Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Getting creative with plants

Green roofs, living roofs or eco-roofs are not new but they are becoming more popular as their role in clearing up pollutants in the city air and providing much needed recreation areas become clear.

This spectacular creation - the world's first 'vertical forest'- is the brainchild of architect Stefano Boeri and is in the form of a pair of skyscrapers (now under construction), part of a €65 million luxury apartment development in Milan.

If planted on the ground, the plants would cover about 10,000 square metres!

Broadsheet mentioned the development today and I was intrigued enough to find out more. According to the architect's website, Bosco Verticale is a project for "metropolitan reforestation" and the towers will house up to 900 trees along with a range of shrubs and flowering plants.

"The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building."
The vertical forest development brings into focus the growing (pun intended) calls to develop something similar at the abandoned Anglo Irish Bank headquearters in the Dublin Docklands. Those behind the calls see it as an innovative public park and urban space as well as a project to mark the centenary of the Irish Republic. It's certainly a noble aspiration and an expensive one; whether anything comes of it, we'll have to wait and see. The youtube presentation on the project has some more info.  

Proposed use for the former Anglo HQ © Mahoney Architecture 2011

That's certainly a creative use of plants- and here's another. This one was brought to my attention by one of my students and it's called moss graffiti.

It's a form of guerrilla gardening and what has been labelled "eco-graffiti" or "green graffiti".

Image: Anna Garforth
The concept involves painting a moss/buttermilk solution onto a blank wall, keeping it moist and watching the results grow. Although the results look really stunning and the "eco" label is attractive to people, it's probably best to get the wall owners permission before you try this!

The infographic below explains the process and comes from the book More Show Me How.

Are there buildings and locations you know that could do with some guerrilla gardening? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Iamreddave March 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM  

The big abandoned empty shell opposite the beacon in Sandyford would be perfect for this guerilla gardening

Eoin Lettice March 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM  

Hi Dave,
I actually know the building you're talking about and agree, it's ripe for some sort of imaginative treatment!


TriploidTree March 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM  

I have been meaning to try the moss graffiti for years....

Stuart Longson February 21, 2013 at 1:53 AM  

What a good idea! I will try to do that guerrilla gardening when I get back to our home.

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