Forest in the sky design to combat city pollution

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The challenge of providing a green environment to one of the world’s most polluted cities has lead a project known as “The Forest in the Sky”.

Designed by Boeri Studio alongside Arup the vertical forest in the heart of Milan, Italy, will include two residential towers 110m and 76m high.

Two-room apartments penthouses and duplexes all include balconies, which extend 3.35 meters outwards to host the vegetation.

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Altogether, 900 trees measuring have been planted, along with 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants on terraces up to the 27th floor.

Milan has long been known for its smog problems which have reached more than four times the European Union safety limits. Nasal projection is common for pedestrians and civic leaders were once presented with gas masks by campaigners.

The project to combat the pollution was developed using Arup´s structural and geotechnical designs, together with consultancy services on acoustics, vibrations, ground-borne noise and tunnelling.

Arup also provided design solutions related to the effects of two existing railway tunnels under the site that required a dedicated design of a base-isolation system for the main buildings.

As a new growth model for the regeneration of the urban environment, the design creates a biological habitat in a total area of 40,000m2. The designers say they aim to inspire greater urban biodiversity in the face of Milan´s challenge of increasing pollution.

Because of its large amount of foliage green area, the building also produces energy.

Besides creating oxygen and humidity, the plants also absorb CO2 and dust particles, which improve the environment.

The design also includes photovoltaic energy systems to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.

Luca Buzzoni, project manager, Arup Milan said: “Being part of the design team of such an innovative project presented new challenges every day since the buildings and the structural itself needed to relate to an ever changing environment and new and unusual design inputs had to be thoroughly understood and incorporated in the overall picture.”

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