For an idea of how art & sustainability (green design) might have a more dramatic relationship also see the El Molino garden, a blend of formalism and naturalism http://www.anthonyexter.com/gardens/el_molino/2.php which possibly focuses on reduced resource use (water and energy) and plant selection , rather than a strictly natural aesthetic in the form, layout and background to the scheme.
Thank you to Allen & Overy for opening their offices under the Open House scheme – and congratulations to them for having an office with genuinely green credentials. Roof space is used for solar panels, roof gardens or wildlife habitats (brown roofs). As the office brochure remarks ‘One of the best features of Bishops Square is the ability to hold barbecues in the summer or evening drinks on the terrace’. For me, it was a pleasure to see the City taking a small step towards the London equivalent of New York As it Should Be.
The Dirt (ASLA) blog has a post on “living buildings”. It reviews the idea that in future a building ‘won’t just use less water; it will collect and treat it. It won’t just force air; it will filter it’. This reminds me of the excellent example ASLA set the world by putting a green roof on its own office building – and suggests a possible future for the profession. ‘Landscape architecture’ is, I believe, one of the world’s most important professions, but the general public has never come to terms with its name. We could and should give it a new slant by taking the lead in ‘the landscaping of architecture’. As the photo of the ASLA building shows, a focus on the landscape treatment of individual buildings in not enough. We should develop citywide landscape strategies for buildings with useful exterior surfaces. They can be used for recreation, carbon sequestration, food production, rainwater harvesting and much else. The diagram from a 1996 City as landscape essay on Eco-cities, suggests a citywide approach to the landscape treatment of roofscapes – and has a slight visual kinship with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associate’s design for the ASLA green roof.