A 27-Story Vertical Forest Grows in Milan

By now, we’ve grown pretty used to seeing urban farming schemes such as rooftop gardens, abandoned factories converted into hydroponic havens, and other alternative agricultural wonders. But 2013 may be the year that our wildest “green” architecture fantasies come true. Milan’s Bosco Verticale, a project slated to house the world’s first vertical forest — and a long-time favorite rendering of the Internet — is coming to life, 27 stories of trees and all. As Inhabitat confirms, the architects at Italian firm Boeri Studio expect the scheme to finish construction as early as this year.

Bosco Verticale was conceived in response to the alarming levels of air pollution in Milan. The structure itself is no more radical than your average high-rise tower block, but when fortified with over 700 balcony-perched trees, not only will the buildings look like two enormous topiaries in the middle of the city, but they will also filter dust particles, absorb carbon dioxide, and protect the apartment complexes within from radiation and acoustic pollution (yes, you can live in there). Meanwhile, the verticality is a statement about urban sprawl, sending a 10,000 square meter forest upwards into the sky. Hopefully, this daring vision will fair better than the underwater reef garden planned for St. Petersburg Pier in Florida, which unfortunately will only exist in renderings as far as we know.

All images via Inhabitat.

- Kelly Chan