Can a building change with the season? Can it be a living and breathing thing? Can you have a vertical forest in an urban setting? Yes, to all of the above. We suppose that’s exactly what Stefano Boeri Studio said when designing the award winning Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy. At The Plant, we absolutely love innovation when it comes to using plants in an interesting way, vertical living and living locally. But the design and philosophy behind the Bosco Verticale, is truly next level.

Officially opened in 2014, in Milan, but also used as a temporary gallery during Fashion Week in 2012. The project was designed as part of the rehabilitation of a historic district of Milan. Two towers, one 26 floors and the other, 18 floors, act as a “Vertical Forest”, together housing 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 perennials, as well as ground cover and some annuals. Oh, along with 400 condo units to house residents who benefit from living in a vertical forest, of course.

And the benefits are many. The architects and engineers worked alongside horticulturalists and botanists to achieve their lofty goals. Aside from the seasonal beauty of the vegetation, the forest does a lot more. The biodiversity mitigates smog, reduces CO2, creates needed humidity and produces oxygen. It moderates summer and winter temps while reducing the sun’s radiation. The plants also act as a buffer of dust and urban noise for residents. This man made microclimate is also credited for being a habitat for over 1600 bird, insect and butterfly species, adding acres of natural habitat to an urban setting. Amazing.

The design was extensively tested for durability to allow for plant growth and health. Even wind tunnel testing was utilized to ensure that wind gusts wouldn’t topple trees.

This kind of progressive thinking is hard to duplicate, but it’s getting more and more mainstream. In our opinion, every city should be working on projects like this. Bravo Bosco Verticale! We will do our best to follow in your footstep. Respect.