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Climb Your Way Into This Luxury Treehouse: Sometimes The Grass Is Greener Right Where You Are

By James L. Knobloch August 19, 2016

First things first—this is not your childhood, backyard, “He-Man Woman-Haters Club” treehouse.

In fact, “treehouse” doesn’t really do it justice. Merrian-Webster defines a treehouse as “a small house that is built among the branches of a tree for children to play in.” But this treehouse, named 25 Verde, is a 63-unit, five-story, carbon dioxide-guzzling nature-lover’s fantasy.

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Conceived in 2007 and completed in 2012, 25 Verde is 80,000+ square feet of arguably one of the most unique buildings in the world. The mastermind behind this Turin, Italy-based arboreal abode is architect Luciano Pia. Pia, unsurprisingly, is known for how he “pays particular attention to the distinctive features of the context but he also carries out new building plans to improve energetic efficiency and minimize the impact on the environment.” His personal design rules include “Inside/Outside” (the inside/outside relationship must become the dominant element) and “Green” (aiming for a more three-dimensional green; less designed, more “natural”).

Environmentally friendly design is Pia’s thing, and one look at 25 Verde will have you grateful for it. Remaining true to its address, this building is green—very green. Like, “50 trees in the courtyard and another 150 trees on its terrace” green.

From maple to bamboo, foliage bursts from every surface of the whimsical concrete and steel structure. That steel, mind you, is COR-TEN, or weathering steel, which is known for its rusty, bark-like appearance. And in case that was still too subtle, it’s even been constructed to resemble tree trunks and branches, emerging from the ground in “trunks.”

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Moving in from the greenery-laden steel exoskeleton, the units themselves are getting in on the nature theme, too. The whole place is clad in larch wood shingles—more than one million of them. True to Pia’s “Inside/Outside” philosophy, nearly all the 63 units have two private, irregular-shaped terraces—one towards the street and another facing inward to the Eden-like courtyard.

Lest you think it’s all for show, 25 Verde is a stunning example of form meeting function. Those 200+ trees? They’ve been planted with great intention, blocking sunlight in the summer months and increasing exposure during the winter months, which helps with cooling and heating costs. Nourished with rainwater collected by the building, the flora-fest results in reduced noise and increased air quality for residents—the trees of 25 Verde can absorb over 52,000 gallons of carbon dioxide and create roughly 40,000 gallons of oxygen in just one hour.

James L. Knobloch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James L. Knobloch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James L. Knobloch

A creative professional with a sharp tongue and a big smile, taking on city living one slightly-veiled sarcastic comment at a time. Born and raised just outside of New Orleans, James is a living testament to his own mantra, “Southern hospitality is a privilege, not a right,” giving his work a unique, dry humor meets charm perspective.

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