Stories On Design: Green Architecture Curated by Yellowtrace

 

What comes to mind when you think of ‘green architecture’? The notion may conjure images of vertical gardens, vegetated roofs or trees in interiors, but the concept is much more than meets the eye. Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that aims to minimise the harmful impact on the environment and our health. Terms such as ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ are often used interchangeably and often cause some confusion, but it can be agreed that the highest goal of green architecture is to be fully sustainable.

Green buildings offer countless health benefits such as improved indoor air quality, temperature regulation, optimal inhabitant comfort, reduced burden on local infrastructure and a higher overall quality of life. Moving forward, a concern for the environment should come as second nature to us and design must follow to integrate green initiatives.

Some may consider green architecture to be a mere fad, or the use of technology for the sake of it, but when building and construction activities contribute around 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, we need to step up and take action! The following projects showcase green architecture in several different ways by incorporating recycled materials, vegetation or proposing new ways of living. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to get on board. There’s simply too much at stake if we don’t.

 

See More ‘Stories on Design’ Curated by Yellowtrace.

 

 

Rising Canes Pavilion in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace

Rising Canes Pavilion in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace

Rising Canes Pavilion in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace

Rising Canes Pavilion in Beijing, China by Penda | Yellowtrace
Renders courtesy of Penda.

 

Rising Canes Pavilion in Beijing, China by Penda // The Beijing and Vienna-based firm Penda developed Rising Canes for Beijing Design Week in 2015. The triangular structure is an investigation into ecological modular systems that can expand to become large-scale house schemes, hotels or emergency shelters. The pavilion is constructed from 100% recyclable materials such as bamboo and ropes without the need for nails or screws. Bamboo is often used for scaffolding in Asia but was chosen as the primary construction material for its flexibility, strength and its traditional roots in China.

According to Penda, “the pavilion can be seen as the first step of many to follow, as the structural system is fully modular, ecological and easy to expand in every direction.” During the Design Week, visitors were encouraged to seed plants into baskets that were connected to the pavilion. It’s intended that these plants use the structure to grow along and after some time, nature will become the project’s primary design-element. Penda suggests that the project is “strongly connected to the Cradle to Cradle movement, which proposes a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems which are not only self-sufficient but also essentially waste-free.” Rising Canes proposes a wonderful vision that could change the way we approach construction and urban dwellings.


 

Vertical Garden in Japan by Yasushi Okano | Yellowtrace
Photo by Yasushi Okano.

 

Vertical Garden in Japan Photographed by Yasushi Okano // This stunning Vertical Garden in Japan has been beautifully captured by photographer Yasushi Okano. Green walls aren’t just eye-catching and “trendy”, they can have a significant impact on the public sphere. City centres in Japan are dense and the reintroduction of vegetation into urban environments promotes natural cooling processes while also mitigating air pollution levels. For the building industry, the ability of green walls to provide thermal insulation for buildings means less demand on power and as a result, fewer polluting byproducts are released into the air. Let’s get greening, shall we?


 

Atlas Hotel Hoian by VTN Architects | Yellowtrace

Atlas Hotel Hoian by VTN Architects | Yellowtrace

Atlas Hotel Hoian by VTN Architects | Yellowtrace

Atlas Hotel Hoian by VTN Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.

 

Atlas Hotel Hoian in Vietnam by VTN Architects // Atlas Hotel Hoi An by VTN Architects is designed for an irregular shaped plot in Hoi An’s Old Town, an area which has rapidly grown since it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recently, most of the ancient houses have been converted into shops and restaurants that serve the daily influx of tourism. Atlas Hotel restores a sense of charm and tranquillity to this increasingly commercialised area. Made up of four raised volumes, the hotel features 48 rooms with views of greenery from both the bedroom and the bathroom of each suite. The walls of the structure are built from locally-sourced sandstone blocks and are set between exposed concrete floor slabs. It is these slabs that support the vertically arranged concrete planters. Filled with greenery, the planters offer shade to corridors and allow the breeze to naturally ventilate them.


 

25 Verde by LUCIANO PIA | Yellowtrace

25 Verde by LUCIANO PIA | Yellowtrace

25 Verde by LUCIANO PIA | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Luciano Pia.

 

25 Verde in Turin, Italy by Luciano Pia // Luciano Pia‘s 25 Verde in Turin, Italy is a pretty whacky looking building. This is a real-life tree house where steel columns shaped like tree trunks help support the 63 residential apartments. The concept of the scheme is to create a transition between the interior and exterior with the use of vegetation and foliage. This is illustrated with the application of green walls planted in pots and gardens carried through the entire building. The residential lofts are all different, fitted with irregular terraces that wrap around the trees with the top floor having its own green roof. More than 50 trees are planted just in the courtyard garden itself to help reduce air and noise pollution.


 

Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio | Yellowtrace

Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio | Yellowtrace

Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio | Yellowtrace

Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio | Yellowtrace
Photography by Laura Cionci.

 

Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy by Boeri Studio // Bosco Verticale or Vertical Forest by Boeri Studio is a towering residential forest in the dense urban environment of Milan. Opening in 2014, the Vertical Forest is an architectural concept which replaces traditional construction materials of urban surfaces for vegetation. The project consists of two residential towers and includes a whopping 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 plants that are distributed according to the sun exposure of the facade. The diversity of the plants helps to absorb CO2, produces oxygen and protects people from harmful sun rays. On flat land, each Vertical Forest equals an area of 20,000 square meters of forest.


 

One Central Park by Ateliers Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

One Central Park by Ateliers Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

One Central Park by Ateliers Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

One Central Park by Ateliers Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace
Photography by Murray Fredericks, Simon Wood & John Gollings.

 

One Central Park in Sydney, Australia by Jean Nouvel and Patrick Blanc // One Central Park by Ateliers Jean Nouvel has joined the list of Sydney’s iconic landmarks with its flourishing vegetated facade and its towering cantilever crowns. One Central Park offered the architects a canvas of an entirely new scale where they managed to integrate the experience of living in harmony with the natural world. An assembly of motorised mirrors capture sunlight and direct the rays down onto Central Park’s gardens and after dark the structure is a canvas for leading light artist Yann Kersalé’s LED art installation. This is an ambitious building that totally nails it!


 

Airmas Asri Architects Office in Jakarta | Yellowtrace

Airmas Asri Architects Office in Jakarta | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Airmas Asri Architects.

 

Airmas Asri Architects Office in Jakarta, Indonesia // The office of Airmas Asri Architects is a serene working environment that incorporates green architecture and offers an escape from the bustling and congested streets of central Jakarta. There is over 1,300 square meters of greenery both horizontal and vertical, creating a micro climate inside the building. When combined with skylights and solid void planes; optimum thermal control, air circulation and daylight are achieved throughout. The spatial planning was based on the needs of the office expansion where buildings were added over time. This led to the creation of in-between spaces sandwiched between the buildings where users have a place to gather, socialize and relax.


 

Jardin by DP Architects | Yellowtrace

Jardin by DP Architects | Yellowtrace

Jardin by DP Architects | Yellowtrace

Jardin by DP Architects | Yellowtrace

Jardin by DP Architects | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of DP Architects.

 

Jardin in Singapore by DP Architects // Jardin by Singapore-based studio DP Architects explores two main ideas – the vertical garden and the French notion of living. According to the architects, “these concepts are pivotal architectural form-generators, and encapsulate new pleasures of high-rise living and modern lifestyles.” In this project, elements such as green walls serve as focal points for axes of travel, while shafts of natural sunlight are employed to vary visibility. In Jardin architecture and landscape merge into a living environment. At each alternate level, extensive gardens extend from the loft units, serving as deep communal balconies. As well as functionally providing shade and buffer from city noise, these gardens connect the units’ living spaces.


 

Karim Residence by ARCHFIELD | Yellowtrace

Karim Residence by ARCHFIELD | Yellowtrace
Photography by Mahfuzul Hasan Rana.

 

Karim Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh by ARCHFIELD // Karim Residence by ARCHFIELD was designed by merging traditional and contemporary building techniques. Located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the project involved the rebuilding of an existing contemporary house into a multi-storey residential unit. According to the architects “the ‘new’ was expressed by means of the concrete plate and the ‘past’ is symbolised by old hand-made bricks, thus creating a sense of unfolding time.” The folding concrete planes contrast with the warm brick texture and the planter beds which were incorporated into the concrete plates add softness to the structure. The beautiful hanging creeper plants insulate against heat and create a natural screen that changes with each season.


 

M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity in France by Maison Edouard Francois | Yellowtrace

M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity in France by Maison Edouard Francois | Yellowtrace

M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity in France by Maison Edouard Francois | Yellowtrace
Photography by Pierre L’Excellent.

 

M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity in Paris, France by Maison Edouard Francois // Maison Edouard François designed the M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity in Paris to show that high-rise structures can be used to create environmentally friendly cities with a sense of biodiversity. Plants grow up the exterior of this green apartment building which is a continuation of the studio’s exploration into plant-covered architecture. According to the studio, “in France, ‘village’ urbanism seems to be adamantly resisting the vertical city, without truly considering its potential.”

In this project, Maison Edouard François devised a doubleskin façade where the outer layer is made up of stainless steel netting that acts as a climbing frame for plants; while the inner layer is covered in recyclable green titanium panels that becomes a moss-like shimmering beacon. The tower forms part of a complex made up of three other smaller residential buildings, a nursery and a retail centre with a public garden between.


 

El Mirador House by CC Arquitectos | Yellowtrace
Photo by Rafael Gamo.

 

El Mirador House in Mexico by CC Arquitectos // Orchid Pavilion by Manuel Cervantes Cespedes’ CC Arquitectos was conceived based on a respect for its location, topography and the aim of reducing its constructive impact. The design of the pavilion is articulated around vegetation, views and rustic finishes. Most materials used are from the region and railroad ties from old train tracks where recycled for the exterior cladding. The structure is a combined system of steel and wood and the retaining walls are made of local stone. Spatially, the pavilion consists of a large family room that connects to the outside terrace.


 

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.

 

Naman Retreat the Babylon in Vietnam by Vo Trong Nghia Architects // Spas and retreats seem to incorporate green architecture with great success and this is certainly the case for Naman Retreat the Babylon designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Plants and greenery climb all over the vertical concrete louvres that surround the facades of this holiday resort on the Vietnamese coastline. The resort offers accommodation, spa treatments, yoga and beach sports. To achieve a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere the resort was designed with a harmonious mix of greenery, natural stone and bamboo. Trees are planted along the roads and bamboo is formed into closed canopies like a thick curtain that provides a sense of privacy. “When guests approach the Babylon, they may feel like diving into a tropical nature through the green facade and corridor,” the architects noted. “Even from the bathroom, it is possible to capture plants through their balcony.”


 

Sportplaza Mercator by VenhoevenCS | Yellowtrace

Sportplaza Mercator by VenhoevenCS | Yellowtrace

Sportplaza Mercator by VenhoevenCS | Yellowtrace
Photography by Luuk Kramer.

 

Sportplaza Mercator in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by VenhoevenCS // Beneath a blanket of thick vegetation lies Sportplaza Mercator by VenhoevenCS. Located in the multicultural neighbourhood of De Baarsjes in Amsterdam, this modern spa complex combines swimming pools, gym, sauna function centre, cafe and childcare facility. According to the architect, “the building was designed as a city – a society in miniature – inside a cave…it is full of lines of sight and keyholes that offer perspectives on the various visitors, activities and cultures in the building.” Sunlight penetrates deep into the building’s interior through various openings in the roof while low windows frame the view of the street and the sun terrace. The building’s lush green façade and roof marks the start and end of the Rembrandtpark and from a distance, it seems like an overgrown fortress flanking and the entryway to the 19th-century city.


 

Falcon Headquarters 2 by Rojkind Arquitectos + Gabriela Etchegaray | Yellowtrace

Falcon Headquarters 2 by Rojkind Arquitectos + Gabriela Etchegaray | Yellowtrace

Falcon Headquarters 2 by Rojkind Arquitectos + Gabriela Etchegaray | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos. Photography © Jaime Navarro.

 

Falcon Headquarters 2 in Mexico by Rojkind Arquitectos + Gabriela Etchegaray // Falcon Headquarters 2 by Rojkind Arquitectos + Gabriela Etchegaray follows from the successful completion of Falcon Headquarters 1 in 2003 by the same design team. Falcon is a supplier of medical equipment and their headquarters are located in the mostly residential neighbourhood of San Ángel in the south of Mexico City. The architects opted for a simple transparent rectangular box that would be draped in vegetation and but still have plenty of natural light. A transparent glass curtain wall is fitted with a sun control layer composed of 510 linear modular planters that continue the garden feel over the façade. The planters are drip-irrigated and help cool the building in a passive solar way.


 

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta Architects | Yellowtrace

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta Architects | Yellowtrace

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta Architects | Yellowtrace

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta Architects | Yellowtrace

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.

 

Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang, Vietnam by Trinhvieta Architects // Hotel Golden Holiday in Nha Trang by Trinhvieta-Architects is located in the middle of the most crowded tourist centre of Nha Trang, Vietnam. The botanical facade was designed to take advantage of the tropical weather with 3m tall trees and scrubs planted in balconies of the facade. These high trees vertically connect upper and lower floors and reinforce a sense of continuity of the facade. In the internal spaces, small scrubs are stacked around a central void to create another vertical garden. This void ensures there is ample natural light and ventilation to minimize the use of artificial lighting and air-conditioning.


 

ZAC du Coteau by ECDM Architects | Yellowtrace

ZAC du Coteau by ECDM Architects | Yellowtrace

ZAC du Coteau by ECDM Architects | Yellowtrace

ZAC du Coteau by ECDM Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Benoit Fougeirol.

 

ZAC du Coteau in Arcueil, France by ECDM Architects // ZAC du Coteau by ECDM Architects is a residential complex in Arcueil, France that consists of two structures that are identified visually and functionally by their balcony layouts. Each floor plate extends beyond the building volume with undulating geometry, creating over 3 metre cantilevers for deep balconies for each apartment. This produces a distinguishing dynamic overall form, while offering residents ample outdoor space for planting their own balcony gardens.


 

Naman Spa by MIA Design Studio | Yellowtrace

Naman Spa by MIA Design Studio | Yellowtrace

Naman Spa by MIA Design Studio | Yellowtrace

Naman Spa by MIA Design Studio | Yellowtrace

Naman Spa by MIA Design Studio | Yellowtrace
Photography by Oki Hiroyuki.

 

Naman Spa in Da Nang, Vietnam by MIA Design Studio // Naman Retreat in Dadang, Vietnam is a stunning five-star spa facility that invites nature to permeate the open spaces. MIA Design Studio has created fifteen stunning treatment rooms that are endowed with lush open air gardens, serene lotus ponds and hanging plants. The facade is composed of a lattice pattern that filters sunlight and allows plants to grow along its extents. The plants were carefully allocated and become a part of the architectural screens. With the abundance of plants, each room of the retreat becomes a healing environment, an oasis where all senses are aroused and the mind comes to peace.


 

East Village in Lebanon by Jean Marc Bonfils | Yellowtrace

East Village in Lebanon by Jean Marc Bonfils | Yellowtrace
Photography © Kinan Mansour.

 

East Village in Bayrut, Lebanon by Jean Marc Bonfils and Associates // East Village complex and gallery by Jean Marc Bonfils is constructed on a restrictively narrow site in an area between the city centre and eastern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. The tower combines traditional timber and stone cladding with a vertical garden and a bright-red balcony that cantilevers from one of its facades. It is arranged as a cluster of three parallel elongated blocks and includes 10 two-storey flats, a pair of penthouses and a single-floor home. “The staggered formation helps to ensure natural light is able to reach the various levels, while a cantilevered section that extends out towards the street emphasises the building’s partly public function.”


 

ReGen Villages by EFFEKT | Yellowtrace

ReGen Villages by EFFEKT | Yellowtrace

ReGen Villages by EFFEKT | Yellowtrace

ReGen Villages by EFFEKT | Yellowtrace
Renders courtesy of EFFEKT.

 

ReGen Villages: Greenhouse properties by EFFEKT // For the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, Danish studio EFFEKT designed a self-sustaining, off-grid village of greenhouse properties called ReGen Villages. The project proposes a community of buildings that produce all their own food and energy to tackle various global issues, from food and water shortages to the rise of CO2 emissions. The concept bares resemblance to the idea of a cooperative community – a model that is proving increasingly popular in the UK and across Europe in Germany and Scandinavia. But the concept of ReGen Villages is different. The team sees the project as an alternative to mass urbanisation, which forecasts over 2.5 billion people moving to cities in the next 50 years and could offer a solution to rising land prices and increasing scarcity of resources.


 

Nanjing Vertical Forest by Stefano Boeri Architetti | Yellowtrace

Nanjing Vertical Forest by Stefano Boeri Architetti | Yellowtrace
Renders courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti.

 

Nanjing Vertical Forest in Nanjing, China by Stefano Boeri Architetti // Nanjing Vertical Forest by Stefano Boeri Architetti will be the first Vertical Forest built in Asia. Located in the Nanjing Pukou District of China, the development is “characterised by the interchange of green tanks and balconies” and follows the prototype of Boeri’s Vertical Forest in Milan. Along the facades, thousands of trees and cascading plants from 23 local species will cover a 6,000sqm area. This is a real vertical forest that will regenerate local biodiversity and provide a whopping 25 tonnes of CO2 absorption each year and will produce about 60 kg of Oxygen per day. Bloody outstanding!


 

Penda Designs Modular Timber Tower Inspired by Habitat 67 for Toronto| Yellowtrace

Penda Designs Modular Timber Tower Inspired by Habitat 67 for Toronto | Yellowtrace
Renders courtesy of Penda.

 

Modular Timber Tower in Toronto by Penda // Penda have collaborated with wood consultants CLT-brand Tmber on the design of Tree Tower Toronto, an 18-story timber-framed mixed-use residential skyscraper that draws inspiration Moshe Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67. Plants and trees sprout from the modular units that make up this timber-framed high-rise. Large outdoor terraces will support large vegetation systems which house food gardens, shrubbery and trees; all of which will help to passively cool the building and offer privacy to teach of the units. The tower aims to “develop a true ecological high-rise, that supplies its residents with fresher air and provides a lower carbon footprint,” said Tmber CEO Mark Stein.


 

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