London’s Famous Gherkin Building Goes Green – Literally

by , 04/01/14

CHIA_Gherkin, Illustrations from Jorge Chapa and Jill Fehrenbacher, Inhabitat April Fools, April Fools Joke, Green Gherkin, Chia Gherkin

Under pressure from other more sustainable buildings popping up around the world, London’s Gherkin Tower, designed by Norman Foster, has recently begun testing an innovative vegetated facade panel which promises to change the face of building design forever. This new “Green wall” product, known as the Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury panel, promises to bring the benefits of green roofs to any exterior surface of any skyscraper.

CHIA_Gherkin, Illustrations from Jorge Chapa and Jill Fehrenbacher, Inhabitat April Fools, April Fools Joke, Green Gherkin, Chia Gherkin

The panel works by soaking up moisture from the air and funneling it through its specialized membranes, which are able to generate enough water for plant growth. The plants, mostly a mixture of lichens and grasses, are expected to grow out of the panel and envelope the facade. Needless to say, the benefits of the panels are many: shading, increased internal daylighting, thermal insulation, reduced water consumption, energy generation for the entire building, recycling of materials, reduction of toxicity in the interior spaces, acceptance of the Kyoto treaty by the countries which have yet to sign, world peace, and a rise in property rental income.

IVG Asticus, the owners of the tower, are excited about their property. “The tower is expected to use less than half the energy consumed by air-conditioned office towers.”

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  1. Antonio Kilayko April 10, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Exciting architecture!

  2. Earline Coladonato September 23, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Hallo adminstrator , i w/ Your blog. Do you have twitter or facebook so i can follow you ?

  3. Aubrey Beckert September 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Surprisee Admin , i w/ ur blog.

  4. ttomasso February 6, 2008 at 7:26 am

    lol this is good! I just can’t figure out how it will increase the day lighting at maintaining the function of shading at the same time… maybe they will grow couple of glow-worms on interior side of this new exciting material :-)

  5. Luca architect June 20, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    my email is :

  6. Luca architect June 20, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I’d like to know the price of this product, becouse i want to use it in a my project!
    who produce this green wall?
    thank you very much!
    can you answere please at my email? thanks , arch. Luca Di Pietro

  7. arnold ernst April 8, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    the obvious part of the joke is the green facade for high-risers – the more “sustainable” joke is to compare the London building to the “gimmick” towers of the Bahrain World Trade center of WS Atkins.

  8. Nick Simpson April 3, 2007 at 9:23 am

    I know, I know, sarcasm doesn’t translate well into text, but you are kidding aren’t you Lindaloo?!

  9. anna April 3, 2007 at 2:02 am

    you can really do this to buildings, even if the system isn’t called CHIAPET. there is a system in a school in Obernai, Alcase that has a green wall system.

    as for the people who object to the design of The Gherkin: what, do you think that perhpas they should have built yet another extruded rectangle like every other tall office building? hmmm? this is much better1

  10. treekiller April 2, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    just what we need – even more lawn to mow! and where will they find aerially trained gardeners???

  11. Angela April 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Well… *sigh* …at least it might release valuable space from golf courses…

  12. lindaloo April 2, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    There’s a type of pickle called the “gherkin”. this building looks like a gherkin pickle.

  13. Patrick April 2, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Moderation???? Surely I am the soul of moderation.

  14. Patrick April 2, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    James Wines and S.I.T.E should have thought of this thirty years ago!….OOPS, they did, didn’t they?

  15. Ed April 2, 2007 at 11:50 am

    That is the most phallic building ever.

  16. The Revolution Corporation April 2, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Don’t care for this building… Not sure what Foster was thinking? Most of us refer to it as * The Vibrator *

  17. Adam April 2, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Weren’t the chiapets the things that had the long fuzzy hair? No, wait, they were these things ( you water them and the cress grows out. Soon as I saw the line about enveloping the building I knew it was a joke. What office is gonna want plants covering their windows? Nice idea though. Lot of those skyscrapers are incredibly ugly, this one included.

  18. Sean April 2, 2007 at 9:08 am

    It’s too bad, buildings like this would be so awesome…

  19. Jodi Smits Anderson April 2, 2007 at 8:52 am

    At last – humor in architecture.
    You got me – I thought this was cool and started researching maintenance issues!

  20. Richie April 2, 2007 at 6:49 am

    I don’t like this green design concept, or its implimentation. I have the highest respect for Sir Norman Foster’s designs, but when I see this one I ask: “What was he thinking ?” I look forward to seeing his next design.

  21. Nick Simpson April 2, 2007 at 6:21 am

    Hahaha… Although I’m afraid I don’t get the CHIAP reference, is this an American joke? Either way, good one, you at least fooled Travis (and Dan?)!

  22. scott April 2, 2007 at 6:20 am

    do u relise what day that was posted on ” April 1, 2007″ the first of april need i say more if u still dont gett it google the date

  23. Dan Wodarcyk April 1, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Well done! But how do you mow it?

  24. matguy April 1, 2007 at 12:12 pm


    The applications of Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury will be huge and varied. Just off the top of my head, I can think of:

    1.Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury Personal Entertainment Towers
    2.Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury Hall Extension Accessory Dwellings
    3. Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury Lateral And Massive Buildings

    The list goes on…

  25. randy April 1, 2007 at 11:23 am

    The full name of the project is “Core Hydraulic Integrated Arboury Panel Exo-Terrarium” aka CHIAPET.

  26. Peter Hoh April 1, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Yeah, I’ve heard about this, too. It’s all part of Green House Artistic Sustainability Programme, sponsored by Prince Charles.

  27. Jorge April 1, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Leeches, I find leeches funnier… Oh fine :)

  28. Travis April 1, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Nice look, but do you mean lichens or leeches, not sure if I’d want to walk by a wall of leeches.

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