5.30.2008

Environmental ARchiTecture

Green Oasis : laser-cut steel and living plants : Meesters & Marije Van der Park : 2006


Green Oasis : laser-cut steel and living plants : Meesters & Marije Van der Park : 2006



Green Oasis : laser-cut steel and living plants : Meesters & Marije Van der Park : 2006



Green Oasis : laser-cut steel and living plants : Meesters & Marije Van der Park : 2006


These works are more architecture than art by formal definition, but I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to things that blur the lines between art and other things when compiling work for Wunderkammer. Somehow, these works that enter our public spaces or derive from more comfortable familiar forms can come at us a bit perpendicularly, not being obviously message oriented works --- and perhaps are therefore more easily able to get under our skin.

From marijevanderpark.nl:


Design studio Meesters & Van der Park seeks inspiration from nature and technique resulting in Green Oasis, a summer house in the shape of an excavator, covered with climbing plants."The city changes through a continuous process of demolition and rebuilding. Nature comes second almost every time."

With Green Oasis, Meesters & Van der Park re-introduce nature to the city in a functional way. For the design, the agency was inspired by technique as well as nature: the shape of the excavator embodies technique, while the growing climbing plants represent the force of nature. The result is a summer house in the shape of a life-sized excavator, covered with green climbing plants. It is literally a green oasis for those much needed moments of peace and quiet in an urban public environment. The summer house offers seating to four people. The object is entirely made of laser-cut steel and produced by Phoenix Metaalwarenfabriek.


After my last trip to Paris, I haven't been able to get the facade of the
Musée du quai Branly (a relatively new museum focusing on non-western antiquities and indigenous arts) out of my mental environment. I went to see it at night, and the wall of luscious creeping greenery disappearing into the vertical blackness of the sky has really stayed with me. I began to wonder why all of our buildings aren't covered in plants --- then a walk down the busy streets of a city would be akin to a stroll in the woods. We'd process more CO2 this way as well, no small bonus in this age of 387 ppm. Urban jungle could take on a whole new literal meaning, and imagine the little biospheres that we could begin to build-up. Perhaps native birds would repopulate urban areas, and I can imagine people's sense of well-being would improve too.


Musée du quai Branly : Paris, France


Musée du quai Branly : Paris, France



Musée du quai Branly : Paris, France


Patrick Blanc, the creator of this vertical garden (and others), has this to say about urban gardens:

“There are so many places that need a vertical garden: parking lots, train stations, the metro — all those difficult spots, those places where you really don’t expect to encounter the living — that is what interests me above all else.”
Apparently he does interiors as well. Who wouldn't feel more at peace in an office like this? Mmmm, lovely...Is that a tree frog?


Various Vertical Gardens : Patrick Blanc

Green roofs get us halfway there and certainly provide myriad benefits to the buildings' owners --- and the planet as well. My mother is in the process of renovating a partially burned 100+ year old row house in downtown Richmond, Virginia into a Platinum LEED home, and plans to install a green roof. (The penchant for biophilia runs deep in this family!)The house will also have a small roof-garden area and a cupola supporting solar panels. Any ideas or images would be welcome, as they're still in the design stage...

What does *this* green-roofed building remind you of?


ACROS Fukuoka Building : Fukuoaka, Japan : Architect Emilio Ambasz



photo of the jaguar temple at Lamanai ("submerged crocodile" in Yucatec Maya) : from my trip to Belize in January 2007 with my Mom and the Sierra Club



More green roofs, roof gardens, and arbors at altitudes...


Conservatorium of Music : Sydney, Australia



Vancouver Public Library : Vancouver, Canada


Village Model by Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser



Village Model by Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser



Hunderwasserhouse : Vienna, Austria : Architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser


The Ford Assembly Plant : Michigan, US
(Surprised by this one?)


Center For Green Roof Research : Penn State University



Church with turf roof : Saurbær, Iceland


Home of unknown suburban rebel roof-gardener : somewhere in the US


Amazing, right? Now get going on your own!

5 comments:

Hungry Hyaena said...

A very inspiring collection of images, Jenny. Thanks.

I'll add to the mix with this fascinating (and "green") home solution:

http://www.williamlishman.com/underground.htm

I hope that all is well.

Jenny Kendler said...

Thanks for that link. What a neat looking home! It has a very 60's Utopian elfin aesthetic to it, which I particularly like. :)

Timja said...

Yes, amazing buildings, I would really like to visit them all.

AshLow said...

super cool! I'm a 3rd yr architecture student and I'm currently working on an idea based on wunderkammer for a public plaza space in Barcelona Spain. This is real helpful and the images have inspired me thanks!

Jenny Kendler said...

AshLow: How exciting! Barcelona is one of my most favorite cities. Please send images my way when you're finished! I'd love to publish them.