"Vertical Grass" Art & Architecture

"QUANTUM SHOT" #205(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams

"Farewell, Horizontal!" - Transient Green Masterpieces

Making grass grow on vertical surfaces is a wonderful way to create "transient green" masterpieces and, perhaps, also to highlight the "beauty in decay": merging the elements of partly abandoned, or purely functional boring gray cement surfaces, with the life-giving splendour of growing grass...

Make use of boring grey surfaces: transform them into vertical gardens! Seen in Madrid, Spain, these are the Patrick Blanc's "Vertical Gardens", also sometimes called "living walls" -

(top image credit: Sergey Markin; other images Patrick Blanc)

Patrick Blanc is undoubtedly one of the leading "vertical gardens" specialists in the world today. His site bursts with a multitude of lush green projects undertaken around the world (see one good retrospective here), and one can not but gain a huge appreciation for what that man is doing - he is almost single-handedly transforming gray concrete urban landscapes of today into "windows to a better, greener world"!

Top image row: installations at Quai Branly Museum in Paris. Bottom image: Hotel Departement Hauts de Seine, Nanterre:

(images credit: Patrick Blanc)

Here are a couple of upcoming projects that re-define a conventional high-rise building (planned for Sydney, Australia), and even a skyscraper (planned for Kuala Lumpur, left image):

(images credit: Patrick Blanc)

One Central Park in Sidney (architect: Jean Nouvel) is scheduled for completion in 2013. Can't wait to see this radical combination of modern urban high-rise building with wild jungle growth, reminiscent of some abandoned overgrown landscapes in recent computer games:

(image credit: Patrick Blanc)

Another similar "hanging gardens" skyscraper project is the Stefano Boeri's Vertical Forest, under construction in Milan, Italy:

(images via)

Here is an interesting glimpse on how these vertical garden walls are structured and maintained (as seen at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris):

(images credit: Hustler of Culture)

Some traditional houses in various cultures feature grass growing in roofs, or even encompassing the whole house, like these Icelandic "Turf" houses (right image below) - more info:

(right image via)

The Ever-Changing Grass Sculptures

This sleeping grass maid was displayed at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show in London, UK: "The Dreaming Girl", created by Pete and Sue Hill - on the right is the "Mud Maid", a sister creation:

(images via 1, 2)

Grass "grows" on cars, too! Here are some green cars "grown" by some unknown street artists:

(images via)

The transient nature of our existence becomes the defining element of such work, as these masterpieces don't last longer than six weeks without vigorous maintenance. Indeed, like it says in the Psalms, "Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die..." and "The grass withers, and the flowers fade... And so it is with people." (Isaiah 40:7). These beautiful installations do not need to be mowed; the grass will usually wither and die in two months...

On a smaller scale, one can even purchase a special DIY "living wall growing kit" nowadays - here is a roundup of some simple ways to make this happen. I am on my way to Home Depot to look for one of these kits... See ya later!

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a purely engineering perspective, anyone growing plants on the side of a building is nuts.

Water and roots are NOT a building's friends.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

quickly call the no-fun police to come and take mr building engineer Nazi away


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