Home & Design

May 1, 2017


If you like green, prepare your heart, because the gardens of the future are breathtaking and will be everywhere. From the corner on the porch, to the kitchen, living room, service area, yard and, especially, in the cities and office buildings, every nook and cranny will be landscaped - there will be a boom of vertical gardens.

Spring came, and with it the urge to slow down in a green little corner full of trees and plants. This isn´t always easy when working in the city, namely in office areas. This reality has been changing with the construction of vertical gardens, the cities and buildings of the future will be much eco-friendlier.

Following this trend and, as an example, Brussels, capital of Belgium, plans to build three vertical structures made from recyclable materials, renewable energy sources and about 30,000 plants. This project follows previous initiatives in the Belgian city port, on a train, in a maritime station, in a warehouse and, more recently, at the former Brussels Taxi stop. The plan for the latter site provides for the creation of a green refuge with massive structures 300 meters high, partially fed by solar panels. The numerous plants will be integrated into buildings, allowing the abortion of 175 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), every year.

In addition to being aesthetically more attractive, the vertical gardens are intended to give the place a mix of residential, commercial and business spaces, anchored in what Vincent Callebaut Architecture, responsible for the plan, calls "innovative and sustainable building principles". For now, it is an idea that is only on paper, but if it receives green light, it is worth knowing.

Redefining the urban landscape, using nature, is an idea that is being the target of numerous urban and design projects all over the world. If this is done, it will certainly bring great benefits to the environment, although, there are also those who point out some risks, such as the fast walls deterioration due to the plants.

Another example of this receptivity happened in Nanjing, China, where vertical gardens construction was taken very seriously to reduce pollution in the city. Also Italy and Switzerland follow this trend. The two towers in the Italian city of Milan, which measure 367m high, are famous and, together, they can contain up to 480 large and medium-sized trees, 250 small trees, 11,000 soil cover and 5,000 shrubs, which is equivalent to 2,5 hectares of vertical forest. The goal is to reduce urban noise, CO2 levels, city air dust and urban heat. The towers also include apartments where it isn´t necessary to use air conditioners, with the use of wind and photovoltaic energy responsible for building self- sufficiency energy.

If you dream of living in a residential condominium in the centre of the city, with vertical gardens from tree vases supported by branches and made of steel beams, you can move to Turin, also in Italy, where the architect Luciano Pia designed apartments suspended on the floor with gardens on the facade. The building, set in an undulating structure, has 63 apartments with terrace and greenery. The plants chosen are from the region, facilitating colour diversity, leaf and flowering. An innovative design that joins the rustic with steel beams and burned brick walls, wood boards and plants. The trees, on the façade, create the ideal microclimate inside the building, especially effective in cold and/or hot months.

Launching this year in Lausanne, Switzerland, The Cedar Tower, will be one of the first tree-covered world buildings, will be 36 stories tall and will measure 117 meters high. A home for over 100 cedars, 6,000 shrubs and 18,000 plants spread over 3,000 square meters. It was designed by Stefano Boeri, the same one who created the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy. The buildings will be equipped with water recycling and irrigation systems, as well as solar panels. There will also be a gym, offices and a panoramic restaurant. It is architecture at the service of Nature, a kind of a child´s dream with real benefits.

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