Monday, March 10, 2008

Inhabitat: Green the Tower

For those who have not had the opportunity to visit the site Inhabitat - do so immediately. I have to remember to check it periodically to see what's new, as it had been until recently devoid of RSS feed (and one million thank you's for that finally). Due to my lax visitation, I often am bombarded with many great posts that encompass many of the themes on this site, green design, eco-planning, vegetated architecture and urban agriculture. Recently, I spent some quality time Inhabitat-ing the site and skimmed a crop of the wild to the the green to the just, plain, cool. A multi-part series of projects, the first focussed on towers... and wow, here they are:

“Rethinking Towers In The Park,” the Seoul Commune 2026 project by Mass Studies offers a wild program, quoted via Inhabitat as: " investigation into the viability of future sustainable community structures in dense metropolitan areas. The organically-shaped towers take the classic architectural idea of towers in the park, and literally turn the park into the towers themselves, offering a cheeky yet profoundly sustainable and forward-thinking solution to community development."

:: images via Inhabitat

Similar in scale, but much less refined and a bit more restrained in aesthetics is a the mixed-use tower in London, by firm Popularchitecture, a visionary project aimed at a structure that is: "...a full mile tall and housing over 100,000 people... a cool, uber-green concept. With 500 floors would contain schools and hospitals to shops and pubs, and everything else under the sun... At the center of the structure would be a ‘vast internal void’ lit by circular openings every 20 storys. Each of these ‘holes’ would be used as either public squares or for specialist activities such as ice skating, botanic gardens or swimming pools."

:: images via Inhabitat

There are no shortage of visionary 'wow-factor' towers in the world, and someone at Inhabitat definitely makes a point of finding these and bringing them out to the masses. The 'Pile of Boxes' in Tianjin is no exception, with staggered rooftop spaces as well as a slicing rooftop garden and glass lightwell at lower levels. Designed by Atkins Design, the design offers these: "... sky-gardens in rotating corners of the glass blocks. The gardens will 'light up the corners of each tower, creating an illusion of glowing lanterns rising up into the sky.' Each of the buildings will also be crowned with mesh-like blocks that house vertical wind-powered turbines to help supply electricity."

:: images via Inhabitat

Continuing the skys-the-limit view of greenery, it's a vision of an already built project with some green applique. If Norman Foster's Gherkin in London isn't already iconic enough, perhaps a good dose of greenery can even take it to the next level. Landscape the phallus, now that's veg.itecture!

Via Inhabitat testing has begun on: " innovative vegetated facade panel which promises to change the face of building design forever. This new “Green wall” product, known as the Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury panel, promises to bring the benefits of green roofs to any exterior surface of skyscraper... The panel works by obtaining moisture through the air and funneling through its specialized membrane properties allowing it to provide for enough water to allow for plant growth. The plants, mostly a mixture of lichens and grasses are expected to grow out of the panel and envelope the facade."

:: images via Inhabitat

Keep checking out Inhabitat for a wide range of green products, info, and projects - and check back here for future iterations of the some of the Vegetated Architecture in the back issues.

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