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Epic Urban Treehouse Offers Glimpse Into Future Living

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Did you ever dream of living in a treehouse when you were young? Well, the residents of 25 Verde in Turin, Italy are living out the ultimate childhood fantasy in a breathtaking eco-friendly building enclosed within hundreds of trees.

Hundreds of trees and shrubs surround 25 Verde in Turin, Italy, creating a "perfect microclimate" inside the building, architect Luciano Pia said. Photo Credit: Beppe Giardino

Designed by architect Luciano Pia, the five-story structure is held up by rust-colored metal beams made to look like tree trunks and branches. Potted trees and shrubs of various leaves, colors and flowering are placed on terraces and inside the building to provide shade and reduce noise pollution. There are 150 trees surrounding the building and on the roof and 50 more trees in the courtyard.

As the architect puts it, the building is alive, grows and changes with the seasons. "When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house," he wrote on his website. "You can dream of a house or live in a dream!"

Deciduous varieties of flora were chosen to filter out the hot summer sun and to allow light to break into the units during winter as the leaves fall from the trees. Like an urban forest, the abundant foliage apparently sucks in 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour, a welcome reprieve from the city's notorious pollution.

As noted by a local English publication, Turin is one of the most polluted cities within the European Union due to a number of factors including the high concentration of industrial plants, and how it's situated in the Po Valley, which traps pollution.

The building has several green features. Pia wrote that "one of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency, and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green."

There are a total of 63 residential units in the building. The upper floors have views of a park and the Po river, and the top floor apartments are covered by private green roofs. According to the New York Times, two-thirds of the apartments were sold before construction completed in 2012 at €6,500 per square meter.

The northern Italian city was the site of the 2006 winter olympics and is home to carmaker Fiat. The building sits on some of the auto company's former offices at the address Via Gabriele Chiabrera, 25, 10126 Torino, Italy. Check out the Google street view and wander around the area, but first check out these cool images:

A living, growing building. Deciduous foliage blocks the summer sun and lets in light in the winter as the leaves fall. Photo Credit: Beppe Giardino

There are potted trees and shrubs of various leaves, colors and flowering throughout the building. Photo Credit: Beppe Giardino

There are 50 trees planted in the court garden. Photo Credit: Beppe Giardino

Photo Credit: Luciano Pia

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