The world’s first vertical forest (trademark?) is rising in Milan. The Bosco Verticale, the project’s official title, will be completed later this year, marking a significant step in development of green architecture. The plan consists of two apartment towers festooned with a series of concrete decks, staggered and offset from each other to give the structures their Jenga-like appearance. Once completed, nearly 2.5 acres of “forest” will have been planted in these balconies, helping to absorb dust—a major problem in Milan—and C02, while shading and cooling the residents within.
As Inhabitat reports, the two towers—one 260 feet tall, the other 360 feet—have recently topped out, while the construction crew has begun hoisting the first of the 730 trees, 11,000 ground-cover plants, and 5,000 shrubs that will fill out the facades. According to the architects, Boeri Studio, the trees and vegetation will form a robust “micro-climate” capable of sustaining life at all scales, from birds and insects to the human occupants inside the towers. This, coupled with additional photovoltaic-based energy systems, “optimizes, recuperates and produces energy,” making the project nearly energy self-sufficient. The Bosco Verticale is scheduled to be completed in late 2013. Read more about the innovative architecture over at Inhabitat.