Red green vertical garden building

This building is green in summer and red in autumn. It makes a useful contribution to re-balancing the carbon cycle, by absorbing CO2. Undesirable particulates (dust!) stick to leaves and are swept up in autumn. The leaves shield the building from undue solar gain in summer. Traffic noise is absorbed. Birds and insects find habitats amongst the vegetation. It is a beautiful building (Point House facing Blackheath in South London). Why can’t we have more facades treated like this? Call them vertical gardens if it would help. Co-ordinated planting on discordant buildings would harmonize argumentative buildings.

One thought on “Red green vertical garden building

  1. Christine

    Sadly vegetation in our cities, and the privileging of green spaces for their own sake seems as endangered as the historic fabric of our cities. Hopefully cities will retain not only their vertical gardens but also their horizontal ones (some animals ie the hedgehog don’t fly or climb walls!)

    Sometimes what the community wants to save (whether it is buildings or gardens)is the memory of events and times which have long since past, but which they have a nostalgia for. At other times what the community wants to save is the remnants of the old fabric of the city to trigger memories of yesterday, imaginations of a long past historical time, a place to express continuity with their ancestors or to dream dreams about the promise of tomorrow.

    In the case of the Sohmer Piano Factory in New York, the red brick building with its street trees on the Astoria waterfront is a reminder of the city’s past both real and imagined. It is important that New York’s citizens remember the city has a history older than just yesterday. Most cities become incredible places, rich in culture and diverse in spatial experience over a long period of time.

    In the present old buildings offers a place with a gentler often more generous human scale and a slower pace with which to live life. Is Sohmer Piano factory heritage of architectural merit? Perhaps not. But somehow, just by hanging around long enough, what was once just a ‘garden variety’ building becomes truly unique. Often the architecture offered in the place of old buildings, as is the case with Shore Towers just doesn’t inspire the same feeling.


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