A Vertical Forest in the heart of Milan
Emanuela Borio e Laura Gatti
Designed by Boeri Studio, the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), named the «Best Tall Building Worldwide» by the prestigious Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, promoted by the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, is an exceptional experiment in sustainable residential building.
Part of the urban redevelopment project extending over the Isola Porta Nuova area in the heart of Milan, Vertical Forest consists of two towers of heights 112 and 80 metres whose profile is determined by imposing and irregularly shaped balconies projecting from all four sides. As well as its architectural quality, the complex also stands out for its «living façade», where the original use of vegetation meets the contemporary need to live immersed in nature without sacrificing comfort, security or a central location. Tall trees, shrubs and perennial flowering and ground cover plants renew their colours according to the cycle of the seasons, enhancing the biodiversity of the city’s flora and fauna and helping to improve the environment.
Energy use is seen as a fundamental resource in the two towers. Energy is optimised, recovered and generated through a series of measures that include the use of renewable energy and photovoltaic panels, thermal and acoustic insulation, the choice of environmentally-friendly and non-polluting building materials and the collection of rainwater for irrigation. This combination of factors enabled the building to achieve LEED Gold certification. A major contribution was naturally made by the façade cladding system.
Created using the ventilated façade technique, the building envelope consists of an outer facing made of Blackstone porcelain panels, customised in a grey anthracite colour and produced specially by Cotto d’Este to meet the requisite dimensions and performance. The ceramic panels are secured to the aluminium substructure by means of four hooks inserted in specially milled edge slots, while the substructure is in turn anchored to the clay brick walls using T brackets. The metal uprights are equipped with special finger joints that prevent expansion stresses from being transferred. And to ensure a uniform contact between the two components and an even wind load distribution, a structural adhesive strip has been added between the rear of the panel and the front of the aluminium profile.
In keeping with the environmentally-friendly principles of the project, low-impact ceramic tiles supplied by Lea Ceramiche were also used for the interior surface coverings: Basaltina Stone Project, covered by the prestigious Ecolabel certification, and Slimtech Basaltina, an innovative product with a thickness of just 3.5 mm.
Cotto d'Este, Blackstone Matt and Slimtech Basaltina
58x100 cm, 58x110 cm, 58x120 cm (Blackstone); 100x100, 100x150 cm (Slimtech Basaltina)
Natural and Grey
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 134 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 620 kg