban forest, which will grow upwards. (image from Stefano Boeri)
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Bosco Verticale is a planned 10,000 square meter urban forest, which will grow upwards. (image from Stefano Boeri)
The plants will improve the quality of living for the residents and create a canopy that protects the building from radiation and noise pollution (image from Stefano Boeri)
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The plants will improve the quality of living for the residents and create a canopy that protects the building from radiation and noise pollution (image from Stefano Boeri)
The residential tower will be home to over 900 trees (image from Stefano Boeri)
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The residential tower will be home to over 900 trees (image from Stefano Boeri)
Sefano Boeri has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways (image from Stefano Boeri)
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Sefano Boeri has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways (image from Stefano Boeri)
Milan will host the first example of Bosco Verticale, with two residential towers already planned for construction (image from Stefano Boeri)
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Milan will host the first example of Bosco Verticale, with two residential towers already planned for construction (image from Stefano Boeri)
The selection of plants chosen for the towers (image from Stefano Boeri)
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The selection of plants chosen for the towers (image from Stefano Boeri)
The residential towers will be home to over 900 trees, along with a wide range of shrubs and floral plants (image from Stefano Boeri)
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The residential towers will be home to over 900 trees, along with a wide range of shrubs and floral plants (image from Stefano Boeri)
The plants help produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles and produce oxygen (image from Stefano Boeri)
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The plants help produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles and produce oxygen (image from Stefano Boeri)

Italian architecture firm Boeri Studio hopes to merge vegetation and urban architecture, with its Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) project. The Italian firm has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways. "Bosco Verticale [is a] device for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities," says Stefano Boeri, who worked with Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra on the project.

Milan will host the first example of Bosco Verticale, with two residential towers already planned for construction. The towers, measuring 110 and 76 meters (361 and 250 feet), will become home to over 900 trees and that's excluding a wide range of shrubs and floral plants. The basic idea is that if you were to take the building out of the picture, the amount of trees needed to plant a forest on the land surface should be equal to those growing vertically on the tower. In essence, you will be creating a 10,000 square meter (11,960 sq. yds.) forest, growing upwards.

The project also aids in filtering air pollution contained in the urban environment. This is achieved as the the plants help produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, and produce oxygen. This will improve the quality of living for the residents, and it also creates a canopy that protects the building from radiation and noise pollution.

An irrigation and filtering system will be installed, that recycles gray water for maintenance of the plants. Photovoltaic solar cells will help contribute to the building's energy self-sufficiency.

Bosco Verticale will cost EUR65 million (US$87.5 million) and is stage one of the proposed BioMilano, which is hoped to create a green belt around the city.

Source: Boeri Studio

29 comments
Joe Legeckis
So, what happens when the tree roots start mechanically eroding the surrounding concrete structure? (other than death and destruction...)
socalboomer
I was thinking the exact same thing. Look at what tree roots do to sidewalks, foundations, streets, just about anything. . . they\'re inexorable, inevitable!
DixonAgee
This should be great - until the first big wind storm. Something with 50 mph winds on the ground and 70 mph winds on the upper floors. It will be raining trees.
dsiple
I love the concept, but the weight of mature trees in watered containers on cantilevered balconies makes me wonder. Then there\'s the thought of a vertical forest fire. In the models it looked like there are a lot of Italian cypress trees that while lovely, act like giant matches in a fire...
Paul van Dinther
Never mind falling trees. How about branches falling 100m down. How about tree maintenance at altitude to prevent this from happening. Trees need a decent layer of soil to be stable. 1 meter won\'t do the trick and makes for very unstable trees. Wind at altitude is stronger. bye bye trees. Then a little biology. You try to grow a tree at 100m up in the air away from the normal biosphere. They all be dead in a few months. Falling branches anyone? I like the artist impressions and it would be great if they can make it work but trees are not pot plants.
Andreas Buechel
end of 2007 i wrote a novel about a future, where allmost all of the landscape now being used for agriculture would be given back to wildlife. this being possible because of all the food for human nutrition would be produced in vertical skyscraper farms in cities and within autonomous landhouses and selfsustaining lifesships being capable to dive in lakes and oceans, fly in the sky and in space. in the novel the inhabitants of the lifeship frequently visit the wildlife areas while being guided from people who choose to life like in the old days near the earth and live of the land with permaculture methods. considering this forest in cities concept one could even reduce the impact of human contact with wildlife by also simulating a kind of wildlife in city scyscrapers ... thisway even allowing the wildlife outside of the cities to be even more undisturbed. my novel can be read at http://www.bookrix.com/_title-en-andreas-buechel-as-mayloveheal-ascende-maima-perma-and-mary-the-lifeship-1
Chris Hornby
A wonderful concept ... clearly easy to shoot down, but let\'s hope it doesn\'t discourage people from pursuing it. Imagine a few nay-sayers dissuaded anyone from inventing a \"flying machine\", or - heaven forbid - chocolate spread ... !
Bluejeans
Interesting concept. What happens when your cat climbs a tree limb or birds start nesting? At least I could pee in my own forest!
Kirill Belousov
yes very much agreed with the erosion POVs. Definitely. What are they planning to do with this natural processes?
Chan Boriratrit
I like the concept.