Back in May of this year, Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale (or the Vertical Forest) gained some well deserved coverage in the realm of the burgeoning internet. After all, these two towers were to be among the rare specimens of modern architecture that combined high density residential development with lush trees, all inside the ambit of the thriving city-center of a major city. And now after months of the initial media scrutiny, the Bosco Verticale has befittingly won the 2014 International Highrise Award, by beating out the competition from some big-name architects including Rem Koolhass and Jean Nouvel.
The entry was primarily selected because of its symbolic/practical design that alluded to the ‘human need to be contact with nature.’ Comprising of a pair of towers (rising to heights of 80 and 112 meters, respectively), the Bosco Verticale upholds this ‘natural’ side of affairs with over a whopping 900 trees being planted inside the structural confines. These big ones are complemented by 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants – all of which are organized inside 40,000 sq m (430,000 sq ft).
The verdant ambit is envisaged in such a way so that the greenery can act as a collective urban habitat for birds and insects, without intruding upon the circulation pattern of the human residents. On the other hand, the planted trees also improve the humidity and the oxygen-generation of the zone, while shielding the interiors from the uncomfortable direct glare of sunlight. Back in May, a Boeri studio spokesperson had talked about the natural connection espoused by the ‘green building’ –
The creation of a number of vertical forests in the city will be able to create a network of environmental corridors which will give life to the main parks in the city, bringing the green space of avenues and gardens and connecting various spaces of spontaneous vegetation growth.
As for the Bosco Verticale’s selection as the winner of the competition, jury president Christoph Ingenhoven had this to say about the entry –
It is a radical and daring idea for the cities of tomorrow, and without a doubt represents a model for the development of densely populated urban areas in other European countries.