The mass population of our planet has leadhumanity down a perilous and uncertain future, with issues like drought,flooding, and widespread famine no longer out of the realm of possibility -even for the most developed and advanced parts of the world. The good news iscities around the globe are taking notice, and developers are beginning toinvest in emerging technologies and building systems that could begin toreverse the depletion of resources.
One such innovation is the vertical garden.These installations go beyond your typical green wall, and are being institutedon such a scale that entire skyscrapers will soon have the potential to providefood, clean air, and energy efficiency for a small portion of the city itself.These vertical gardens could dramatically change how we think about sustainabledesign, and are poised to have an impact on the agriculture and energyindustries as well as the design and construction industries.
Here are a few examples of vertical gardensthat are paving the way for a new generation of green design.
This stone-clad residential tower inStuttgart, Germany features an interwoven network of grape vines that naturallysnake their way in and out of the building’s facades. The building features twostacked geometric volumes with sections of stone interrupted only by sectionsof triple-pane glass and the aforementioned grapevines. It makes use of acomplex system of irrigation that is fueled by rainwater harvested fromcollectors on the roof. The entwined grapevines add a distinct natural feel,but also act to help the building to breath, increasing energy efficiencythroughout.
The world’s tallest vertical garden is fixedto this residential tower as a patched together tapestry of natural art. Itsambition is matched only by its execution, as architects and builders workediligently to deliver a finished product that never wavered from the loftygoals it had set out to achieve. The living facade features over 250 distinctspecies of native Australian plants and flowers, weaved into the mirror glasscurtain wall to establish a visual dichotomy of man versus nature. It is abeautiful example of how vertical gardens can be incorporated into even themost high-profile works of architecture.
This vertical garden was designed as anadaptive reuse project at Barcelona’s famed Rival Theater. The installation wasbuilt into a single facade of the existing structure, and was designed to becompletely self-sufficient. It utilizes a sophisticated irrigation andrainwater harvesting mechanism to keep the garden lush and alive without anyenergy or resource demand pulled from the theater itself. The garden covers atotal of 45 square meters.
This 48-room hotel room in historic Hoi An,Vietnam features a series of exterior balconies clad entirely in localgreenery. They use these green balconies to establish an architectural rhythmthat acts to obscure the more rigid and rational patterns and geometries of theprogram itself, and results in a cohesive effort that champions the use ofnatural elements in building design. These vertical gardens act as naturalbuffers, filters, and air purifiers for guests looking for a hotel experiencelike no other. Construction for the hotel was completed in 2016.
New York is no stranger to forward thinkingenvironmental architecture. The greenwall installed on this residential towerby famed Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, is the largest the city has to offer.It is integrated seamlessly into the building’s facade, creating anever-changing natrual element that perfectly offsets the stark materialsections of stone, concrete, and glass. The wall helps keep heat off the moreexposed sections of the structure, which in turn keeps energy loads to aminimum even in the hottest months of the year. The building holds luxurycondos ranging from 5 to 15 million dollars.
Welcome to the world’s largest verticalgarden! This tower, built in the heart of Bogota, Columbia, features a facadeentirely wrapped in thriving local vegetation that produces enough oxygen fornearly 3,100 people every year. It contains 85,000 plants that cover around3,100 square meters of facade area. It not only increases the health of thetower itself, but of the surrounding area as well. It removes harmful particlesfrom the air and helps to move a city brimming with pollution to a cleaner,more sustainable future.