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New Italian Airport Has A Vineyard On Its Roof

They’re getting a new, larger, high-tech airport in Florence, Italy. And the innovations included in its design go way beyond the usual. There will be a fully functional vineyard on its eco-friendly roof!

Florence Airport Concept - © 2024 - Rafael Viñoly ArchitectsArchtect’s Concept: An AI-assisted illustration of the new Florence Airport.
Clearly shows the large, fully functional vineyard on its eco-friendly roof.

Brave new agriculture?

It’s a statement by the City of Florence, in partnership with the national aviation regulating agency. The idea is to mark the city’s commitment to a sustainable future, and celebrate its ancient and noble heritage as the seat a major wine producing region.

“The concept of the building is to recreate the most quintessential Tuscan landscape, which is the vineyard — and then to peel one end of the vineyard up from the floor to create a slope, and slide an airport underneath that slope,” says Román Viñoly, director of Rafael Viñoly Architects, which designed the complex.


The vineyard will display an almost 100 percent dark green surface to the sky. That will absorb heat in the winter and radiate excess heat from the airport terminal in summer. A network of pipes and pumps will operate the ‘overhead geothermal’ system automatically.

The layer of soil in which the vines grow will also insulate the building to minimise seasonal temperature fluctuations.

And there is also a large area of solar panels that will generate electricity to reduce energy usage from outside sources throughout the day.

My take

What a great idea! Albeit an expensive one to undertake. On the other hand, the solar panels and the heating/cooling system will deliver significant energy savings over time.

However you view it – as a curiosity or a bold statement about sustainability – it’s a powerful demonstration of how we’ll have to integrate buildings and agriculture, architecturally, in the future, to survive.

~ Maggie J.