Apartment complex will be infused with vegetation to create a vibrant ‘garden city’

September 11, 2019 by  
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Malmö-based architect Jonas Lindvall has been chosen by the Swedish coastal city of Ystad to construct a plant-filled apartment complex. Slated for the Trädgårdsstad neighborhood, the Brf Leanderklockan will be comprised of 18 two- and three-story apartments that will incorporate the existing flora from a nursery that was formerly located on the site. The Brf Leanderklockan development will feature 18 units within the northern part of the new district in Ystad’s Dammhejdan area. Considering that the site was formerly occupied by a plant nursery, the new urban development will incorporate the existing vegetation to create a lush, nature-like atmosphere for residents. Related: A modern home in South Korea is embedded into its environment via an expansive green roof The complex will consist of three separate blocks, with each one containing six apartments . The units will range in size from 850 square feet to 1,500 square feet and will have open-plan layouts. Most of the apartments will boast a flexible design layout that allows them to easily be converted into live/work spaces or multi-generational homes. Some of the larger units will feature double-height ceilings with mezzanine floors, and most of the units also have spacious private terraces or patios accessible through sliding glass doors. Although the concept is quite minimalist and contemporary, the new complex will also feature plenty of green space . As part of the local council’s plan to create a “green neighborhood” in the area, much of the original vegetation from the former nursery will be preserved, including hanging vines, trees and bushes, in order to create a vibrant, verdant environment for future residents to enjoy. + Jonas Lindvall Renderings and drawings by Lindvall A & D

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Apartment complex will be infused with vegetation to create a vibrant ‘garden city’

Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

September 11, 2019 by  
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On Friday, August 2, the Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley, Oregon featured a temporary performance venue designed by the Portland State University School of Architecture. The project is another in a line of “diversion design-build” concept stages, known fondly as the “Treeline Stage,” built by the school for the festival since 2014. The very first Treeline Stage was made using wooden shipping pallets. Since then it has also featured cardboard tubes, dimensional lumber and wooden trusses as building material. The 2019 repurposed stage was inspired by images of apple blossoms. The temporary venues holds a total of 160 wooden bins that were previously used to harvest apples by a Pacific Northwest fruit producer. The structure towers are 40 feet at its tallest point, allowing ample space for everything from audio equipment, a backstage area, food vendors and room for audience seating. The natural background of the stage, an area where the meadow meets the woods, only adds to the organic yet mystical ambiance of the structure. This year, the musical festival hosted 18 different bands (all of various genres) on the six stages throughout the weekend. Some of the bands included Mereba, CAAMP, Julia Jacklin, JJUUJJUU, Bonny Light Horseman, Reptaliens, and Black Belt Eagle Scout.  Each tower was made up of anywhere from 15-30 bins, strategically stacked to resemble pentagonal clusters of blossoms. The shadows cast by the apple bins during the day created a series of artistic shadows, while colored LED lights incorporated into the structure helped illuminate the stage after dark. The student-faculty team used leftover lumber from the previous year’s Treeline Stage project to create the vertical elements supporting the towers. Following the festival, the apple bins were returned to the donating company to be used for transporting and holding harvested apples for the late Summer harvest — meaning no materials went to waste. + Portland State University School of Architecture Images via PSU School of Architecture

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Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

Architects envision a 3D-printed sanctuary tower for Monarch Butterfly

July 1, 2019 by  
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New York City-based design firm, Terreform ONE has unveiled a stunning design concept for an urban Monarch Butterfly sanctuary set in the bustling Big Apple. The incredible project envisions an eight-story commercial building clad in a “vertical meadow” facade made out of 3D-printed carbon components, designed to nourish butterflies. Known for their innovative portfolio that focuses on ecological urban planning, Terreform One has outdone themselves this time around, all in the name of protecting the Monarch Butterfly , which is dying off at catastrophic rates. Related: Old soap factory home features a “terrarium” room that opens up to the Manhattan sky Slated for a new commercial construction in Nolita, NYC, the eight-story, 30,000 square-feet tower would be home to retail and office space on the inside. However, the exterior facade would be a large-scale Lepidoptera terrarium covered in rich vegetation to create a vibrant Monarch Butterfly sanctuary. The pioneering design would feature a 3D-printed facade with a dual skin that would weave butterfly conservation strategies through the building as well as its facade and roof. The interior would also feature a monarch atrium, creating an ecological biome geared to foster an idyllic example of how people, plants and butterflies can coexist in urban environments. The building’s grid-like facade would be wrapped with glass and “pillows” of ETFE foil in order to create a base for growing a three-foot by 70-foot “ vertical meadow ” that will be planted with milkweed vines and flowering nectar plants chosen specifically to nourish butterflies at each stage of their life cycle. The butterfly sanctuary would have two strategies, the first would be to provide a breeding ground and stopover habitat for wild monarchs on the roof and rear facade. The second goal would be to use the semi-enclosed colonies in the atrium and street side double-skin facade as an incubator of sorts to grow  monarchs. The young insects born on site will have fluid access to join the wild population, in hopes of increasing the Monarch’s overall population numbers. + Terreform ONE Via Archinect Images via Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE

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Architects envision a 3D-printed sanctuary tower for Monarch Butterfly

3GATTI hopes to land a ‘green spaceship’ in Madrid

April 15, 2019 by  
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3GATTI Architecture Studio has unveiled a spectacular design for a new public library in Madrid. The firm envisions an eye-catching “green spaceship” for the public space; it is a building almost entirely clad in lush Virginia creeper vines. As well as creating an attractive landmark for the community, the building’s expansive greenery will act as a passive feature that will help to insulate the structure in winter and cool the interior spaces in the hot summer months. The international firm has proposed landing the green spaceship in the Villaverde district in southern Madrid. According to the architects, the library’s unique design was inspired by the desire to create a recognizable landmark in the community, a vibrant public space that will attract local visitors and forge a strong bond between residents and the neighborhood. Related: This canopy walkway elevates Shenzhen library-goers into the treetops The base of the two-story building will be comprised of a simple concrete and brick construction clad in a dark plaster. The first floor of the building will be completely transparent with floor-to-ceiling glass facades. This bottom floor will house the public areas, which will contain the ‘noisy’ functions. On the top floor will be the quiet zones, where visitors will be able to study and read. From the outside, this level will be completely covered in Virginia creeper vines planted on the roof of the building. Contained with red tubes and metallic netting, the lush greenery will look like it is floating above the street, giving the library a surreal, spaceship vibe. However, in addition to being eye-catching, the concept is also very practical and optimized for the city’s climate. Green walls and rooftops always add an extra level of insulation. In this case, the vines will help cool the interior spaces during the hot summer months by shading them from direct sunlight. Adding to the building’s abundance of green spaces, the structure will house several courtyard spaces that let in air and light into the interior spaces. At the eastern side of the building will be enough space to plant an urban vegetable garden . Attached to the youth library rooms, these gardens will be used to teach children about the benefits of healthy living. Through the community gardens, workshops and various activities, the library will have a strong connection to the neighborhood. + 3GATTI Architecture Studio Images via 3GATTI Architecture Studio

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3GATTI hopes to land a ‘green spaceship’ in Madrid

The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

January 10, 2018 by  
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Stefano Boeri has designed and built vertical forests across the globe, but his latest project, slated for Eindhoven in The Netherlands, will be unlike anything that has been done before. That’s because, for the first time ever, the forest tower has been funded by a social housing project, and the tower will provide low-income housing. The Trudo Vertical Forest looks to be an example of how good architecture can tackle both climate change and urban housing issues. Stefano Boeri has constructed vertical forest projects in Milan , Utrecht, Nanjing , Tirana, Paris , and Lausanne, but the Trudo Vertical Forest will be one-of-a-kind. Built to provide low-income housing, the tower will have 19 stories with 125 units, all covered in a luscious vertical forest that features a wide variety of plants and trees. “The high-rise building of Eindhoven confirms that it is possible to combine the great challenges of climate change with those of housing shortages. Urban forestry is not only necessary to improve the environment of the world’s cities but also an opportunity to improve the living conditions of less fortunate city dwellers”, said Stefano Boeri. Related: Bosco Verticale: World’s First Vertical Forest is Finally Complete in Milan Stefano Boeri Architetti was retained by Sint-Trudo to complete the tower, which will be an urban home to 125 trees and 5,200 plants. The 246-foot tower covered in a rich, biodiverse environment will help control urban pollution and provide homes for a variety of animals and insects. “The Trudo Vertical Forest sets new living standards. Each apartment will have a surface area of under 50 square meters and the exclusive benefit of 1 tree, 20 shrubs and over 4 square meters of terrace. Thanks to the use of prefabrication, the rationalization of technical solutions for the facade, and the consequent optimization of resources, this will be the first Vertical Forest prototype destined for social housing” states Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Project Director of Stefano Boeri Architetti. + Stefano Boeri Architetti

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The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

LAVA unveils greenery-infused Garden Island to revamp Sydney Harbour

October 20, 2017 by  
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Australia-based firm LAVA just unveiled a stunning proposal for converting an inaccessible plot of land near Sydney Harbour into a sustainable waterfront community. The ambitious Garden Island proposal envisions a vibrant green public space with eco-friendly residential towers and multi-use buildings that would host activities throughout the year. Although the area is currently used by the Royal Australian Navy, the proposal hopes to completely overhaul the area in order to convert it into a new waterfront community. Using a sustainable model , a breezy cityscape would be built along the existing coastline that would include residential and multi-use buildings operating with green technology. The various towers, which would offer stunning views of the harbor, would all be installed with plenty of rooftop terraces and surrounded by public gardens . Related: LAVA’s Winning Design for Masdar’s City Center LAVA’s proposal also includes implementing various adaptive reuse methods where possible. For example, a former dry dock would be converted into a floating market that would have room for public baths, shopping, and performance spaces. The development would also install a number of amenities throughout renovated space such as a waterfront promenade, museums, and various social facilities that would aim to foster a strong sense of community. + LAVA Images via LAVA

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Madrid’s new ‘Desert City’ is a spectacular home for over 400 species of cacti

August 1, 2017 by  
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Madrid’s dry heat may not bode well for lush flower gardens, but the hundreds of cacti in the city’s new cactus park are sure to thrive. Designed by GarciaGerman Arquitectos , the massive 54,000-square-feet Desert City is an educational, sustainable , and ecological complex aimed at educating visitors about the vibrant world of the xerophytic plants. Located on a formerly vacant lot in the Madrid suburb of San Seastián de los Reyes, the expansive complex includes a large garden space as well a massive indoor greenhouse . The park – one of Europe’s largest spaces dedicated to cacti – grows over 400 xerophytic species. The complex also includes exhibition space as well as a shop and a restaurant. Related: Cactus Park in Taiwan draws architectural inspiration from prickly succulents At the heart of the complex is an extended glazed “billboard building,” which is elevated over the ground level. It connects the greenhouse space to a cloister-like outdoor garden with a shallow water pond. Additional spaces located in the greenhouse will be used for presentations, exhibitions, workshops, etc. The architects used a number of green building strategies in the park’s construction such as prefabricated materials, photovoltaic glass, and geothermal power. The greenhouse and gardens were also installed with a high-tech water recovery system that helps the park reduce its water usage. + Desert City + GarciaGerman Arquitectos Via Curbed Images and video courtesy of Imagen Subliminal

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Madrid’s new ‘Desert City’ is a spectacular home for over 400 species of cacti

Barcelona set to double tree population in major urban greening push

May 18, 2017 by  
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You may think there isn’t much space for a centuries-old, built-out city like Barcelona to radically greenify itself with double the amount of trees and expanded green space. But that’s exactly what the city aims to do. They recently rolled out a Plan of the Green and Biodiversity Barcelona 2020 , including ambitious goals that could offer ideas to other dense cities needing greenery too. Air pollution , heat, and climate change are among the reasons Barcelona needs to become a greener city. But they have a plan – their 2020 goals could see twice the number of trees flourishing in the city, alongside park space increased by two thirds. Overall each citizen could receive nearly 11 square feet of extra green spaces . The plan aims to provide Barcelona with 108 acres of new green areas by 2019 and more than 400 acres by 2020. Related: Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden How will the city accomplish this feat? First, they’ll plant five new gardens , which will later be connected to open spaces already in place to form thriving plant-filled corridors. Green roofs will also help keep the city cool. Creepers will snake across bare walls. And in spaces waiting for construction, the city will plant temporary gardens. CityLab reports some of the new gardens are already being built, and their designs reveal how to find space in a city where one might think space would be lacking. For example, the largest garden will be planted around a city square once filled with cars. That traffic will now be diverted to tunnels. Another garden is more controversial – the city will clear out a courtyard block filled with squatted 1920’s workshops to make way for greenery. One garden will green up a scrap of ex-industrial semi-wasteland. Slowly the city is filling up with new flora and fauna – local architecture firm JORNETLLOPPASTOR drew up many of these images around five years ago. Green corridors planted in the past have been successful; a 2000 one restored life to a stream formerly dirty. As climate change raises temperatures, a city that already reaches around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer stands to benefit greatly from the air-cleaning, cooling plants. Via CityLab Images via Ajuntament de Barcelona

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Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees

April 10, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm O-office converted an old abandoned greenhouse in Guangzhou, China into a dreamy glass office space with filled with living plants. The architects paid homage to the building’s green roots by infusing the space with tons of sunlight and loads of greenery – including three trees that grow up into the interior space from the ground floor. Using the building’s original concrete portico, the architects recreated the entryway with pockets of mini gardens. The office space was designed for a local landscape design firm so the designers wanted to create an intimate space that evokes a small “village-like” work environment. Using the greenhouse’s original layout , the interior is flooded with natural daylight and ventilation, which reduces the energy usage of the building . Related: Nature-filled office takes over a former factory building in Amsterdam-Noord The interior of the office space is divided into two floors. The bottom floor is designed for team collaboration, while the upper floor has separate spaces for independent work. All of the interior, however, has an open-air feel to the space, which is naturally ventilated thanks to multiple timber-framed windows. Large concrete stairs with pockets of greenery lead from the central atrium to the upper floor and three large heteropanax trees grow up through the interior , further connecting the building to nature. + O-office Architects Via Architizer

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Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees

Asif Khan and MINI created calming forest oases in busy London

September 16, 2016 by  
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With a theme of Connect, Relax and Create, the trio of rectangular structures invite busy individuals to pause, whether to send a text, to take a deep breath, or to have a conversation. The project explores “third places” that exist between home and work, a concept of growing importance as city dwellings get smaller and workers more mobile. The structures are constructed using materials familiar to agricultural architecture, with layers of transparent, corrugated polycarbonate diffusing light and providing surprisingly effective insulation from the sound of passing cars and buses. Airy aluminum roofs are perched on top of the clear structures, giving a glimpse of sky and surrounding buildings. The springy flooring was made from recycled playground material , adding another element of playfulness. Related: Three mini forests are popping up in the middle of London On hectic Old Street, the Connect Space is a slim corridor filled with conservatory plants. Wooden benches line the sides, inviting people to sit and chat, either spontaneously or pre-planned. The addition of a long dining table allows the space to be used for an intimate meal. The Relax Space is a vertical rectangle filled with potted plants and vines. Entering via the open underside, visitors can visually block out the outside world. Its location on Pitfield Street sets it next to one of L ondon’s new Cycle Superhighways , with wide cycle lanes providing a popular route for commuters and locals alike. The largest structure, the Create Space, features scores of plants around its exterior, with tiered stadium seating on the inside and USB ports for charging devices. Located in Charles Square, surrounded by residential buildings and concrete, it’s a welcoming, light-filled oasis. The use of potted plants was a deliberate choice, to both give the temporary structures a familiar, approachable feel and to examine the role of greenery in delineating zones of use. “We use plants as a tool to assert our personal space at its boundary with public space, whether on our desk at the office or at the perimeter of our home,” designer Asif Khan explains. Visitors and locals will be encouraged to take the potted plants home. Local horticulturalist Jin Ahn of Conservatory Archives , who selected the greenery for the project, and her team will be on hand to tell visitors about the plants and to help them select varieties to take home. People can also drop off plants they no longer want, to create another aspect of community exchange. Shoreditch has experienced rapid change in the past couple of years, with tech start-ups in the so-called Silicon Roundabout and student housing bringing new people into the area. The designers hope that the MINI Living “Forests” will provide an additional opportunity for visitors, newcomers and long-time residents to share space and connect in a rapidly changing city. + London Design Festival + Asif Khan

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Asif Khan and MINI created calming forest oases in busy London

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