The Vertical Forest

“More and more people believe that access to a garden, and to gardening, is a basic human need. But is the answer a traditional house and garden or should we be looking at gardens in the sky?”

Dubbed “Flower Towers” by the Financial Times, these fluffy green buildings designed by architect Stefano Boeri are currently rising in Milan. Photos show that the skeletons of the buildings are up, an intricate maze of balconies and jutting gardens designed to insulate the building, counter air pollution and support reforestation, work towards sustainability, and maintain biodiversity and a functioning ecosystem, all suspended 110 meters into the air. These microclimates ideally would maintain their own energy and water usage and recycling, including using repurposed grey water from the building to feed the plants.

The floor layout with plumbing detail makes the building look like an Escher piece. 900 trees of varying heights and structural types will be used to make a diverse wall, both for the biology of the building and for coating the sides of the buildings more fully. The finished product, which when flattened, is equivalent to 15,000 square meters of land and 10,000 square meters of forest, and is intended to counteract the growth of Milan’s rapid urban expansion.

Eco-cities coming of age?

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