Another green building.

"The design by Pelli Clarke Pelli keeps things simple, a tall box with glass on all sides except the south, where the floors that poke above a six-story neighbor would be clad in solar panels.

The eye-catching feature would be the outer layer of green.

Planters contained by a trellis-like mesh would be attached between each floor, and each planter would hold a mix of vines so something is in bloom each month of the year. The vines would be trained to snake around cables that would form a sort of taut net around the glass box, with vertical cables spaced every 5 feet and horizontal ones stretched waist-high across each floor.

Not only would the vines provide a sort of environmental ornamentation, they'd help cool the exterior and reduce energy needs."

I'm not sure if this one even sounds good on paper.

ADDED: Many of the Chronicle reader comments at the link echo my concerns expressed in the comments here.


Frances, said...

Not knowing about the surrounding area and the effect of the building, I'm with the who is going to prune the vines that high up? The window washers could conceivably do it if trained properly. What do you think?

chuck b. said...

It's windy there. No matter what they choose the vines are going to look ratty after awhile. Blooms on the side of a ten-story building (or whatever) hardly seem worthwhile. There isn't going to be any kind of a balanced ecosystem there. Weakened, stressed plants are especially vulnerable to pests. Shaggy vines will need to be pruned. Rats will nest in the planters. The soil will need maintenance. Fertilizers will be dripping down the building and pooling on the sidewalk. It just sounds horrible to me. Very la-la-la life is a wonderful thing fantasy pie-in-the-sky thinking. Did they get any horticulture input on this plan? I'd like to hear about it.

Annie in Austin said...

You and Frances are so right - no one who ever tried to train so much as one clematis would come up with this idea. Maybe someone saw Jack and the Beanstalk one too many times?

Isn't it supposed to be bad feng shui to have vines clinging to the walls of a house? [thought this was appropriate since it's almost Lunar New Year.]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Brent said...

I was tempted to plunge in right away with a "seems OK to me" comment.

I'm glad that I waited to listen to cooler heads. Training vines 10 stories up does seem an exercise in futility.

JvA said...

Unrelated, but I saw my first little daffodil bud on Sunday! And I saw pink blossoms on a tree this morning. And there was still a bit of light in the sky when I came home tonight.

You get excited by stuff like that in Seattle.

Spring is on its way, folks!

lisa said...

Yea...nice in theory (fantasy), but stupid in practice. If somebody got a consulting fee for that ill-conceived notion, then I wanna know where to get THAT job!