Bosco Verticale Redefines Treehouse Living

Bosco Verticale redefines treehouse living
Bosco Verticale redefines treehouse living

A shadowy figure contemplates life amid the vertical urban forest.


Bosco Verticale, which translates from Italian as “the vertical forest”, is a whole new concept in living with nature.

Not everyone has the luxury of access to wilderness in which to commune with nature.  In increasingly populated urban centres, many are deeply hemmed in by city with the nearest natural areas being a few hours’ drive away.  The distance makes it unfeasible for a great many folks to get out into nature.

Enter Milan’s Stefano Boeri Architectural firm.  Its two Bosco Verticale buildings solve this problem by bringing nature right into the city.

Inhabitat’s Diane Pham wrote two articles on these impressive designs.  In her first article, published October 16, 2011, she described Bosco Verticale as “a system that optimizes, recuperates, and produces energy. Covered in plant life, the building aids in balancing the microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment,” she wrote, noting that Milan is among Europe’s most polluted cities.

“The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect the building from radiation and acoustic pollution. This not only improves the quality of living spaces, but gives way to dramatic energy savings year round,” Pham explained.  The plants will be irrigated with greywater recycled from the building’s residents.  Solar panels are also incorporated to make the buildings even more energy efficient.

In her January 2013 follow-up article, Pham revealed that the architects consulted with botanists for more than two years to get the right combination of plants to survive the buildings’ different microclimates.

The Bosco Verticale Wiki page notes that, in addition to reducing environmental pollution and regulating the building’s temperatures, the fauna will also reduce noise pollution.  The 18- and 26-floor buildings host more than 400 suites and 11-stories of commercial space, and have as much vegetation as would be found in nearly a hectare of forest!

Bosco Verticale was supposed to be completed around June of last year.  Construction has had a number of delays which have significantly pushed back its opening date.  While we’re waiting, you might also want to check out Solid Waves, another really cool and environmentally innovative design by the Boeri architects.

For great views of Bosco Verticale, check out the Inhabitat slideshow.

What do you think?  Is Bosco Verticale a welcome innovation in our relationship with nature, or a symptom of human life out of balance?

Image: Grist