Architect: Stefano Boeri Architect
City: Milan, Italy
The concept behind the Vertical Forest, that of being a “home for trees that also houses humans and birds”, defines not only the urban and technological characteristics of the project but also the architectural language and its expressive qualities. On a formal level, the towers are mainly characterized by large, staggered and overhanging balconies (each about three metres), designed to accommodate large external tubs for vegetation and to allow the growth of larger trees without hindrance, even over three floors of the building. At the same time, the porcelain stoneware finish of the facades incorporates the typical brown colour of bark, evoking the image of a pair of gigantic trees in which to live and which are rich in literary and symbolic implications. The contrast with a series of elements in white stoneware – the stringcourses of the balconies and some modules on the front of the windowsills – introduces a syncopated rhythm in the composition which breaks up and “dematerializes” the visual compactness of the architectural bodies and amplifies the presence of the plants even more. More than just surfaces, the façades can be viewed as three-dimensional spaces not only because of the denseness and function of the green curtain but also in aesthetic-temporal terms, due to the multi-coloured cyclical and morphological changes in the size of the plants.