Thursday, June 4, 2009

Avian Rooftops

I'm getting the feeling that Veg.itecture has turned a corner in both representation and concept. Aside from the mere amount of 'green' proposals being churned out in the guise of environmental and productive landscapes, the concepts continually provide more expansive ideas in theoretical underpinnings. This could be good, as it transitions beyond mere decorative or illustrative hijinx to real solutions or could spawn a plethora of new methods of upping the ante with rhetoric while still idling in the eventual execution. The recent designs (via World Architecture News) for the Biornis Aesthetope in NYC, by one of the better named firms BAM (Ballistic Architecture Machine) conjures up the duality of this proposal - perhaps tacking on the ideas illustrated in last years musings of PHREE Urbanism.

:: image via WAN

From WAN, the project contains a: "Structural latticework sculpted as a “meadow and tree” transforms a 70,000 sq ft rooftop covered with vents and ductwork into a park accessible only to birds and insects." Some further information on structure: "An undulating surface of structural mesh is filled with a matrix of material “plugs” including 85% organic soil, water pools, gravel, perforated metal, and glass. Infill materials are positioned according to structural loading conditions and the need to create a “refueling station” attractive to birds."

:: image via WAN

And some reason to believe this is more than just a pretty picture, as there is some sound science behind the idea. "By consulting Ornithologists at Harvard and Cornell Universities, BAM was able to research nutritional and spatial requirements for an avian meadow. Ornithologists selected target species from birds migrating along the Atlantic Coast Flyway. Offering shelter and structural complexity, the tree structure creates ideal nesting conditions for 12 species including diurnal raptors, songbirds, and owls."

:: image via WAN

The proof, however, will be to build it, and see if they will come (or flock rather) to this site...

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