Milan’s vertical forest almost fully grown

Photo: Daniele Zacchi ( Dezeen )

The skyscrapers, designed by Stefano Boeri, were conceived as an environmentally-friendly solution to urbanisation, with trees woven into the fabric of a new tower in the Italian city – or, to use the architect’s trendy term, a “Vertical Forest”.

The Bosco Verticale was the first of many such projects to be proposed in various cities around the world. Now, though, Boeri’s idea is the only one to have made it off the page and into the streets: Milan’s vertical forest is almost fully grown.

The towers measure 262 and 357 feet and have been planted with more than 900 trees – “as many as could be planted in a hectare of forest”, notes Dezeen – including thousands of shrubs and floral plants on balconies on all sides. The theory is that the foliage will absorb dust from the air and produce oxygen, thereby helping to combat pollution in the city, not to mention providing a micro-climate for birds and insects and shading balconies from sunlight.

“The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing,” said engineering firm Arup, which is developing the project with Boeri Studio.

“As a new growth model for the regeneration of the urban environment, the design creates a biological habitat in a total area of 40,000 square metres.”