Auto-Family House Poland
Built by architects KWK Promes for an art collector in Poland, the Auto-Family House is a stunning example of design entwined with nature. From above, it’s the perfect camouflage. The house is accessible through a driveway that rises up into the garden and serves as an entrance. The house itself is elevated to the first floor. What this does is preserve the garden’s intimacy. The driveway tunnel is covered with green roofs and walls; the owner’s art decorates the sides; the landscaped area above and outside is left untouched. It’s fitting that an art collector’s home is a work of art in itself.
Biesbosch Museum National Park De Biesbosch The Netherlands
The Biesbosch Museum was completely transformed inside and out by Studio Marco Vermeulen: a new wing holds a restaurant and exhibition space for contemporary art; the museum is encompassed by earthworks and covered by a roof of grass and herbs. The roof turns the museum structure into an exhibition and, at the same time, blends in with the surrounding landscape. The reason for the revamp was to conserve energy consumption and prevent any unnecessary wastage of material. Temperature is regulated and wastewater is purified before being used to sustain the greenery surrounding the museum. The architects created a living, breathing experience.
Chongqing Taoyuanju Community Centre China
Located in the mountains of Taoyuan Park in Chongqing, the Chongqing Taoyuanju Community Centre was designed by Vector Architects to be part of the rolling topography – not just another object in the field. The centre’s green roof and green walls blend the 10,000 sqm. structure seamlessly into its surroundings, elevating its thermal co-efficient in the process. The green roof also unites the centre internally. Three independent structures – a cultural centre, athletic centre, and public health centre – are brought together by a continuous roof of green, while two courtyards are outlined and framed. The Chongqing Taoyuanju Community Centre is an example of design facilitating behaviour.
Meera Sky Garden House Singapore
Meera Sky Garden House was designed by Guz Architects with the intention of creating a space that was bigger than its surrounding confines. Sentosa, the island beside Singapore on which the house is located, is populated by small plots and buildings that are very close to the sides of houses. Meera Sky Garden House’s green roof overcomes that. It provides a base for the storey above it – the layered effect makes it seem as if each floor is its own dwelling with a garden. The front and rear of the building have visual or actual access to greenery, with central light and sea breeze running through the centre of the building.
Olympic Sculpture Park Seattle
The Olympic Sculpture Park is downtown Seattle’s largest green space, having gone through the extensive restoration with the creation of a Chinook salmon habitat and a pocket beach. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) created and operate the park and implement measures to ensure it remains a healthy, sustainable green space: local plants are incorporated, rainwater is captured and used, monthly beach cleanups are organized, chemical and pesticides are reduced and efficient irrigation is in place. In a way, the award-winning Olympic Sculpture Park is an ecological environment of its own – a habitat that can be easily accessed, enjoyed and maintained.