Sunday, December 14, 2008

Architectural Sub-Genre?

My daily email of clipping from Arch News Now made me do a double take when I scanned the word Vegitecture in the title of a post by Dan Stewart on Building blogs 'Drawn State' entitled 'Vegitecture - whose idea was it, anyway?'


:: EDITT Tower, Ken Yeang - image via Drawn State

From Drawn State: "I was at a Movers’n’Shakers breakfast this morning and happened to bump into someone from Llewellyn Davies Yeang. I had just seen this image of Daniel Libeskind’s latest tower in New York, and said I thought it bore a remarkable resemblance to Ken Yeang’s various “vegitecture” buildings. Vegitecture is essentially the use of organic materials as an element of construction. It has mainly manifested itself over here as sedum walls, but the idea goes further – looking at how rainwater can be harvested and air purified using natural means. Yeang, who has been lecturing on the concept for years, has even suggested the concept of a “vertical farm” where tenants grow their own fruit and vegetables on the walls and roofs. Back to the Libeskind similarity. It turns out some at LDY have thought exactly the same thing as me, with e-mails flying back and forth remarking on the resemblance. However my source assured me the practice was flattered at the resemblance, rather than concerned about plagiarism. Vegitecture has now become an architectural sub-genre - US superarchitect Perkins + Will have also jumped on the veggie bandwagon. Who is to say, now that Libeskind has joined suit, that some of his fellow starchitects might not do the same thing?"

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: Madison Square Park Tower, Daniel Libeskind - image via Drawn State

I do like the reference to architectural sub-genre of veg.itecture... and as far as a chronology of true Vegitecture, obviously Yeang is an early pioneer - not just as an aesthetic endeavor but in truly combining landscape and architecture for improving and substituting building systems. It's heartening to see the crowd following and learning and mimicking these (and improving on them) - and these pages at L+U suggest that the sub-genre is alive and well. Lo and behold, another reference on Web Urbanist with a snippet of Vegitecture Sustainable Community Design - featuring mostly the the work of Ken Yeang.

Via WebUrbanist: "What if architects thought of ‘green’ as a building material, an integral material to be thought of throughout the design process or even as the basis for it? This visionary community design wraps green into every layer, aspect and dimension of the design to the point where sustainability runs through the final project like an endless mobius strip, completely interwoven with the rest of the architecture on the site."


:: images via WebUrbanist

A quick google search shows that the term is starting to creep into the subconscious of the architectural lexicon and become the domain of architects and landscape architects... Which to me, is amazing. Remember, unless you happen to be Michael Sorkin, you know where you heard it first. Guess it's time for that trademarking :)

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