Winner of a competition for urban innovations, the architect Carlo Ratti will plant vines and hydroponic crops in Vitae, a new high-tech building.
Director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT, founder of a successful architecture firm, urban planner and creator of start-ups… Carlo Ratti keeps reinventing our cities with his genius. One of his latest projects, Vitae, won the Reinventing Cities competition organised by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Home to a restaurant serving local food, a hotel, high-tech offices and laboratories for oncology researchers, this huge 10,000m2 building will be one of Milan’s new architectural attractions.
In particular because it hides a multitude of ingenuous elements. The building envelope can for example adapt to exposure to the sun, ensuring the right balance between brightness and shadow. The top floors will be a wooden structure to further reduce energy consumption. But the most amazing is probably found outside this post-industrial building, in the choice of its vegetation.
Stroll through the greenery
The Italian architect and urban planner has decided to add a 200-metre promenade along the facade of the building. Visitors will be able to walk from the ground to the roof through…vineyards. As well as a series of terraces and hydroponic crops.
Finding a balance between urbanisation and natural areas is a challenge for metropolises, observes Carlo Ratti . “We are witnessing a boom in urban agriculture, as advances in hydroponic and aeroponic growing techniques make it easier to grow vegetables in confined spaces“, he says. Although cities will never replace rural areas as the main source of global nutrition, a higher percentage of food can be grown in urban areas.” The construction of Vitae will begin at the end of the year. And this is already, in itself, the promise of a better world.