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A Masterpiece Called Home

A spectacular address for those who have an eye for art and are looking to add to their private collection. Immersive art has a unique way of speaking to you and First Fleet Corporate Centre and Residences, embody this sentiment fully. The lighting, textures, material, and space all work together to provide homeowners with a soothing ambience that not only reflects international appeal, but also The Philippines' rich culture.

Concept Video

A Bold Vision

The interiors of the property embrace an aesthetic of refined sensibilities. Every corner connotes a different mood, yet all are fused together to make the First Fleet Corporate Centre and Residences, a space that houses endless possibilities.


A Sanctuary of Sophistication

A uniquely private space for relaxing and entertaining surrounded by supple elegance. Decorative details are thoughtfully assembled to curate a refined, textured environment. These nuances of design also serve to bring the sea and the century-old tree's, like the rare and endangered Apitong species of tree to the forefront, nature's consummate work of art, framed by the expansive windows in every Residence.


Corporate Centre and Residences

The source of inspiration is the previously funded residential towers, 'il Bosco Verticale' by Hines (now COIMA sgr) which suits The Philippines ecosystem, it's weather and availability of technology. Italian Architect, Stefano Boeri was commissioned for the work in greening Milan and thus transformed its skyline.


The concept of a "garden within the city" is taken to heart in the rapid urbanisation of Cebu City, losing much of its dense tropical canopies, tree-lined streets and avenues for the heat-sink concrete today that mar its image of days past with verdant foliages of mango trees and acacia's dark distinct trunks that provided shade in the tropical sun. The idea is to marry the internal and external concepts for a unique work and residential environment.

Architects: Boeri Studio

Year: 2014


Project Area: 29 300 mq; GFA: 18,200 sqm; H: 112 and 80 m

Photographs: Paolo Rosselli, Laura Cionci

Manufacturers: ECLISSE, AGB, Campolonghi, Cotto d'Este, Kone, Vimar, proMesh, CYMISA

Interior Design: Coima Image s.r.l, Antonio Citterio & Partners

Main Contractor: Colombo Costruzioni S.p.A.

Products used in this Project:

Hinged Door Frames - ECLISSE Syntesis® Collection

Vertical Forest Landscape Design: Emanuela Borio, Laura Gatti

Aesthetic Supervision Of Works: Hines Italia, Gianni Bertoldi, Francesco de Felice, Alessandro Agosti, Andrea Casetto, Matteo Colognese, Angela Parrozzani, Stefano Onnis, Davor Popovic

Schematic Design And Pii: Frederic de Smet, Daniele Barillari, Marco Brega, Julien Boitard, Matilde Cassani, Andrea Casetto, Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Inge Lengwenus, Corrado Longa, Eleanna Kotsikou, Matteo Marzi, Emanuela Messina, Andrea Sellanes

Structures: Arup Italia s.r.l.


Facilities Design: Deerns Italia s.p.a.


Detailed Design: Tekne S.p.a.

Landscape Design: Land s.r.l.


Infrastructure Design: Alpina s.p.a.


Project & Construction Management: Hines Italia s.r.l.


Time & Tender Management: J&A Consultants s.r.l.


General Contractor: ZH General Construction Company S.p.A.


Architects In Charge: Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra

City: Milan

Country: Italy

Corporate and Residences


Information of the project and specifications is provided by the architects at Boeri Studio. The first example of a ‘Vertical Forest’ (il Bosco Verticale) was inaugurated in October 2014 in Milan in the Porta Nuova Isola area, as part of a wider renovation project led by Hines Italia. Milan’s Vertical Forest consists of two towers of 80 and 112 metres, hosting 480 large and medium trees, 300 small trees, 11,000 perennial and covering plants and 5,000 shrubs. The equivalent--over an urban surface of 1,500 sqm--of 20,000 sqm of forest and undergrowth.

Vertical Forest

The Vertical Forest

The Vertical Forest is an architectural concept which replaces traditional materials on urban surfaces using the changing polychromy of leaves for its walls. The biological architect relies on a screen of vegetation, needing to create a suitable microclimate and filter sunlight, and rejecting the narrow technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability. Its aesthetic and purpose also serves to minimise air pollution and noise.

Biological Habitats

Biological Habitats

The Vertical Forest increases biodiversity. It promotes the formation of an urban ecosystem where various plant types create a separate vertical environment, but which works within the existing network of the 1 hectare parcel of land in Dickson Electric City, able to be inhabited by topical birds and insects (with an initial estimate of 1,600 specimens of birds and butterflies in the Milan site). In this way, it constitutes a spontaneous factor for repopulating the city’s dwindling flora and fauna.



The Vertical Forest helps to build a microclimate and to filter fine particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of plants helps to develop the microclimate which produces a cooling effect as well as humidity in the dry months from February to May, absorbs CO2 and particles, produces oxygen, and protects against solar radiation and noise pollution.



The Vertical Forest is an anti-sprawl method which helps to control and reduce urban expansion. In terms of urban density, each tower constitutes the equivalent of a peripheral area of single family houses and buildings of around 50,000 sqm.

Changing Facade

Changing Façades

The Vertical Forest is an ever-evolving landmark of the city, whose colours change depending on the season and the different natures of the plants used. This offers Cebu’s population an ever-changing view of the city.



As part of the 'Deed of Restrictions,' the management of the basins where the plants grow is the responsibility of the condominium management, as is the maintenance and replacement of all vegetation and the number of plants established for each basin.


Hydration and Irrigation System

Following micro-meteorological studies in Milan, the calculation of irrigation requirements was carried out by examining climatic characteristics and was diversified depending on the exposure of each façade and the distribution of vegetation on each floor. This too, is to be adopted for Cebu's climate.

Existing Prototype

The Proof of Concept

The Vertical Forest is the prototype building for a new format of architectural biodiversity which focuses not only on human beings but also on the relationship between humans and other living species. The first example, built in Milan in the Porta Nuova area, consists of two towers that are respectively 80 and 112 metres high, housing a total of 800 trees (480 first and second stage trees, 300 smaller ones, 15,000 perennials and/or ground covering plants and 5,000 shrubs, providing an amount of vegetation equivalent to 30,000 square metres of woodland and undergrowth, concentrated on 3,000 square metres of urban surface.The project is also a device for limiting the sprawl of cities brought about through a quest for greenery (each tower is equivalent to about 50,000 square metres of single-family houses).


Unlike “mineral” facades in glass or stone, the plant-based shield does not reflect or magnify the sun’s rays but filters them thereby creating a welcoming internal microclimate without harmful effects on the environment. At the same time, the green curtain “regulates” humidity, produces oxygen and absorbs CO2 and micro-particles of dust particulate, a combination of characteristics that have brought the Milan project a number of important awards, including the International Highrise Award from the Deutschen Architekturmuseums in Frankfurt (2014) and the CTBUH Award for the best tall building in the world from the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at Chicago’s IIT (2015).

DEC Concept

The Concept for Dickson Electric City

The concept behind the Vertical Forest envisaged for the Dickson Electric City site, "the garden within the city," that of being a “home for trees that also houses humans and birds,” defines not only the urban and technological characteristics of the project but also the architectural language and its expressive qualities. On a formal level, the towers are mainly characterised by large, staggered and overhanging balconies (each about three metres), designed to accommodate large external tubs for vegetation and to allow the growth of larger trees without hindrance, even over three floors of the building.


At the same time, the porcelain stoneware finish of the facades used in the Milan towers incorporates the typical brown colour of bark, evoking the image of a pair of gigantic trees in which to live and which are rich in literary and symbolic implications, adaptable to folklore stories in the Filipino psyche.


The contrast with a series of elements in white stoneware--the string-courses of the balconies and some modules on the front of the windowsills--introduces a syncopated rhythm in the composition which breaks up and “dematerialises” the visual compactness of the architectural bodies and amplifies the presence of the plants even more. More than just surfaces, the façades can be viewed as three-dimensional spaces not only because of the denseness and function of the green curtain but also in aesthetic-temporal terms, due to the multi-coloured cyclical and morphological changes in the size of the plants. In the case for Dickson Electric City--Jasmine (Champaca,) Ylang-Ylang and Gardenia (Rosal) and other tropical floral arrays can be strategically planted to perfume the Residences as well as the grounds.



The variations in colour and shapes of the plants produce a tremendous iridescent landmark in every season in Milan, and it is highly recognisable even at a distance. In just a few years this characteristic has resulted in the image of the Vertical Forest becoming a new symbol for the Milanese. In making this a reality in a tropical atmosphere is a different level of sophistication on the senses as well as visually and artistically. This principle of variation also acts in relation to the different treatments applied on the sides of the towers and the various floors, where the choice and distribution of the plants and trees reflects both aesthetic and functional criteria applied in order to adapt to the direction and heights of the facades.

Banawa Site

The Dickson Electric City Site

The development of the botanical component, the result of three years of studies conducted together with a group of botanists and ethologists, preceded the lifecycle of the building complex since it started in summer 2010 when the plants destined to be installed in the towers were in fact cultivated in a special botanical “nursery” set up at the Peverelli nursery and garden centre near Como in order to get them used to living in conditions similar to those found in their eventual homes. This method shall be adopted for the Dickson Electric City site, owing to trees and shrubs thrive at different levels notably in topical climate.



Observed on the existing towers in Milan: Rather than just a simple architectural object therefore, the presence of the plant component means that the Vertical Forest is more akin to a set of processes--partly natural, partly man-managed--that accompany the life and growth of the inhabited organism over time. Perhaps the most unique component of this highly developed system, now widespread in urban imagery, is that of the “Flying Gardeners," a specialised team of arborists-climbers who, using mountaineering techniques, descend from the roof of the buildings once a year to carry out pruning while checking the state of the plants in addition to their eventual removal or substitution.


All the maintenance and greening operations are in fact managed at the condominium level in order to maintain control of the anthropic-vegetal balance. Irrigation is also centralised: the needs of the plants are monitored by a digitally and remotely controlled installation while the necessary water is largely drawn from filtered effluent from the towers. All these solutions overcome the still essentially anthropocentric and technical concept of “sustainability” while moving in the direction of a new biological diversity. Notably, a few years after its construction, the Vertical Forest in Milan has given birth to a habitat colonised by numerous animal species (including about 1,600 specimens of birds and butterflies,) establishing an outpost of wonderful spontaneous flora and fauna recolonisation in the city which I would like to see replicated in this reclamation project.

You will, too.