I’ve had the opportunity to keep in regular contact with Rob Pyatt (e.g., 1940s Boxhouse and Pinon House), principal of Pyatt Studio, and his work with Urban Hens is really taking off right now. The Urban Hens Project is meant to develop a sustainable, closed-loop model for establishing chickens in urban settings. Hens provide eggs, they eat kitchen and garden scraps, and if you’re really hard core, they’ll become a fine little dinner. Check out these modern, Quonset hut-inspired chicken coops:
Update 9/22/09: Largest Green Wall in North America is Complete!
In a recent press release, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) announced plans to install a 2,380 square-foot, soil-based living wall on the southerly exterior of the company's Pittsburgh headquarters building, One PNC Plaza. The living wall, pending municipal approval and installation in September 2009, will be the largest green living wall in North America. Produced by Green Living Technologies and designed by Mingo Design, a careful arrangement of locally-sourced plants will brand the building with PNC's logo.
This conceptual proposal for Chicago's Monroe Harbor was designed in honor of the great American architect Daniel Burnham, but perhaps more importantly, to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic games. The proposal is a modern interpretation of Burnam's 1909 master plan for Chicago. In a land locked city, the Chicago Eco-Bridge offers an extension of the landscape that would dramatically change the face of the city, and perhaps the United States.
We've seen some interesting living walls and green roofs, but this goes beyond these applications and into the realm of being a complete living house. Referred to as the Lost in Paris House, the structure took five years to complete and was designed by R&Sie architects. The unique living envelope comprises 1200 ferns (or Dryopteris filix-mas) in a hydroponic system – the plants are not sustained by soil but by a chemical mixture of bacteria, nutrients, and rainwater.
If you've been to a green trade show or exhibit, you may have noticed a few green wall providers. One to keep in mind, just in case you're thinking about incorporating a lush living wall or vertical garden, is TerraScreen. The TerraScreen Interior Greenwall System was designed by Planterra to hold large 6" plants and can be maintained by your average interior landscape contractor. The system requires about 18" of space from the wall and a catch basin, but can be supported with drip irrigation and a tank, too. It's comprised of modular panels made with powder-coated, galvanized steel wire and these panels can be lined up to really liven up a place. Make sure to check these images below … having one of these, I think, is a pretty good way to make a statement about the way you do things.