Vertical Forest in Milan – Boeri Studio

vertical forest milan

Last week two towers have been inaugurated in Porta Nuova. These green towers are called “Bosco Verticale” (Vertical Forest). The project, by the Boeri Studio (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra) is based on a reforestation concept that helps regenerating the city environment and urban biodiversity without implying any expansion of the city area.

Vertical Forest

The Project of a Vertical Forest in the heart of Milan

Vertical Forest is composed of two towers high 110 and 76 meters each. The buildings raise in the center of Milan, being part of the “Porta Nuova” project confining with the Isola neighborhood – where there are other buildings that are just born and newborn – and they will host 800 trees ( up to nine meters high). It means that Bosco Verticale is equivalent to a forest area of about 10,000 square meters.

Location: Milano, Italy
Client: Hines Italia
Budget: 65.000.000,00€
Consultant for the vegetation project: Emanuela Borio, Laura Gatti

Highrise Award 2014

Bosco Verticale wins the Highrise Award 2014, the competition that rewards the most innovative skyscrapers in the world. On November 19, 2014,  has been assigned to this project the final award. Which is a confirmation of the excellent work done by the architects Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra of Boeri Studio

Stefano Boeri has greeted the news of the inclusion of his project in the top 5 building, and even more pleased to win the competition:
“The Bosco Verticale is a new idea of skyscraper, where trees and humans coexist. It is the first example in the world of a tower that enriches biodiversity of plant and wildlife in the city. I’m happy for Milan Expo, and I thank those who have encouraged and supported our project, from Hines Italy and neighborhood associations of the district Isola ”

Vertical Forest

Vertical Forest

Problems faced

Around this building, disparate opinions have been expressed: someone gave it for failed, someone described it as useless and someone said it has nothing to do with Milan. Moreover, it seems that that the first buyers have had to shell out a greater sum of money than the purchase price because of the difficulties emerged during the construction. Or that the tenants have seen drastically change the plants of their homes for structural problems. Or even that they will be forced to pay very high rates for the maintenance of the vegetation. To make it short, many critics have been moved to this project. 

Harsh critics were also directed towards Boeri Studio and his project Bosco Verticale. For example, Marco Biraghi, professor of architectural history, defines this project full of expectations, but disappointing, in his publications.

Tree in the air
Photo copyright @Boeri Studio (Boeri, Barreca, La Varra)


The two towers have received LEED Gold, the highest degree of energy certification. This was possible because Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recovers and produces energy. The Vertical Forest helps building a microclimate and filtering is an important issue in the urban environment. The diversity and features of plants produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust, produce oxygen, protect the irradiation and acoustic pollution, improving the comfort of living and saving energy. The irrigation of plants will be done to a large extent through a centralized filtration of water.

Additionally, an area of 500 square meters of solar panels and systems that exploit geothermal energy are some of the eco-innovation that are present in this project . The oversight of green in the Bosco Verticale will be centralized and entrusted to an agency that will have an open door to the public.

“Each ” cell” maintenance of the vertical can in fact be used for the collection and dissemination of data needed to evaluate over time the ecological functionality of the system: a know-how transmittable and disclosable , that grows and evolves together with the Vertical Forest” (Urbanfile)

Vertical Forest

Bosco verticale

A Vertical Forest as a new Model

We are in front of a new model of urbanization in height with the main theme of green within the city. Something really original in this way.

Stefano Boeri talks about a Prototype to Designboom: “I think this is a prototype of a possible way to extend the natural sphere in a hyper dense urban context” – “this is a not a unique way to implement biodiversity in an urban environment, but it is for sure one of the most environmental ways. So let’s see together what will happen”.

And it works! Several Chinese cities showed interest for this model of urban vertical forest. Cohabitation between men and plants in a high-density urban ecosystem is really attractive.

Bosco verticale Milano

Bosco verticale Milano

Diagram Bosco verticale
Photo copyright @Boeri Studio (Boeri, Barreca, La Varra)
Bosco verticale
The reflection on the facade of the Unicredit Tower

The differences between render and reality

Differences between reality and project render
Differences between reality and project render

The differences between final result in reality and project render are not so many – Boeri Studio has done a good job.
What do you think? After so much time Italian architecture has aroused interest in the all over the world. This is great!

All photographs (except where specified) ©Luca Onniboni – (do whatever you want, reminding us)

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6 Responses

  1. Very interesting project. I hope that more and more such projects will emerge. Each building should be surrounded by green architecture.

    1. You are absolutely right Kamila! Hopefully the future will bring more green inside our cities. Urban green like in this project or even vertical farms..!

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