ARCHITECTURE
Dorota Matla
ARCHITECTURE AND GREENERY
Do architecture and nature have something in common? Of course! Not only can vegetation serve as a context for a building, but it can also be an essential part of its structure as a positive addition to roofs and terraces. Innovative “green” architecture is an increasingly popular trend in the development of contemporary cities.
A JUNGLE IN TURIN Several years ago, an extremely green project was carried out in the Italian city of Turin. Architect Luciano Pia designed a residential building called 25 Verde which resembles a large pergola overgrown with greenery and a vertical forest. The construction of the balconies on the sides of the building facing streets, as well as on the side facing the courtyard, was used to create a pattern of tall trees on the facades. Large flowerpots were secured on the terraces, in which trees were planted. The building’s walls were shingled. The architect intended the building to resemble a treehouse, straight out of childhood dreams, and to be a building that, in a certain sense, “breathes” through its green walls, purifying the city’s air.
ARCHITECTURE
A VERTICAL FOREST In one of the rapidly developing neighbourhoods of Milan – Isola – two unique apartment towers were recently constructed, and at the same time this densely developed part of the city was enriched by a.... vertical forest. These two buildings designed by Boeri Studio are 76 and 110 metres in height respectively, and in front of them a green, triangular square was designed. The greenery does not serve solely as the building’s surroundings, but is also an integral part of its facade. Both buildings were given spacious terraces, specially constructed so that they would be able to hold the weight of very heavy trees, bushes and earth in concrete flowerpots integrated into the balconies’ construction. In the high rises, there are 112 apartments of varying sizes, each with its own private garden. In total, 480 large and medium-sized trees were used, 250 small trees and 5,000 bushes and shrubbery of various kinds. The species were diversified in such a way that they would be resistant to local weather conditions, including wind, which can be very strong in this region of Italy. It has been calculated that if all the trees and shrubs used in this project had been planted in the traditional way, they would have taken up an area of 1 hectare. In the design, which was part of a wider program to revitalise the historical district of the city, effort was made for the buildings not only to serve a residential function, but also, through their greenery, to have a positive influence on the air quality in this part of the city.
fot. Paolo Rosselli © Stefano Boeri Architetti
ARCHITECTURE