Sunday, 10 August 2014


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Forested Facades: 13 Buildings Bringing Greenery to the City
By Steph,
Web Urbanist, 6 August 2014.

Why stop at parks when we could make cities lusher and greener by integrating thousands of plants right into the facades of urban buildings? Vertical greenery improves air quality, shades the buildings, adds privacy and creates habitats for native birds and insects. These 13 examples include a parking garage, private residences, retail spaces and the world’s tallest vertical garden.

1. Vo Trong Nghia House Renovation

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This house renovation by Vo Trong Nghia Architects created an example of how greenery can be incorporated back into urban Vietnam.

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It incorporates a galvanized steel screen that acts as a trellis for climbing plants, enhancing privacy and security while also filtering air and sunlight.

2. Stacking Green by Vo Trong Nghia

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This home - the Stacking Green - illustrates another approach by the same architecture firm, Vo Trong Nghia.

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It uses 12 layers of concrete planters to create a vertical garden around a tall and narrow home that’s 65 feet deep but only 13 feet wide. Staggered spaces between the layers offer room for different heights of plants.

3 & 4. Bosco Verticale: Twin Green Towers

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Nearly 1,000 trees, 5,000 shrubs and over 10,000 other small plants have been added to the city of Milan in these two urban towers alone.

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The twin towers of the Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri were designed to meet all of the needs of a heavy load of plants, including irrigation, root systems and weight. The greenery brightens up the city, provides shade and cleaner air for residents, and offers habitats for regional birds and insects.

5. Biological Concrete Absorbs Water & Grows Moss

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Building materials could be made with the growth of greenery in mind, making a layer of moss or ivy on the exterior a natural part of the structure rather than a potential problem.

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Scientists at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona are developing a ‘biological concrete‘ that captures rainwater to create living walls of moss and fungi.

6. Green Cast by Kengo Kuma

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Kengo Kuma and Associates created a patchwork aluminium facade with spaces for plants to grow for a pharmacy and clinic in Japan.

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Ventilation shafts and rainwater downpipes are concealed within the panels to keep the plants healthy.

7. The Nest by a21 Studio

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A gridded metal facade of varying types of mesh and panels updates a home in Vietnam by a21studio, acting as a support for climbing plants.

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The screen gives the home a sense of privacy and creates small greenery-filled outdoor spaces between the home itself and the world beyond.

8. Greenery-Covered Parking Garage

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Eyesore parking garages that occupy large chunks of urban space for a single purpose could be a thing of the past if the Park n’ Play concept by JAJA Architects ever catches on.

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Developed for Copenhagen, the design features a plant-covered facade that hides cars from view, and external staircases leading to a landscaped rooftop park open to the public.

9. Firma Casa: A Shop Covered in Thousands of Vases

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Thousands of angular vases filled with covered plants cover the two-story facade of the Firma Casa furniture showroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mounted to a wire grid that wraps the building, the faceted containers hold 9,000 seedlings of the plant known as Espada-de-Sao-Jorge, also known as Snake Plant.

10. Tour Vegetale de Nantes

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Stainless steel tubes integrated into a mesh balcony system will play host to plants that have adapted to thrive in rocky crevices at the Tour Vegetale de Nantes, a skyscraper design by architect Edouard Francois. The tube system and specialized plant choice minimizes maintenance and prevents the plants from entirely blocking views from the inside. Planned for the French city of Nantes, the mixed-use building will contain shops, offices and housing.

11. World’s Tallest Vertical Garden

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190 native Australian and 160 exotic plant species chosen by botanist Patrick Blanc will be integrated into Jean Nouvel’s One Central Park residential tower in Sydney, set to be the world’s tallest vertical garden.

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The idea is to extend the greenery from the adjacent park onto the building, which consists of two adjoining residential towers housing 624 apartments.

12. Vertical Living Gallery

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Panes of glass alternate with complimentary panes of plants in this joint project by architects Sansiri and landscape architects Shma in Bangkok.

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The resulting chequered pattern gives the Vertical Living Gallery a distinctive look.

13. House on the Outskirts of Brussels

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A house on the edge of Brussels is almost entirely obscured by plants on three sides and its roof, bringing a little bit of the forest into the city. Designed by Samyn and Partners, the curving four-story home has a water-tight envelope that’s made to provide all the support and care the plants need.

Top image: Bosco Verticale. Photography by Daniele Zacchi via Dezeen.

[Source: Web Urbanist. Edited. Some links added.]

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