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In an effort to combat the poor air quality in the city of Milan, architect Stefano Boeri was up for the task of designing one of the most unique structures to be built in Europe in a long time, the Bosco Verticale. Bosco Verticale literally means "vertical forest" and as you can tell by the photos of the projected model, that's exactly what it's going to look like.
Milan's air quality has been an issue for quite some time. Urban sprawl and poor developmental planning have led to the destruction of most natural ecosystems in the area. What Stefano Boeri hopes, is that this green building will be the first of many to utilize the conceptual theory of microclimates. The design is not exactly simple, but as you can see each tower will have trees and vegetation planted all over it. The trees will use recycled water from the apartments inside, and sunlight to create oxygen for the vicinity. They are even designed to block outside noise and give each apartment a relaxing, soothing feeling.
The towers will be 80 meters, and 112 meters tall, respectively. They will hold a total of 480 medium-large trees, 250 small trees, as well as numerous shrubs and cover plants. That's roughly the equivalent of 2.5 acres of forest! The buildings are slated to be completed in 2013, and you can view the progress here.
Of course most people would be in favor all kinds of energy conservation, but this plan has a few obvious drawbacks. One has to wonder how and where the roots to the trees will go. Even the strongest tree won't survive a lightening strike, so will there be safety nets in place to ensure no one gets hurt by falling limbs? If given the choice, are travelers going to be interested in staying in a location like this, or will they prefer a more traditional hotel in Milan? While unconventional, it's hard not to admire the gumption and guts of the investors who have put up the 65 million euro to fund the project. For more information visit Stefano Boeri's website, or to see the progress in person take your car rental in Milan to the corner of Via Federico Confalinieri and Via Voltumo.