Residential steel structure appears as living forest in Italy

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25 Green was designed by Luciano Pia as a residential steel structure appearing like a forest where trees are rooting in terraces, located in Torino, Italy. Built in 2012, the building has been thought as a living forest, a house on the trees like the houses children dream of and sometimes build. The property also features ponds which are crossed by footings and lush gardens covering the roofs.

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The project comes from the necessity of making a residential building of 80,729 square feet (7500 square meters) to complement a block featured by lack of homogeneity and heterogeneous prospects. The aim of the project is both the construction of the block perimeter with a continuous facade and the making of a filter between the internal inhabited space and the streets. The project wants to create a flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable. The smooth and changeable transition is emphasized by a targeted use of the green and the building materials so to create a structure which is compact and distinct but also transparent, mutable and enjoyable.

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It is a special building because it is alive: it grows up, it breaths and it changes since 150 trees with tall trunks cover its terraces. Together with 50 trees planted in the court garden they produce oxygen, absorb carbonic anhydride, cut down air pollution, protect from noise, follow the natural cycle of Seasons, grow up day after day and create a perfect microclimate inside the building so diminuishing the fall and rise in temperature in summertime and wintertime.

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The streeps in solid wood that floor the terraces filter the sunlight in summer, while in winter they let the light break into the house. The wainscot in larch shingles is a sort of soft and vibrant surface. The metal structures look like trees and they “grow” from the groundfloor to the roof while holding up the wooden planking of the terraces: they become entwined with the vegetation to form a unique facade.

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One of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green.

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There are 63 residential units in the building and they are all different and fitted with wide terraces of irregular shapes that surround the trees. The last floor is covered with private green roofs.

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The green is diversified: big vases on the terraces, court gardens, green walls and roof gardens just in front of the lofts.

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In the vases there are trees or shrubs of different heights from 2.5 meters to 8 meters. Deciduous species have been planted to have sun irradiation in wintertime too. The choise of the species, even if diversified according to the different needs, has been made to grant a variety of leaves, colors and flowering.

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When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house. You can dream of a house or live in a dream!

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Photos: Beppe Giardino

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Gary M Dean
8 years ago

The combination of Artistic industry with Greening is always wonderful to see. Superb design. Thank you!