Oulu: Raising The Bar To Greener Standards

by , 04/02/08

Evangeline Dennie, green wall, living wall, Oulu, vertical garden system, Sustainable Building, Urban design, oulu1

Sure, you’ve heard of the insular and aesthetic merits of green roofs. How about green walls? Enter Oulu, an eco-chic bar and lounge situated in southern Williamsburg. Designed by architect, sustainability expert, and Inhabitat contributor Evangeline Dennie, Oulu takes a literal approach to fresh design. Wrapped in a herbaceous façade, the LEED gold certified building bears its green cred for all to see.

Living walls were first conceptualized and constructed by French botanist Patrick Blanc. His Vertical Garden System is a lightweight support and irrigation system that allows buildings to reap the benefits of green roofs on all sides. The soil-free living walls provide thermal and acoustic insulation, purify the air, and add a lovely dose of levity to dense urban spaces.

At Oulu, all of these benefits are backed up by a structure built from the ground up with sustainable and environmentally friendly building materials. The 2,500 square foot bar features sheet rock recycled from industrial material, biodegradable ceramic tiles, and a sleek interior constructed from wood that is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The paint is low-VOC with a milk-based pigment, and natural mica panels contribute to the luminous interior mood lighting. Incredible work Evangeline!

+ Oulu nyc
+ Evangeline Dennie

Via jetsongreen.com and sphere trending

Photos by Gates

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  1. firescuems July 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Hey spargel: sick of green, huh? Guess you’re not sick of fuel and food prices going through the roof, the arts and social services being cut because the economy is tanking….

    Actually, we’re both on the same page here. “Green” has become chic and marketable, rather than just plain common sense. I guess it results (hopefully) in something better being done for this tortured planet, but more often than not it’s done as window dressing and not anything that results in making a meaningful or tangible difference. One can argue that a little bit here and there helps, but the problem is, the volume just isn’t there yet to support that theory. One only needs to go to the Oulu website to see that it seems to be more about being slick and cool.

    And Williamsburg truly has become the Village…. This city is going down the bidet. Look at It’s what’s happened to Times Square… I miss the hookers and homeless! :(

    Damn you, Disney!!!!!

    Okay, I’ll shut up now…..

  2. spargel July 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    oh lord
    no offense
    but i am sick of green

    why do you need to advertise and
    promote something you should just be

    williamsburg…i hardly know you anymore!

    i want a divorce!

  3. Inhabitat » New E... April 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    […] a café known as Blossom Square Pavilion, is made of stacks of calcified timber and makes use of a green roof. The profits from the café directly fund the upkeep of the […]

  4. Suravat Atthakhosolsuradi April 4, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Excellent articles

  5. doug l April 3, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Would love to see this approach on a much larger scale and with a conscious attempt to integrate a seasonality so that a diverse and everchanging high aspect surface evolves, though for a one level store front, ivy seems quite nice..or maybe morning glories and juniper.

    Were this on the outside of a really substantial building it would be a natural step to place some of the stairways on the outside so people entering and leaving the building could enter a gardened path with some small running water features, pocket parks or cafes along the way to take advantage of the naturally occuring areas of sun and shade exposure, getting a little exercise along the way and escaping the claustophobia of the elevator shaft.

  6. greenarch April 3, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Currently, this green wall has a deciduous species installed, and follows a typical hibernation process in the winter, as do most plants. That of course includes dormancy and thinning of the plants when it gets cold.

    The green wall panels are be pre-grown to establish the plants and can take up to 6 months or more before installation.

    These deciduous plants were installed because the originally specified evergreens were not fully grown in by the owner’s desired opening date. However, the entire wall will be replaced by the evergreen species within the next two weeks (the optimal time weather-wise) by ELT Living Wall Systems. http://www.eltlivingwalls.com

  7. organicgrid April 3, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Does the green facade only look nice is the late spring and summer?

  8. Scott April 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I saw Patric Blanc’s facade system at the Quai Branly museum in Paris. Gorgeous but I understand what B is saying. The system seamed fragile as the roots of the plants were embedded in a nylon fabric attached to cement board and then to structure. I know this because the system was peeling apart. Not disastrously so but enough in certain areas to know that the system needs some refinement. BUT I love it and I hope to use a similar system myself one day when I get out of school!

    Oh and this building looks great too! 😉

  9. b April 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    having walked past just a day ago i must say that while i love the idea the result especially in winter is horrible.

    most of the plants have washed out of the container grid leaving dusty potting soil and a few ragged plants left

    some of the plants appear to still be alive but this facade is going to need help getting established.

    My first thought was that english ivy looks much better year round

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