With air pollution getting out of control in many cities, and the climate changing more rapidly, many urban architects are rethinking the way that they design buildings and public spaces.
Instead of building the towering masses of steel and concrete that we’ve become accustomed to, architects are incorporating lush green gardens into their the designs. The results have been dramatic. Not only do these urban gardens help reduce air pollution, but they improve the aesthetics of the city and draw in tourists.
Here are just some of the most stunning examples of urban gardens built yet.
1) Capella Garcia Arquitectura, Barcelona
In cities, horizontal space is at a premium. However, there is an abundance of vertical space available. Green architects are coming up with innovative ways to utilize this space by creating vertical gardens.
In Barcelona, a project dubbed “Vegitecture” has transformed a block of residential buildings into a stunning urban garden. The project was made possible by utilizing prefabricated steel scaffolding which were attached to the building to make space for planters. There are even built-in benches and fountains.
2) Green Roof Art School, Singapore
3) PARKROYAL on Pickering Hotel in Singapore
When it comes to green architecture, Singapore is leading the world. This hotel captivates guests with an oasis of green in the midst of the city’s busy business district.
4) Project Jewel, Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport
Here is one more urban garden project in Singapore. This time, the stunning garden is in the airport. Construction is underway to turn the 10-story Terminal 1 into a massive indoor park with native trees and plants, as well as what will be the world’s largest indoor waterfall. The project was designed by Safdie Architects, which has a history of making eco-friendly designs for some of the least eco-friendly corporations.
5) ACROS Fukuoka, Japan
In Fukuoka City, Japan, you can find one of the world’s most stunning urban gardens and green rooftops. The project started when an office building was planned to be built on one of the last remaining green spaces in the city. The architects decided to preserve as much of the natural greenery as possible, and then took the idea to the next level by incorporating an urban garden into the design. The ground-level garden merges with a terraced roof garden that goes up to about 65 yards and contains about 75 species of plants. The green roof garden helps the local ecosystem by supporting bird life and capturing rainwater runoff.
6) Green Roof, Chicago City Hall
The rooftops of urban buildings are usually underutilized. In 2001, Chicago decided to construct a green roof on top of its City Hall to test different types of green roofs to see how they could be implemented for the city’s benefit. They integrated 3 different urban roof gardens into the design. While this urban garden isn’t accessible to the public, it is visible from the upper floors of surrounding buildings, providing workers and dwellers in these buildings a beautiful view in contrast to the concrete and steel they are used to seeing.
7) Pont Max Juvenal, France
There is almost nothing uglier than those concrete bridges which cut across cities. In Provence, France, they aimed to change this by turning a bridge into a beautiful vertical garden. The project was designed by Patrick Blanc, who is also responsible for other urban gardens like the Hanging Canopies in Dubai. Blanc told the New York Times that, “I like to reintegrate nature where one least expects it.”
Bonus Garden, Grobo One
All of these large scale urban gardens are awe inspiring, but what if you want to make your home more green, but don’t have the capacity to install an entire green roof to your house?
Luckily, there are number of indoor grow boxes that are designed specifically for the home. They range from herb growing countertop systems to cabinet-sized hydroponic systems. One of these systems is the Grobo One Hydroponic Grow Box. This system is automatically controlled so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to water your plants, and the box comes equip with all the light your plants need to thrive. So go ahead and green up your home by growing whatever vegetables, medicine, or exotic plants your heart desires.