Harley, thank you for the fascinating Milanese case study you shared with us! It has always amazed me the ability designers have to combine known elements in order to give a new solution to a specific issue. Bosco Verticale is definitely one of these fascinating ways designers have proven that you “don’t have to invent the wheel” to make a right.
As we are all aware, air pollution is a global health hazard, where according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2018) “9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants”, causing 7 million deaths every year. This is one of the most important reasons why more projects like Bosco Verticale are so needed to counter this major environmental health problems, and to stop the wrongly believe that urban sprawl is the solution to accommodate more people in cities and to provide more green areas for them.
I find it interesting the term “biological towers” you use, which represents the concept of these buildings as living habitats, functioning as an urban ecosystem and a way of regenerating the city with vegetation and animal life, and “contributing to the construction of a microclimate, producing humidity, absorbing CO2 and dust particles and producing oxygen” (Boeri Studio, 2014).
For example, on the image 1 we can see how the building and vegetation is designed to make the most out of the sun, with the biggest plants and openings on the facades with greater exposure to the sun, where the trees serve as a “green barrier” to acoustic pollution, and benefits the dwellings with shadow in the hottest months, and natural light in the darkest ones, this at the same time, makes it an energy-efficient building, having to depend less on mechanical resources to heating or cooling the interior environments, which is a mitigation strategy on housing given by the WHO on air pollution.
Image 1: Benefits of the concept of vertical forest in a building. Source: Archdaily
- Boeri Studio (2014). Vertical Forest. [online] Available at: https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/project/vertical-forest/ (Accessed: 22 April 2019)
- World Health Organization (2018). ‘9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, but more countries are taking action’ [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/02-05-2018-9-out-of-10-people-worldwide-breathe-polluted-air-but-more-countries-are-taking-action (Accessed: 22 April 2019)