Are There Actually Forests Growing in the Sky?
As a demand to bring back greenery in urban markets, architects have started thinking beyond traditional greenery and have begun planting what appears as forests in the sky.
Conceptualized by Stefano Boeri, he explains that the Vertical Forest movement is an alternative urban environment that allows [residents] to live close to trees, shrubs, and plants within the city; such a condition can be generally found only in the suburban houses with gardens, which are a development model that consume agricultural soil and which is being now recognized as energy-consuming, expensive and far from communal services found in the compact city. "
The photo above shows the first vertical building that was built by architecture firm Boeri Studio. It was completed in October 2014 in Milan, Italy, According to Twisted Sifter, the towers shown above have heights of 110 metres (360 ft) and 76 metres (249 ft) respectively and host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 meters or 10-30ft) and over 2,000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants.
Since 2014, the Boeri Studio has pitched similar buildings in multiple other cities. Their most recent work is The Nanjing Vertical Forest slated for completion in 2018 in Asia. With the success of the buildings, the firm plans to design additional vertical forests across China. These will include Chongqing, Guizhou, Liuzhou, Shanghai and Shijiazhuang.
Perhaps one of the most interesting elements with a vertical forest is its management. Currently, in order to maintain the beautiful facades of the buildings, every four months botanists will hang by rope from the edge of the roof and descend by jumping between balconies as they trim the greenery. The video above shows the process being done at the Milan sky apartment buildings.
While presently the Boeri Studio is reigning when it comes to the vertical forest movement, other architects around the world have started to mimic the style. The video above demonstrates 10 plant-covered buildings that have or will be implementing the vertical forest design to create sustainable buildings. We can only expect this number to continue to grow in the future.