The First Vertical Forest of Milan

The first vertical forest is not natural, is artificial, created by the skill and the ingenuity of the humanity.

El espectacular edificio Bosco Verticale de Milán

Hi, Christmas is coming, and with it my indescribable goodness expands exponentially, thus, it is not surprising that I have offered to adorn one of the most curious and endearing world trees: the Christmas tree of my home. But out of the Christmas context, the life continues at its usual pace, so I, Rodolfo, have visited the umpteenth rock formation in the middle of an ocean: the island of Montecristo, you know, the famous island where Edmond Dantes manages the treasure that will help him in his revenge, in the most popular novel of Alexandre Dumas (with permission from the three Musketeers, clear) entitled «The count of Monte Cristo».

Las terrazas se llenan de árboles en un edificio de cuento
The terraces are filled with trees in a story building

Will be chosen this island to build my future edification? I know that you have desires to find out… but you’ll have to wait a little longer. The island rises proud up to 650 meters of height, even it have just ten kilometres long, in short, is ideal for a home friendly (if you have a helicopter), although the local authorities are reluctant to the idea. On the other hand, it is located in the Tuscany Archipelago, so from there I visited a former client who decided to reside with the nature… at high altitude!

Los edificios de Porta Nuova se ven imponentes desde el suelo
Porta Nuova buildings are imposing from the ground

I didn’t cost much reach Milan, and fewer find the ‘Porta Nuova’ residence in which Darwin, Steve Darwin, is hosted (nothing to do with «Charles»), he explained me that the developer of the tower where he lives (and the adjacent) is the well-known Hines Italy SGR. The tower is part of a residential complex of two buildings, called «E» and «D». The tower «D» reaches 76 meters in height and contains 40 different residences, the tower «E» culminates the 110 metres and has 73 apartments, between the two possess 21.944 square meters of living space.

El Bosco Vertical se encuentra ubicado en la ciudad italiana de Milán
The Vertical Bosco is located in the Italian city of Milan

The buildings have many features that make it attractive (or not), but usually a which stands out above all (for better or for worse), in the case of the complex «Bosco Verticale» (so called) is very obvious. The Boeri Studio, with Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni Lavarra as implementing minds, projected this singular building with the healthy intention of reforesting the metropolis of Milan, and go if they have done! They have planted in the resort 800 trees, more than 4,000 shrubs and 15,000 plants… a total of 20,000 square meters of green surface! (two hectares of forest). 

Vista aérea del complejo
Aerial view of the complex

With all this, they have gotten several things, to be the first vertical forest of the world, given that the nature has failed in this same feat. This milestone of to plant for each square metre of soil, twelve square metre of forest only is within reach of the human being, I say to Darwin many times: the evolution of the species has reached its climax! But, jokes aside, this high green density allows that the building create a microclimate that is able to absorb CO2, dust particles, produce oxygen, and therefore create its own habitat, where birds and insects nested. 

800 árboles, más de 4.000 arbustos y unas 15.000 plantas en un edificio de apartamentos
800 trees, 4,000 shrubs and more than 15,000 plants in an apartment building

Other achieved goal is to place the building in the international scene with good note, proof of this is to have received two awards of the utmost importance. The International Highrise Award, prize for the best building in the world with a structure of more than 100 meters of high, was granted on November 19, 2014. And, even more important, the prize to the most influential high building of the year 2015 by the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) was received the November 12, at a ceremony to which I myself was expressly invited, as you will remember.

The building was built between the years 2009 to 2014, ending the structure in 2012, the initial delay was due to problems of various kinds, or economic problems, clear. The company that took over to finish the construction from May 2013, Colombo Costruzioni, said on its own website that the former construction company (ZH General Construction Company S.p.A) left the work by lack of resources, and, after of a negotiation and a definition of the works, it assumed the rest of the works, until October 2014, when the complex was inaugurated.

Bosque Vertical 1
The Vertical Forest was opened in 2014

The design is really simple and practical. In the lower part of the buildings a grand lobby is covered with crystals, giving a feeling of weightlessness. A from of this, the tower «E» with 26 story and the tower «D» with 18 distributed its facades with terraces so that, between two of them, there is sufficient space to grow a tree. Usually two floors without terrace above an existing. Thus, the trees (with capacity of growth between 3 and 9 metres in height) have enough space to soar.

Another curiosity is that the different species have been located in the different facades according to its own nature, favouring its growth, obviously for this work had to consult with experts in biology coming together well in a true multidisciplinary study. The vegetation helps the temperature control and the reduction of the ambient sound, the complex also has photovoltaic panels that help the energy intake of the complex and a system of reusing grey water for irrigation. However, and very wisely, is a specialized company which is responsible for the maintenance of gardens and terraces.

Todas las viviendas tienen acceso a una terraza arbolada
All households have access to a tree-lined terrace

The apartments range from 60 square meters to the 495 of surface, and the price per meter is around 8,000 euros, of course, all the homes have access to a terrace, tree-lined… one at least! The interior design was conducted by Coima Image with the collaboration of Dolce Vita Homes. Another success of this complex has been to get the Gold Leed certification the May 15, 2015, maximum standard of sustainability and commitment to the environment and its care that delivers the US Green Building Council, of international recognition.

Los apartamentos van de los 60 a los metros
The apartments are between 60 meters and 500 meters

Another international company, Arup, has been responsible of the calculation and the structural design, through its Manager in Italy, Luca Buzzoni, which has expressed his pride to be part of a project so innovative. The terraces are located in brackets of 3.35 meters of extension, made with reinforced concrete 28 centimetres in width and have parapets of 1.30 meters of high. The calculations had to take into account the weight of the cantilevered, with dry and wet land, the trees and the action that exert in the base when the wind shakes.

In the end, on the terrace, my friend Darwin and I discussed about what would happen when the cities had more trees than the forest, opposite an exquisite Blue Label, as if we were Giancarlo Giannini and Jude Law, with more style, clear. Bye bye. 

Disfrutar de un bosque en casa sólo es posible en Milán
Enjoy a forest at home is possible only in Milan

Disclosure: The characters that appear in this article, their different personalities and their relationships with each other and with the environment are part of a fiction. The author is not responsible for the views expressed in the article and has no business relationship with any of the companies listed on it.

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