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These days, there are awards and competitions for everything. I mean, how else will we know what the best guacamole is without there being a contest to determine it and a ribbon to designate it as such? Apparently, they also give out awards to buildings, because towering structures of concrete have feelings too, and deserve to be validated. For the past 14 years, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has doled out an award for the best tall building in the world in what is no doubt the ceremony to end all ceremonies in Chicago. While I’m sure the past 13 winners were great ($100 if you can name one), this year’s winner commands your attention.

The Bosco Verticale (“Vertical Forest”) is a striking and mesmerizing set of two residential skyscrapers located in Milan, and the winner of 2015’s Best Tall Building award. And honestly, no matter how silly of an award it is, it’s hard to deny that a building this cool and unique shouldn’t be given some kind of shiny hardware and accolades. The two buildings, coming in at 361 feet and 249 feet respectively, are covered in more than 900 living trees and 2,000 plants, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase concrete jungle.

Designed by architect Stefano Boeri Architetti as a model for sustainable living in an urban environment, the buildings are described as examples of “metropolitan reforestation.” The concept of creating rooftop and vertical gardens on skyscrapers to encourage sustainability isn’t new by any means, but the Bosco Verticale applies these green elements to a high-rise residential building of a massive scale. This was enough to knock the CTBUH jury off the ledge, so to speak. In their press release after naming the building the best tall one in the entire world, they described Bosco Verticale as a groundbreaking achievement and wonder, noting the “extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height.”

All that greenery isn’t just decorative or pretty to look at. Though the buildings themselves look almost post-apocalyptic in nature, sprawling with vegetation as the concrete still stands long after man has been wiped from Earth, the technology and marvel behind them is quite environmentally sound. Who wouldn’t want to live in an urban concrete treehouse? With the success and acclaim of Bosco Verticale, Architetti’s firm plans to complete a similar vertical forest skyscraper in Lausanne, Switzerland by 2017. If the concept of these “living buildings” truly catches on, the faces of many of the world’s largest metropolises could start looking a lot greener.

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