Bringing nature quite literally into the skyline of Turin, Italy, this remarkable tree-covered 63-unit apartment building is more than just an urban escape straight out of a Rainforest Cafe fever dream. In fact, it was designed in a very specific manner to efficiently protect residents from both outside noise and air pollution.
Known as 25 Green, the five-story building is bedecked with 150 shrubs and trees, each nestled into giant vases set upon the units' terraces. The unique setup not only helps to muffle the bustle from the city below, but also cuts down on the surrounding air pollution by absorbing heaps of carbon dioxide.
Along with the greenery, large sculptural leafless "branches" are a part of the facade, creating the illusion the entire structure is one giant, mega-awesome treehouse.
Additionally, the surrounding shell of deciduous plant life creates a microclimate inside the building, helping control the rapid rise and falls of temperatures during summer and winter. Plus, the flourishing of the ecosystem is not dependent upon its weakest, most black-thumbed resident thanks to a special geothermal energy system which pumps falling rain back toward each set of roots.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He sheds his leaves every year in early October.