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Milan’s vertical forest

In a world of increasing need for public housing, land clearing in the UK is at an all time high, resulting in an ever decreasing amount of greenery in our environment.

Designed by Boeri studios and inaugurated in 2014, the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) of Milan pioneers a new era of architecture and solves many of the environmental impact issues we face today.


Even in the hustle and bustle of a big city, Boeri’s design harmonises the relationship between architecture and environment. Rather than another boring grey facade the towers teem with life as the flora supports wildlife such as bees, birds, and insects, which – in turn, increases the biodiversity of the landscape. With one blogger describing the buildings as having an “eye-catching aesthetic oomph”, the towers certainly stand out and embody a state-of-the-art new vision for urban landscapes.

Not only does the added greenery distinguish these towers from any other apartment building, there are countless scientific studies showing that plants and green spaces have a positive effect on our overall health. Amongst other benefits, they filter pollution from their surroundings, removing CO2 while increasing the levels of oxygen and humidity. Greater exposure to plants and green spaces is also shown to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

One review from ScienceDirect highlights that, “The greening of living environments seems a promising tool for enhancing public health.” This means that as well as transforming urban landscapes in a visual sense, designs like this have the potential to positively impact the wellbeing of the community.


With the vegetation of the Bosco Verticale amassing to an impressive 2.4 acres, the groundbreaking concept demonstrates how new builds can be designed in such a way so that they actually add greenery to a space, even if the land had to be cleared to make way for the building.

The best part? The concept is not limited to a certain type of building. The original two towers are apartment buildings, but trees, shrubs and ground cover plants can be incorporated into the design of almost anything and the surrounding area will benefit.

However, one downside to the concept is that it requires the building to be constructed with things such as the irrigation system in mind, in order to become a complete and lush “urban forest”.

Although, this is not to say that the current structures cannot be transformed to reap the benefits of a green urban environment. In fact, there are many ways in which you can transform a space to reflect the concept and design of Boeri’s work. For example, potted plants, hanging baskets, and troughs can be added to pre-existing homes, offices and stores, or anywhere in which an inbuilt irrigation system isn’t viable.

Welcome to the Vertical Forest

Boeri and his team have revolutionised the term Urban Reforestation, and using this concept we have the potential to turn urban landscapes from concrete jungles to rich biodiverse communities.

From skyscrapers to summer houses, with this form of Urban Reforestation having so many lasting benefits, it is undoubtedly the way forward in terms of modern architecture. Contact the team at KJ architects for help in renovating your home, garden or place of business.



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Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
T: 01638 662393
Milan’s vertical forest