Monday, May 5, 2008

Veg.itecture #24

I decided to clean out the archives of great vegetated architecture - partly from necessity and partly spurred a special Architectural Element feature on Vertical Gardens from A Daily Dose of Architecture and by the recent coverage in the NY Times Design & Living 2008 special mag, featuring the likes of Ann Demeulemeester's vegetated Seoul store by Mass Studies, the work of living wall pioneer Patrick Blanc, and techno-saavy Mathieu Lehanneur (yes, all featured here before... and yes, it is a trend that seems to have staying power).

:: image via Inhabitat

And the writing from the NY Times adds a level of poetry. From the article, some quotes regarding Blanc: "I love the symbol and meaning of creating new laws of gravity for the earth." ...and Minsuk Cho (of Mass Studies) "These green walls also work as air fresheners... the moss in the project [is] the best way to produce oxygen." ...and of all the projects, via Paula Hayes "The vertical is a great way for urbanites to live... You can become monumental when you go up."

A zoomy new project via Inhabitat encompasses a range of strategies. A project Foster + Partners in Singapore skyline is "...pushing the green envelope from top to bottom in this sophisticated downtown design."

:: image via Inhabitat

This design offers some interesting forms, as well as a very informative design which captures sun, wind, and technologies to provide a integrated yet simple solution: "All facades will be fitted with solar cells and, to help control solar gain, direct sunlight will be filtered through ribbon-like canopies rising from the base of the entire complex to the exposed east and west elevations of the towers. ...The canopies will form vertical louvers at the elevations and provide more renewable on-site energy with integrated thin-film solar arrays. Vertical green spaces, and extensive sky gardens are also important components of the towers, further greening the whole structure with natural vegetation and ambient temperature moderation. ...The slanted facades are designed to catch the wind and direct it downwards for natural cooling of the ground floor spaces. A rainwater harvesting system, geothermal heating system, chilled beams and ceilings, and an ice storage system for cooling are further enhancements planned for the complex."

:: images via Inhabitat

The rooftop potential of usable sport field space is an upcoming future post, with some amazing imagery of an fantastic Aussie green building. These and another project from that is worthy of their own attention. In the meantime, a sampling of some less intense but equally interesting examples spanning a range of Veg.itecture Archetypes.

:: LA Mixed Use (Site Insertion) - image via WAN

:: Tower (Abstracted Natural Forms) - image via WAN

:: Green Roof Residences (Roof Greening) - image via WAN

:: Invisible House (Biomimicry) - image via The Design Blog

:: Orchid House (Biomimicry) - image via WAN

The above Orchid house recently sold (unbuilt) for almost $15 million... showing green building does have a big market cache. While the cost is palatable for the uber-riche for a single-family - there is the concept and shape that is worthy of a large price-tag has to walk the walk visually. An example, for instance, is BLDGBLOGs coverage of the 'Desert Getaway' or Destination Universitas on Lake Las Vegas... "The site will then be nothing less than the place "where the most powerful men and women on the planet can get away from it all with a combination of reading, contemplation and even a spot of gardening."

:: image via BLDGBLOG

And speaking of outrageous costs (oh I just can't stop), we mentioned the ASLA Headquarters Green Roof previously but the most valuable thing to come from the project is the book Green Roof - A Case Study by Christian Werthmann, which provides the most comprehensive overview of a single rooftop project I've seen. And due to the growing but still slim library of green roof literature, this is an great addition.

:: ASLA Headquarters Green Roof - image via Architecture.MNP

And why not finish with a little more whimsy, via Dwell, and set of refridgerator magnets from Dutch designer Richard Hutten which, to quote Dwell "...could be used to shrub up your kitchen or garage, provided you have exposed metal surfaces."

:: images via Dwell

Looks much more affordable too...

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