If we cannot have our backyard garden in an urban milieu, the next best thing is to live in a vertical forest which we can call our own.
Indians have got round to the concept that a home is more than a mere structure of steel and concrete. It is a shelter from all that we have allowed our world to become. And if we can take that small step towards a more environmentally friendly world starting with our home, we would have done our duty.
Built by Mana Foresta, the 14 – storied tower has innumerable trees, creepers and shrubs, and myriad butterflies and birds living right in the apartment in your apartment.
The vertical forest has a private garden where you can plant your choice of trees and watch the butterflies and the birds make homes of their own.
The vertical forest in Sarjapur, Bengaluru was inspired by Stefano Boeri, the Italian architect who built the first vertical forest in Milan. It is a prototype building that follows a radically new format of architectural biodiversity which does not focus solely on the people residing there. It also focuses on the relationship between humans and other plants and creatures.
The vertical forest in Bengaluru has 90 different plant species and 900 trees in all. And they aren’t in tiny flower pots. You get the real deal. Vertical forests with trees reaching 20 feet even on top of 30 storied buildings.
The Vertical Forest Will Keep Out Pollution And Create An Urban Forest
The apartments are also designed to keep out pollution and noise and give the appearance of a rural world in the heart of the city.
The trend of vertical forests is catching on worldwide. It has been built in Nanjing in China, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and many other cities. People have already moved to the vertical forest in Bengaluru.
Nikhil Menon and Preethi Maharajan, who have moved into the vertical forest say that they were attracted by the concept of having their trees on the balcony. Living in an urban forested building appealed to them. They want their kids to grow up in a forested area with an abundance of fresh air, but with all the urban amenities at their disposal.
The vertical forest in Sarjapur will accommodate 56 families once it is fully occupied. Urban dwellers long to shut out the pollution that comes with living in dense urban areas.
Stefano Boeri was inspired by a book by Italo Calvino, Baron In The Trees where the protagonist, a boy climbs up a tree to spend his remaining life in the heart of an arboreal kingdom.
He developed the idea in an urban milieu and designed 2 towers in Milan. The towers have 900 trees with 90 species. 11,000 perennial varieties of plants and 5,000 shrubs make up the urban greenery on the towers.
Planting that many trees and plants on a vertical landscape would be impossible in an urban landscape like Bengaluru. Boeri was emphatic that he would not patent the design but instead inspire other builders and architects in cities around the world to emulate his ideas and design and build according to their surroundings.
The vertical forest in Bengaluru, Mana Foresta will house around 200 trees and shrubs, other flowering plants, and herbs. Every flat will have 4 to 5 trees of its own. They include Bignonia, Ficus, Lemon, frangipani, Magnolia, and many more.
The architects have taken into consideration the unique characteristics and the climate of Bengaluru before designing the vertical forest. Landscape artists and botanists were consulted to choose the ideal plants and trees. Their weight and growth were taken into consideration before deciding on them.
The building will also have measures to decelerate the speed of the wind to ensure the safety of its residents. A central drip irrigation system will take care of the watering aspect. The builders have even taken the responsibility for the regular pruning and other maintenance of the vertical forest.
Architect Hiten Sethi, co-chairman of the Mumbai chapter of the Indian Green Building Council says that owners have come around and are now willing to pay a little extra for the greenery.
He regretfully adds that while many people are willing to shell out Rs 4 to Rs 8 per square foot ($0.054 to $0.11) to maintain their glass façade, they balked at the idea of an extra expense of Rs 1 ($0.013) per square foot for the gardener.
But the increase in air pollution in cities has forced many families to go for more sustainable and green buildings and are willing to fork out a little more for it.
Image credits: The Better India