Saturday, February 2, 2008

Veg.itecture: Small(er)-Scale

This Swiss RE Office Building by BRT Arkitekten in Germany (the same company that formerly owned Foster's Gherkin Building in London) featured on this weeks eye candy... the building dates from 2001, but is stunning with an vegetated extension of the facade created via climbing vines and screen panels. I love the way there is variation in the complexity and thickness of the vegetation. I imagine when the building was designed, these screens offered consistent translucent vegetative panels wrapped around it (anyone have old pics?). In reality, the tracery of vegetation along supports and up into screens provides much a more graceful counterpoint to the facade. As more of these projects become built, it will be interesting to see the difference between representation and reality (good, bad, and surprising).

:: images via BRT Arkitekten

A similar notion is a rendering from Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire with a simple panel trellis and greenery winding up the larger building volume - and the signature tufted grasses on the rooftop (is that Calamagrostis?) As a huge fan of MK, and hopeful one-day owner of a fab-pre-fab of my very own, I enjoy the role landscape plays in the drawings - modern but less sparse than a typical modern 'garden' from the pages of Dwell.

:: image via Jetson Green

A completely different concept and scale include the vegetation of objects, from the kitschy and cool, to the cozy. Working on small-scale green roofs a few years back, we talked about a couple of ideas, the eco-woof, (vegetated doghouse) and the eco-coop (keep the chickens warm and green). While designs were never realized, i've seen a few versions of these over the years, and it's just a nice, simple idea. These kitschy and artistic versions come via Sustainable Pet Design, by Conway grad Stephanie Rubin.

:: image via Sustainable Pet Design

From the Maison & Objet show in Paris, via MoCo Loco. I know this post is about chairs, but really can you even focus on the chair with the incredibly cool large vegetated wall looming behind you. I think not.

:: image via MoCo Loco

Finally, getting to chairs of a different texture, Mindscape from Japan offers a line of vegetated "Peddy" furniture, blurring the line between site and site furnishings. I'd say kitschy, cool, and cozy just starts to describe these.

:: image via Treehugger

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