Stefano Boeri, an Italian architect, has high hopes for the merging of nature with architecture – 110 meters, to be exact.
Construction is underway in Milan on two residential ‘flower towers’ designed by his firm, together boasting over 10,000 square meters of plant life. The Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) towers will house a variety of trees, flowering plants and shrubs which will not only provide shade for the buildings' residents, but help filter out carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, lower dust levels, retain humidity, and provide homes for dozens of species of birds and insects. Deciduous plants will also give the apartments a changing look through the seasons, while grey water systems and solar power will provide irrigation and climate control.
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Despite the technical challenges and innovative aspects of the project, Boeri and his team were able keep construction costs at about 5% higher than similar, traditional residential complexes. Some unprecedented concerns included trees potentially being uprooted and blown off the higher levels in extreme winds, but Boeri’s team spent months wind-testing various species to lessen the risk.
For residents, though, inviting Mother Nature up to your 27th floor penthouse won’t come cheap. A 200 square meter garden in the sky will run for about £1.7 million (more than $2.7 million), while smaller, 80 square meter models will go for about £560,000. (about $900,000). With breathtaking views of the Italian cityscape and an urban oasis outside your window, the residences are sure to be in high demand. For Boeri’s firm, these towers represent some of the first steps in “building links between nature and city within the territory and within the cities of contemporary Europe” – and greening up the urban skyline in the process.