Netherlands-based architecture and urban design group MVRDV, had some fun putting together a green building concept for us. A lush façade of planted pots that mediates the interior program from the external conditions. In doing so, the façade performs a number of useful functions. Regulates sunlight penetration, allowing more light to enter during the winter and less during the hot summer months. It also improves the air quality and softens the street noise while capturing and distributing rainwater.
A Landscaped Façade
The potted façade gives a unique sense of place and collective strength to the concept. Rather than relying on cladding materiality and detailing, the building now relies on the variety of species chosen with their colours and textures.
The planted trees in the project must therefore remain a defining characteristic for the project all year long. The species chosen must have a shallow root system, allowing a long lifespan in the facade before they require transplanting. A wide variety of tree species will exhibit different qualities and colours with the changing of the seasons.
The northern facades do not benefit from optimum sun exposure. We will employ a planting strategy that derives from the plant species found in the undergrowth of the British Columbia’s forests. The species used on the north facades, and in some of the shadowy corners of other facades, will be resistant to difficult (sometimes dry or even dark) environments.
The southern facades benefit from a privileged situation. We will use plants and flowering shrubs that can be found in sunny environments. The facades will also exhibit many different colourful plants and flowers found in the British Columbian nature; the purple Sagebrush, the bright yellow Canada Goldenrod, the fluffy white Cattails, and the vivacious violet fireweed- to name but a few.
In addition to the two families we described above, the facade will use foliage that can be recognized in all seasons. We will use flowers, leaves and the fruits of the main shrubs with the aim of creating a coherent whole with an intense green presence.