Architect Stefano Boeri’s latest project, Bosco Verticale or ‘Vertical Forest’ is currently rising above Milan, reshaping Nature to address the urban needs of a polluted industrial city. The Financial Times has already labelled it ”the most exciting new tower in the world“. Staggered balconies at each level allow a carbon-absorbing reforestation of mature trees to shield the exterior of the skyscrapers, providing a forested layer round each apartment structure.
In David Deutsch’s futurist book ‘The Beginning of Infinity’ Deutsch refers to the skyline of Manhattan as a shape and material surface formed by humanity’s natural tendency to bend matter and geology to its own pattern. Its canyons of skyscrapers are not so much geology as economics, politics and human psychology- structures and networks which bear ultimate and in this case triumphant form: a distinctly human ecology.
Though Boeri’s computer renderings look positively utopian, the cranes and concrete cantilevered trays, already outstretched from their central cores, await the trees that when planted, will help scrub the city of smog, decrease humidity, encourage birdlife and repatriate oxygen into the atmosphere, all while reducing energy usage.
The 110m and 86m treed towers, irrigated from the building systems’ own grey-water, will each sustain natural shade and acoustic protection to apartments while tree species are chosen to alter to seasonal climates.
Though projects such as these have been envisaged before, it is the first to reach construction stage on so large and impressive a scale. Long-term success of this futuristic concept points to an ecological advancement of cityscape and the ‘beginning to infinity’ harmonising design and technology to brings forest spaces forward, and up, in an exciting urban future ♦