A new exhibit on vertical gardens, vertical farms and green roofs has opened at Exit Art in Midtown Manhattan in partnership with SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics). The exhibit incorporates photography, illustrations and information on various alternative garden and farming projects.
This exhibit explores this most basic desire for us to reconnect with nature even as the world is increasingly developed into urban spaces. The exhibit realizes this desire in pieces both simplistic and scientific illustrations of vegetation-covered building, vertical gardens that add beauty and functionality to a cement landscape and urban farms that sustain us in our cities. Overall the aim of these gardens and farms is to reduce our carbon footprint, produce oxygen, clean toxins and produce food where we are actually living. Some projects in this exhibit are simply ideas that may never come into fruition, some have already been created and there's even one you could have in your own home sometime soon.
4D Lightful Gardens
According to Abruzzo Bodziak Architects the concept for these three-dimensional gardens is "tensegrity, a term coined by Buckminster Fuller...a structural condition when tension and compression members work in balance to create form." That's heavy. But, the models are so cool and inventive you can accept the designers' intense explanation of their gardens. The proposed three-dimensional gardens are created using hydroponic pipes (tubes of recycled aluminum or glass with holes for plantings) compressed together. Lighting is also an option here by swapping out some pipes with linear light fixtures. The gardens can be many different shapes, like the vertical one in the opening gallery slide, or the cylindrical ones shown here.
The Living Tower
The concept of indoor gardens is not new greenhouses and hothouses have been around for ages. But, the idea of feeding millions of people with food farmed indoors is where Dickson Despommier, the creator of the vertical farm concept, comes in. This digital building rendering, created by SOA Architects, would utilize sustainable building practices while creating a tower dedicated to agriculture.
Musée des Arts Premiers Quai Branly
This gorgeous garden is possibly the most well-known vertical garden. It was created by Patrick Blanc, a botanist, inventor, designer and the godfather of the vertical garden. The walls of the Musée des Arts Premiers Quai Branly in Paris were created in 2004 are completely covered in vegetation. Blanc used his patented scaffolding and irrigation system to create this masterpiece.
Artist Naomi Reis's creations are a labor of love; for this piece she drew more then 50 individual pictures of plants before making a collage. She then used 3D modeling software to create the building, which she finished by hand-drawing and painting. Reis says her working style is "In tribute to now faded drawings of yesterdays visionaries, I appropriate the pre-computer language of manual drafting to tell the story of imaginary places." This work features waterfalls, lily pads and other hydroponic plants.
In this next piece by artist Namoi Reis she has created an imaginary building covered in weeds and plants. According to the artist, her works are "blueprints for a world that exists anywhere and nowhere: a free space untethered from the specifics of place and time, made from bits and pieces of failed utopias and the scattered fragments of here and now."
Planter Bricks are bricks with small containers built on the outer edges that can hold plants and vegetation. According to Exit Gallery, "The planter brick curtain wall is designed to combine traditional masonry units with units that can hold plants and vegetation." The concept is an interesting one you can take an old, traditionally built building, retrofit it with a frame and attach a Planter Brick curtain filled with small plants. And like that, a curtain of green is covering your building. The retrofit frame also consists of a drip irrigation line built into the wall. This photo shows an artist's rendering of a building with a wall of Planter Bricks, and below is a small Planter Brick.
Designed by: Rael San Fratello Architects
Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael
This project was designed by Todd Haiman for the Jacksonville Library courtyard in Florida. These reading room gardens aim to create a private space in a public area. The "rooms" are 10-foot square boxes created with recycled steel and fitted with two walls made of Plexiglas. The other two sides are left open. Each "room" has its own roof garden. It's hard to imagine a more unique place to sit down with a book.
This vintage poster, created by Haus-Rucker-Inc, is a great example of how long the roof garden concept has been around. The Rooftop Oasis campaign was created in 1974 to illustrate and promote a plan to develop roof gardens in the Soho section of New York City. The Rooftop Oasis proposal tagline "Spend time in the sky" included plans for botanical areas, solar collectors and wind generators, as well as entertainment and recreation areas, including tennis courts, playgrounds, swimming pools and more.
Dining in the Sky
This vintage drawing, also created by Haus-Rucker-Inc, was part of the Rooftop Oasis proposal from 1974. It shows a shell-shaped glass conservatory, with a rooftop restaurant and bar on top of a New York City building. Here's hoping other proposed projects from this exhibit actually get created, and never become a "vintage" idea like this one.
Live Light is a plant mural prototype created by Rogers Design Group and Evo Design. They have incorporated science, ecology and aesthetics here, creating recycled resin boxes that function as indoor gardens, as well as a source of light and art. The final pieces, once they are ready to be sold, should be able to be attached to any wall, leaving you no excuse for living without a garden.
Created by Evo Design with Mica Gross and Rogers Design Group
Principal Artist: Lisa Lee Benjamin of Evo Design
Fabricator: Chris Rogers of Rogers Design Group