25 Green by Luciano Pia, the Building that Breathes and Grows

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Inspired by the concept of a space that creates transition between the exterior and interior, architect Luciano Pia sort the brilliance of nature. The design had a goal of achieving sustainability and to the architect perhaps there was no better way of demonstrating this than using real vegetation intertwined in dry timber to create a Gothic and foresty experience. Located in Torino, Italy, 25 Green is an urban treehouse in a street where it clearly seeks to disrupt the conventional design of residential building.

The building’s structure is inspired by the strength of trees and how they literally hold everything in the world together. The architect was led to design a steel structure with columns shaped like tree trunks. 63 residential units are thrown into a forest of some kind. Occasionally, the dry timber walls cut the flow of the green foliage. The whole mix is a strong message that nature can indeed coexist with industry.

All the residential homes in the project have irregularly designed terraces either overlooking the town beyond or the inner courtyard which has 50 trees planted in it. A total of 150 trees are spread out on various terraces inside randomly-sized pots. The trees depict a living building that produces oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide reduces air pollution and cuts down on noise from the streets.

It is expected that once the trees fully mature in the years to come, the building will have its own micro-climate; an effort towards championing for sustainability. With matured trees, the residents will have the feel of living in a treehouse in the forest.

The project integrates other sustainability features like the ability to harvest rainwater and harness geothermal power using heat pumps. The rainwater will be used to water the plants. From the street level, entering the building feels like a transition from a man-made environment into a forest ushered in by tree-trunk-like columns.

Discover another architectural gem the Undulating Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects, an industrial and commercial center in China.

Project Information

Architects: Luciano Pia
Location: Torino, Italy
Area: 7,500 sq.m
Photography: Beppe Giardino

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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