Saturday, December 27, 2008

Veg.itecture #47

As we delve into this installment of Veg.itecture - it dawns on me that the current format of this feature may be ringing a little hollow and venturing into cliche after a year or so of it's existence. It is definitely a valuable viewpoint to push forward these projects and visions, and I've definitely tried to round out the dialogue with some of the practicalities involved in applying this flora to buildings in a variety of ways. But is there something more needed to increase the dialogue and informational aspects of vegetated architecture. I'm not sure if this will be possible due to the pragmatics and lack of information on projects, but perhaps a worth spinoff... so starting with Veg.itecture #50 (giving me some time to experiment with a process and format) - we shall adopt a more rigorous analysis of projects - versus the typical eye candy... any thoughts on this would be welcome.

For now, we shall move deftly into the projects - as it is an important element - if even to elicit discussion. This project by from Chile came via World Architecture Community provides some graphics of the Centro intercultural indigena, by Pablo Correa. The stepped forms allow for a delicate insertion into the surrounding site, as well as usable open spaces - particularly the fully accessible upper roof. The greenery is the typical lawn-like coverage which looks more like a soccer pitch than anything else.

:: images via World Architecture Community

And a similar quickie from eye candy features a verdant rooftop scene from nabil gholam architects of a building tucked into the woods...

:: image via eye candy

Herzog & de Meuron's BBVA Headquarters is one of those uber-provocative examples that needs some real analysis... but looks good on paper - or at least digitally.

:: images via Dezeen

And some snippets of architectural statement from HdM (via Dezeen): "We propose the creation of an artificial garden, an oasis, evolving from inside out—a place that establishes a balance between the natural environment and the buildings, and functions like a small city... A linear structure composed of three-story buildings, alleyways and irrigated gardens is laid over the entire site like a carpet that follows the topography. Analogous to an Arabian garden, a cool, moist, fresh microclimate is created. Each workspace has a “green view."

:: image via Inhabitat

A simpler entry, the Rock Row Townhouses, via Treehugger, offers some minimal vegetated terraces.

:: image via Treehugger

And a couple of images of the The Eco•Laboratory in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood by Weber Thompson, winner of the Natural Design Talent Competition at Greenbuild. (via Treehugger + Inhabitat)

:: images via Inhabitat

:: image via Treehugger

The concept of technology and nature has been subject to some recent dialogue, notably the idea of PHRWEE offered by urb... epitomized by this project by Harrison Pitt for the Flood Design Competition by Norwich Union, replete with a "...New Survivalist dream houses with water tanks, photovoltaics, terraces to grow and dry food, everything but a gun rack."

:: image via Treehugger

And an interesting subterranean project with a splash of greenery - directly addressing nature/culture, via Arch Daily. The Pionen, White mountain by Albert France-Lanord Architects is located 30 meters below Stockholm, Sweden. "The starting point of the project was to consider the rock as a living organism. The humans try to acclimate themselves to this foreign world and bring the ‘best’ elements from earth: light, plants, water and technology." What better spot for a green wall.

:: images via Arch Daily

This reminds me of a recent post on Land8Lounge by Lisa Town related to the Zurich, Switzerland airport's installations of interior greenery from around the world - sort of a large-scale terrarium and botanical garden for the weary traveler. Some images below:

:: images via Lisa Town/L8L

And check out the botanical labels - in this case Epipremnum aureum, a plant indigenous to the Salomon Islands of Malaysia... something Patrick Blanc probably knows pretty well... although we know it better as Pothos, a common houseplant.

:: image via Lisa Town/L8L

And a visual feast at Contemporist, featuring the large and beautiful portfolio of Green Fortune's Plantwall System (seen here at L+U). A couple of nice ones here:

:: images via Contemporist

And some interesting links, including an interview with Renzo Piano from Today Online - discussing amongst the California Academy of Sciences building, as well as some great quotes... a mashup of a few to chew on:

"Ecology can be a lovely source of inspiration and an enormous opportunity... Environmental constraints should not be seen as an assault on freedom. You find that the planet is vulnerable. Does this have to be a crisis? ... Architects should be able to interpret the changes of their times and live with their times ... Our duty is to translate the codes of this ecological language in a poetic way, to marry beauty with respect for the environment..."

Sounds like Veg.itecture to me...


  1. I really like your blog, very interesting ... I added you to my links, congratulations and good 2009

  2. happy new year sir. as always i am really pleased by the content of your blog....and i hope it will continue in the coming years as well.regarding the in depth analysis of certain would be nice if there is a scope to study the projects seasonally. as in if we can see how the building or landscape(existing/proposed,and specially because of its dynamic nature) affects the visual and spatial quality of the place throughout the year,in different seasons.since these aspects are not very well communicated on paper or digitally it will be nice to have such a practical analysis.
    thank you.

  3. Thanks Dana!
    Kushal... I agree that there is a lack of seasonality to the Veg.itecture projects. Partly this is due to a lack of available information - and partly a number of this projects are renderings which only show a static image.

    I am planning on doing more investigation of both the imagery and the actions of these projects - and will hopefully be able to provide more information on the specifics during a variety of seasons and conditions. As more projects are built, we can have more of a study set to inform this as well.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.