A High-rise Forest in the Center of Milan

Busy cities are often referred to as “urban jungles”, but one of Milan’s modern high-rises gives a whole new meaning to this popular idiom thanks to some uncommon landscaping. In 2014, Italian architect Stefano Boeri unveiled his latest design in Milan’s rising Porta Nuova district; a skyscraper called Bosco Verticale. In English, Bosco Verticale means Vertical Forest, which is an appropriate name considering the construction is composed of two towers that between them incorporate more than 1,000 varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees. The buildings were born out of an ambitious and environmentally noble idea: creating sustainable living spaces that not only foster the natural environment of the city, but regenerate it.

Bosco Verticale’s two towers are of differing heights with the tallest measuring 360 feet and the shortest measuring 260 feet. Staggered balconies extend from every side of the towers to suspend 780 trees and 14,000 plants over the city. Each of the 113 living spaces in the complex includes a private garden with vegetation that not only serves to absorb carbon dioxide, but also to protect the space from dust particles, direct sunlight, harsh winds, and acoustic pollution. In addition, the views from the apartments are spectacular, providing panoramas of Milan, the outskirts of the city, and even the momentous Alps in the distance.

The location of the towers in the Porta Nuova district, near the center of Milan, is not a coincidence. The project aims not only to regenerate the Porta Nuova district, but to shift the planning of Milan’s city center towards a greener future. To aid in this vision, the parking areas for Bosco Verticale have been constructed underground in favor of a pedestrian and cycling area above them that spans 40 acres and features additional vegetation and public spaces. The location of the towers near normal skyscrapers also helps to aesthetically revolutionize the city’s skyline. Not only do the trees and plants of Bosco Verticale stand out amongst the city’s sea of grey, but their visual impact is dynamic; as the seasons change, so too will the buildings since the vegetation will adopt the distinct colors of each season.

Bosco Verticale won the International High-rise Award in 2014, an honor that recognizes the world’s most innovative and sustainable high-rises, which is granted every two years by the city of Frankfurt in conjunction with the German Architecture Museum. The Bosco Verticale design aims to be a new standard for sustainable buildings not only in Italy but throughout the world. Recently, Stefano Boeri announced that another tower in the style of Bosco Verticale, but with cedar trees, will be constructed in Lausanne, Switzerland. Currently, there are no plans to implement the design in other parts of Italy, but Parma, Siena, and Bolzano (considered to be three of Italy’s greenest cities) could be perfect candidates for the expansion of this architectural and environmental innovation.

Things To Do In Milan: Visit The New Restored Darsena

Milan_Lombardy_Navigli_view_blgAs many may be aware of, last year the city of Milan hosted the important exhibition EXPO 2015 from the beginning of May through the end of October. To prepare for the increased international attention the city would receive during the several months it hosted this world’s fair, many projects were completed throughout Milan. These projects included not only the construction of the area in which the EXPO itself was to be held, but also the completion of the third stage of Milan’s newest metro line (which now runs from Porta Garibaldi train station to San Siro Stadium) and the restructuring of Milan’s ancient port known as the Darsena. Continue reading “Things To Do In Milan: Visit The New Restored Darsena”

Art In Italy: History Of The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo

Lombary_Saluzzo_20160620_Christo_Floating_piers_Giulia Acquisti - IMG_4152Married artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude have created stunning works of environmental art together for decades. From wrapping Berlin’s Reichstag with a tarp in 1995 to placing brightly colored gates through New York City’s Central Park in 2005, their art has always been about creating unique experiences and recreating familiar places. Their latest project, entitled The Floating Piers, will be on display from June 18th to July 3rd in Lake Iseo, a small lake located about 60 miles from Milan in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Previous art produced by the couple in Italy includes Spoleto’s Wrapped Fountain and ‎Wrapped Medieval Tower in 1968, Milan’s Wrapped Monuments in 1970, and Rome’s The Wall – Wrapped Roman Wall from 1973 to 1974. Continue reading “Art In Italy: History Of The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo”

Happy Hour In Italian? Aperitivo!

How Do You Say Happy Hour In Italian? Aperitivo!

Milan Aperitivo a city tradition
Milan Aperitivo a city tradition

Milan is known for many things…fashion, finance, industry, museums and universities. But the second largest city in Italy is also the capital of the Aperitivo.

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Opera – Italy – Milan – La Scala

Milan La Scala TheaterOpera lovers do not miss La Scala opera house in Milan. It is known worldwide for offering some of the best performances and, of course, some of the most genuine Milanese moments. Most of Italy‘s greatest opera artists and many of the finest singers from around the world have appeared at La Scala!

Milan: Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper & Santa Maria Delle Grazie

The wonderful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a Dominican convent of immense architectural value and a rich testament to the Renaissance in Milan.
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