Bosco Verticale - A vertical forest tower in Milan powered by solar energy
Bosco Verticale - A vertical forest tower in Milan powered by solar energy
Bosco Verticale, or verticle forest, is a proof of concept project in Milan where a high-rise building is covered in plant life and solar panels. The system balances the microclimate and filters dust particles contained in the urban environment.
Primary project use
Project Type
New Build
Spatial Scale
Neighbourhood or District
Site Characteristics
Sectors of Innovation
  • Adaption to Climate Change
  • Built Environment
  • Energy
Type of Innovation
  • Technical
Origin of the idea
  • Private Sector Company
Time to Market
Operational Now
Project Status

The ‘Bosco Verticale’ (Vertical Forest) project consists of two residential towers in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy. The towers have a height of 119 meters, comprising 400 apartments that will host more than 900 trees. If the units would have been constructed as stand-alone and unstacked across a single surface, the project would require 50,000 square meters of land, and 10,000 square meters of woodland.

Milan is one of the most air-polluted cities in Europe. The design of Bosco Verticale is a response to both air-pollution, urban sprawl and the disappearance of nature from our lives and the landscape. The trees will help to mitigate the city’s air-pollution problem and will produce oxygen at the same time. The lush vegetation will also moderate temperatures in the building in the winter and summer, and reduce noise from the city. Every plant has been chosen by botanists to thrive in its particular orientation and microclimate within the structure. A specialized maintenance company will keep the vertical forest in good health in the years to come. The apartment blocks have greywater recycling systems in place that will water the vegetation and can be used to flush toilets. Lastly, integrated photovoltaic panels, together with wind and geothermal systems, will provide the buildings with power.

The built of Bosco Verticale started in 2010 and was completed in October 2014 an application for LEED Gold certification has been submitted.

The 2014 International High-rise Award
Bosco Vertical has won the prestigious international award (IHA) for the most innovative high-rise design. The IHA, jointly initiated in 2003 by the City of Frankfurt, the German Architecture Museum, and DekaBank, is assigned to buildings higher than 100 meters (328 ft), which combine “exemplary sustainability, external shape and internal spatial quality, not to mention social aspects, to create a model design”.

Project team

■ Building services engineer: Planning (operating in UK as Rethink Energy)
■ Original services specification: Hilson Moran
■ Architect: Boeri Studio (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni Lavarra)
■ Landscape architect: Laura Gatti
■ Structural engineer: Arup
■ Project and property manager: Coima
■ Porta Nuova developer: Hines Italy

Strong Points

Metropolitan reforestation could become a buzz word as future developments utilize this innovative concept to simultaneously increase biodiversity and provide inspirational city dwellings.

Creator of profile
  • Roger Toussaint, MSc.
Utrecht University
Icons made by Freepik from