Trudo Vertical Forest: social housing vertical forest
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Trudo Vertical Forest: the first social housing vertical forest is born

Located in Eindhoven, the 19-story tower has 135 trees and over 10,000 shrubs

Stefano Boeri Architetti

Trudo Vertical Forest: social housing vertical forest
By Editorial Staff -

Every vertical forest is unique and unrepeatable. The one in Eindhoven, the Trudo Vertical Forest, is the first to be designed and modeled for the needs of social housing. Created by Stefano Boeri Architetti in collaboration with partner and project director Francesca Cesa Bianchi, and inaugurated in late 2021, the project represented a challenge within a challenge – that is, the unique challenge associated with vertical forests, which the firm encountered with the one it created in Milan, and the challenge of designing a residential structure with affordable housing for less well-off families and young couples.

Inaugurated in 2014, the first vertical forest in Milan, the Bosco Verticale, was a huge experiment, a housing prototype for trees, nature, as well as people. But it was also an exploration of new ways of relating to each other and to other forms of life. On top of this, the Dutch project had the additional challenge of making the concept suitable for social housing and removing any accessibility barriers.

To read more about how this symbiosis between architecture and nature came about in Milan’s Bosco Verticale, read an extract from the article published in THE PLAN 85.

Trudo Vertical Forest, Stefano Boeri Architetti; ©Paolo Rosselli, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

“Living in contact with trees and greenery, and enjoying their advantages, isn’t just a prerogative of the rich, but can become a feasible choice for millions of people around the world,” says architect Stefano Boeri. Achieving this objective involves a number of particular architectural choices to optimize consumption and costs: “Thanks to the use of prefabrication, the rationalization of some technical aspects of façade construction, and therefore the optimization of resources,” adds Francesca Cesa Bianchi, “the Trudo Vertical Forest achieves economic sustainability, which is essential in buildings intended for social housing.”

 

Structural features

Trudo Vertical Forest, Stefano Boeri Architetti; ©Paolo Rosselli, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

The Trudo Vertical Forest is a 19-story, 230-foot (70 m) residential tower with 125 rent-controlled apartments. At around 540 square feet (50 m2), the dwellings themselves are quite small but each has a balcony that measures over 43 square feet (4 m2). The purpose of the balconies, and therefore the building as a whole, is to host a natural micro-environment of trees and shrubs. In total, the four sides of the tower are planted with 135 trees and over 10,000 shrubs and plants.

The landscape design was the work of Studio Laura Gatti. Gatti is an agronomist who was previously involved in the construction of Milan’s Bosco Verticale. In Eindhoven, the work was performed in close collaboration with the DuPrè Groenprojecten studio in Helmond and the Van den Berk nursery in Sint-Oedenrode. With a view to rationalizing costs, the maintenance of the entire complex, including services, is entrusted to the community of residents and is managed by the client, Sint Trudo. The gardeners who look after the plants at high levels are a specialized team of arborists-climbers dubbed “flying gardeners.”

 

The advantages of the vertical forest

Trudo Vertical Forest, Stefano Boeri Architetti; ©Paolo Rosselli, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

With the Trudo Vertical Forest, a new green habitat has been created within the urban environment of Eindhoven, adding new biodiversity with a true ecosystem formed by the coexistence of over 70 different plant species. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the creation of a green buffer for the city that can absorb some of the fine dust and CO2 from the air, produce oxygen, and reduce noise pollution. The filter created by the vegetation is also an important means of reducing energy consumption, with the plants reducing thermal excursion between the inside and outside and, in summer, keeping the façades cooler.

 

Rationalizing costs

Trudo Vertical Forest, Stefano Boeri Architetti; ©Paolo Rosselli, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

As mentioned, rationalizing and reducing costs were essential elements for making a vertical forest compatible with the requirements of social housing. Fundamental in this regard were the experience gained by the studio with the Bosco Verticale in Milan as well as combining some of the latest generation construction technologies, including prefabricating of the main section of the building. The project includes four 5300 gallon (20,000 l) rainwater collection tanks.

The apartments were allocated on the basis of necessity and a lottery. All the apartments are rent-controlled, with 30 apartments intended for disadvantaged people, including asylum seekers, political refugees, and people with disabilities.

A few months ago, the first vertical forest in China was brought to life. Read more here.

Credits

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Architect: Stefano Boeri Architetti
Partner and project director: Francesca Cesa Bianchi
Facades landscape design: Studio Laura Gatti
Client: Sint Trudo
Photography by Paolo Rosselli, courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

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