The two towers were inaugurated in 2004, and what characterizes them is the presence of more than two thousand species of trees, among which tall shrubs and trees are dispersed throughout the facade. It is an ambitious metropolitan reforestation project (also called the Porta Nuova Project) that, through the vertical densification of green, it aims at increasing the plant and animal biodiversity of the Lombard capital, reducing urbanization, while also contributing to the mitigation of the microclimate.
Another peculiarity of this building is the colorfulness of the trees that line its surface. The tree species, with the succession of the seasons, renew their own colors and those of the entire architectural work: this is why during the spring, the two towers take on delicate pastel shades, while in autumn at the end of the growing season, they are tinged with warm autumn colors. As evidence of its greatness are the architectural awards it has received. The Vertical Forest is the winner of numerous competitions: it has already been awarded the International Highrise Award in 2014. Just last year, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a prestigious international construction industry association , declared it “the most beautiful and innovative skyscraper in the world.” The jury preferred it to other giants of great caliber such as the new One World Trade Center in New York and CapitaGreen in Singapore.
The Vertical Forest in Milan is certainly not the first building be built according to the most advanced eco-friendly technologies. Founders of this genre of construction are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built around 590 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar II, but also the marcitoi meadows, developed in the thirteenth century by Cistercian monks, and the Guinigi Tower in Lucca. More recently, the utopian dwellings designed by architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, inaugurated in 1986: their facades are entirely covered by tree leaves.