Bosco Verticale, architectural biodiversity – a new alliance between forests and architecture

Stefano Boeri Architetti
Publicado: 29 Noviembre 2021
Última edición: 29 Noviembre 2021
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Summary

Bosco Verticale is a set of two towers providing 3,000 square metres of living space in the centre of Milan. The 20,000 plants growing on its exterior have made this building an international iconic of biophilic design. The idea from Stefano Boeri for these buildings was to create a "home for trees that houses humans and birds." The towers host 800 trees, 15,000 perennials, and 5,000 shrubs, equal to 30,000 square meters of forest on land. At the same time, the green curtain holds benefits for the microclimate in and around the buildings. To name a few, it regulates humidity and temperature and absorbs CO2 and microparticles. Management is done through 'flying gardeners', who descend from the building's roof for maintenance. Irrigation systems are digital and remotely controlled. Filtered water from the towers is used to reduce the water footprint. The Bosco Verticale buildings show an alternative way of generating space for biodiversity and sequestering carbon in a dense urban area.

Classifications

Region
Europa Occidental y del Sur
Norte de Europa
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Buildings and facilities
Ecosistema urbano
Techos verdes / muros verdes
Áreas verdes (parques, jardines, bosque urbano)
Theme
Acceso y participación en los beneficios
Ciudades e infraestructuras
Institucionalización de la biodiversidad
Medios de vida sostenibles
Mitigación del cambio climático
Salud y bienestar humano
Servicios ecosistémicos
Other theme
Housing
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Territorial and spatial development
Challenges
Incremento de temperatura
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Falta de infraestructura
Sustainable development goals
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos

Ubicación

Via Gaetano De Castillia 11, 20124 Milan Milan, Italy

Impacts

The project shows that buildings and green spaces can be intertwined into sustainable designs that provide multiple benefits for residents and nature. The green towers are a hotspot for biodiversity in Milan. A few years after the finalization of the Vertical Forest (2014), the building was found to provide a home for some 1,600 birds and butterflies. At the same time, vertical forests are a tool for CO2 uptake in buildings - the vegetation on the building will convert approximately 20,000 kg of carbon each year. 

 

The Bosco Verticale also shows a pathway for cities to combine high-density urban development with tree planting. This project allows for densification without compromising nature access, thereby reducing pressure on the city's surrounding hinterland. 

 

Lastly, the architectural concept of urban forestry is spreading to other metropolitan areas such as Eindhoven (Trudo Vertical Forest), Utrecht (Wonderwoods), and Antwerp (Palazzo Verde). While the towers in Milan were created for high-income groups, Eindhoven's vertical forest is built specifically as social housing. To generalize the concept, Stefano Boerie's studio is researching reproducible construction systems that can help other cities and developers uptake similar practices and make vertical forests available for all.

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Eline van Remortel Earthwatch Europe