Skyscrapers kindle people’s imagination and help them climb to the sky, wake up 100 above the ground and marvel at distant horizons while having a lovely cup of coffee in the morning. Even though the biblical Babel tower was supposed to prove the point that going up is against all laws, human curiosity was a trigger that caused beautiful, towering structures to be erected, which rather than creating a concrete jungle effectively contribute to implementation of environmentally friendly solutions at the hearts of megacities. ZŁOTA 44 stands among those many skyscrapers that employ green technologies and remain close to nature.
One of such buildings is the Bank of America Tower. It is 366 metres tall and entered service in 2009, immediately gaining a reputation as a green enclave. One of its spires is in fact a wind turbine that generates electricity for the building. Its modern ventilation systems are highly ergonomic. Like in the case of the Hearst Tower, the building is made largely of recycled and recyclable materials. A garden was created on top of the building, where honeybee hives were installed.
Not one, but three wind turbines (225 kW each) were put in place at the Bahrain World, a skyscraper located in the capital city of Bahrain. Wind currents in the Persian Gulf make it very convenient to generate energy in this way, and the towers are shaped specifically to optimise this process. Bahrain World’s roof was covered with a layer of gravel to prevent overheating and to minimise the impact of ultraviolet radiation. The building’s sewage system was equipped with special sensors to prevent excessive water circulation.
However, the prime example of a green building is the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest): a pair of residential towers in Milan, designed by Stefano Boeri. To ensure that residents stay in touch with nature, the architect placed nearly 17 thousand plants on the facade, including trees, shrubs and perennials. In this way, when looking out of the window or staying on a terrace, the residents may feel like they are in the middle of a forest full of scents.
In Warsaw, the building that serves as evidence that ecology is given a serious treatment is ZŁOTA 44. The residential tower is a true work of engineering art: thanks to its innovative, environmentally friendly technologies, energy usage and emission of harmful substances are reduced to the minimum. By using triple pane windows, the building absorbs far less heat than similar structures, and its special filtration station supplies fresh air to the apartments. To embody the idea of sustainable construction, two docking stations for electric cars were installed in the garages at ZŁOTA 44. However, the most evident feature that demonstrates the building’s closeness to nature is its huge terrace on the eighth floor with its several hundred plants, including the silver willow, Eulalia grass or Japanese fountain grass. The presence of so many plants helps reduce carbon emissions and creates a pleasant green oasis in the middle of the city.
Even though contemporary construction connotes modernity, industrialisation and departure from nature, and despite the relentless trend to make buildings rise higher and higher, recently architects have been increasingly often seeking inspiration in the natural world, promoting the idea of ecologically friendly building.