Stefano Boeri Architetti
2017 - 2021
Architecture, Vertical Forest
Stefano Boeri Architetti:
Founding partner: Stefano Boeri
Partner and project director: Francesca Cesa Bianchi
Project leader: Paolo Russo
Team of preliminary design: Giulia Chiatante, Elisa Versari
Team of detail design: Elisa Versari, Lorenzo Masotto
Landscape design/botanist: Studio Laura Gatti
Tree nursery: Van den Berk Nurseries
Local and executive architect: Inbo
Structual engineering: Adviesbureau Tielemans
MEP: Ten Hooven
Landscape contractor: Du Pré Groenprojecten
General contractor: Stam + De Koning Bouw
Renders: The Big Picture
Photo: Paolo Rosselli, Giovanni Nardi, Stam + De Koning Bouw
In the context of Stefano Boeri Architetti‘s vision for a new architecture of biodiversity, Trudo Vertical Forest applies the Vertical Forest model to social housing for the first time.
Designed to accommodate mainly low-income users – such as young professionals and students – the tower in Eindhoven houses flats with low rents but high living quality. The complex vision of “living” coexistence between man and other species is thus amplified in the project into a dual challenge: the possibility of combining the great challenge of the environmental crisis with the urgent need for affordable housing in contemporary cities.
The Trudo Vertical Forest, part of the urban renewal plan for ‘Strijp-S’ – a recovery and development plan involving the area formerly belonging to the Philips electronics company, a crucial identity presence in the area, once completely closed to the city but now becoming a new creative hub in Eindhoven – generates a new green habitat for the development of biodiversity within the metropolitan environment, a true ecosystem nourished by the coexistence of more than 70 different plant species, capable of combating atmospheric pollution, absorbing CO2 and fine dust particles, developing the model first experimented in Milan and now in the Netherlands into an expression of a new design paradigm, in which vegetation and living nature are considered as constituent – and no longer merely ornamental – elements of architectural language.
The building designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti accommodates 125 social housing units on 19 floors, flexible to meet future needs and capable of defining new housing standards for the sector. Each flat has a limited surface area calibrated to the type of users for whom it is intended (less than 50 square metres), while having the spatial extension offered by terraces of more than 4 square metres and the natural micro-environment formed by the presence on each of 1 tree and 20 bushes. All in all, the Trudo Vertical Forest residential tower houses no less than 135 trees of various species on its four façades, spread over an elevation of 75 metres, to which is added about 5.200 smaller shrubs and plants and other vegetation, for a total of about 8.500 plants.
The building’s green facades provide an impactful solution to the heat island effect. The water system is also circular: rainwater is collected and stored in four 20.000-litre tanks under the building and reused for irrigating the various pots.
The design choices introduced in the Trudo Vertical Forest are mainly aimed at lowering construction and maintenance costs, meeting the needs of the social housing typology, thanks to the use of prefabrication construction technologies and more generally the optimisation of resources related to the design and construction of the building. In particular, the main structure is made up of prefabricated concrete modules and in-situ machined elements, while the design of the green façade exploits the combination of six types of pots, different in size and shape, specifically designed to house different plants, which allow for a great variety in design, as well as a significant reduction in costs and construction time.
For the design aspects of the plant component of the Trudo Vertical Forest, Stefano Boeri Architetti used the technical advice of a team of experts and botanists, who in this case worked closely with the firm DuPré Groenprojecten in Helmond and the nursery Van den Berk in Sint-Oedenrode. The maintenance of the entire complex, including the plants, is collective and managed directly by the client Sint Trudo.
The Trudo Vertical Forest represents the achievement of a real milestone: by making the Vertical Forest typology accessible to everyone, even low-income tenants, the project demonstrates that living in contact with trees and greenery is not an exclusive prerogative, but can indeed become a viable choice for citizens with very different economic backgrounds. The Trudo Vertical Forest succeeds in guaranteeing high quality, due to the flexibility of the interior spaces and their relationship to open spaces, in a building with a significantly reduced construction cost. The project does not only modify the urban landscape, but aims to define new housing standards for social housing and thus respond to environmental and housing issues.
The social benefits of the project have been published on Il Corriere della Sera.