Jungle Home: Lost in Paris


This furry green home, cloaked in a hydroponic curtain of ferns, makes for some captivating photos. Designed in Paris by architecture firm R&Sie Architects, the home also produces its own fertilizer brewed in clusters of hand-blown glass beakers that are woven into the ferns almost like clutches of spider eggs. Billed as a private laboratory and living space for an "urban witch" this project is as much conceptual art piece as concrete dwelling.



The firm describes it as "the story of an urban witch living behind a rear windows designed as a duck cabana. As alchemist, she feeds the plant with drop by drop hydroponics system watering liquid substances coming from the bacterian chemical preparation in 200 beakers disseminated in the ferns surfaces.The neighborhood is both attracted by the green aspect and repulsed by the brewage and the process to produce it." The beakers themselves look quite attractive, so I can only imagine that there is something about the source of the growing medium that disturbs the neighbours...

R&Sie are known for their artistic and experimental interventions into the urban sphere. Their work uses art installations or hightech visualizations and models to make concrete philosophical discussions about nature, urbanization and the overlap between the two. Although the interior is a bit sparse for my taste, I like how this project stretches the limits of what we think of as green building. Aesthetics should be a key component in the discussion of sustainability. The sleek aesthetic of glass sheathed office towers, for example, is responsible for some of the least efficient and most un-livable spaces that occupy our city centers. This project makes you wonder how far we would be prepared to go in the other direction...
(see also inhabitat)

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

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You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

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