The urban treehouse is whimsical, functional, and environmental.
Turin, Italy is the center of business and the automobile industry in the country and is one of the last places you would expect to see any sort of residence paying serious homage to the beautiful nature that can be found elsewhere in Italy, but that’s exactly what architect Luciano Pia created with 25 Verde. The apartment complex is enviable with its urban treehouse design in what used to be an industrial part of Turin.
The complex utilizes 150 trees in its outer design as well as countless other plants to add to the overall greenery of the exterior, which closely resembles an immense village of treehouses. As an added bonus, the natural elements of the exterior reduce the air and noise pollution traveling in from the bustling city. With the car manufacturer FIAT operating nearby, it’s the perfect place for the plant life to absorb 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide every hour.
Though the complex boasts views of the Alps and surrounding hills, Pia has described the place as “introverted” because of the beautiful inner workings of the design. The courtyard features a garden that is teeming with life and the ponds appear to be a make-shift oasis in the middle of the city. With huge potted plants and seasonal trees to enjoy, residents are able to get the best of both worlds even when they’re indoors.
Pia described the design as a “flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable.”
The plants themselves are sustained by collected rainwater and are positioned according to their solar requirements. From maple shrubs to bamboo to elms, a variety of plants are cared for and their needs were taken into account when deciding their placement.
This isn’t Pia’s first attempt at melding indoor and outdoor spaces as he has other great works behind him like Casa Hollywood, the Royal Gardens, and the University of Turin’s Molecular Biotechnology Center, all of which feature glass walls and tons of trees.
More buildings like these would serve urban communities well as industrialism grows and people distance themselves more and more from natural spaces. Studies show that being near trees is actually healthy for humans, so to be able to live among them while living in the heart of a city would be a treat for all who find themselves so lucky.
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