Milan’s Futuristic Forested Apartments
The visionary Stefano Boeri Architetti group has completed a truly gorgeous and sustainable skyscraper apartment building supporting an actual forest. Imagine being a city dweller and yet being able to come home to green living like this.
Each apartment balcony will have trees that will provide shade and cooling in the summer while dropping their leaves in winter to allow in the low sky winter sunlight for passive energy moderation in both seasons.
Grey water, which is water from showers and dish washing, is to be filtered and then reused to water the trees. Between the two buildings there will be a total of 900 trees planted, making the skyscraper a veritable tree-covered mountain. It will be interesting to see if this creates an ecosystem that attracts particular species of birds.
Built on an ordinary city street in the center of Milan, the very sustainable building will also have its electricity supplied from photovoltaic power generation.
Recently inaugurated, the building has seen more than its share of visitors while it was being built.
The apartment building is much more heavily engineered than normal, in order to withstand supporting so much forestry on each of its ledges. By stacking both inhabitants and trees vertically, it is a model for the future of sustainable housing density. In terms of urban density, it houses the equivalent of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 50,000 square meters, and the same number of trees found in 10,000 square meters of forest.
If there were more apartments built this way, perhaps the artificial forested mountains created would begin to clean up some of this haze and smog! Boeri’s futuristic vision is “a story about a flashforward, a story in the future about the biological transformation of Milan, that will take place among provocative dreams which become projects, and far-seeing designs which become planetary challenges.”