Inhabitat has done a lot of coverage of living walls, particularly those of French botanist Patrick Blanc. They are complicated things, requiring pumps, hydroponics and a lot of care. If they don’t get it right they can fail, like the Paradise Park Childrens Centre in London did.
Edouard François does a different kind of green wall, known as green façades. In these much simpler structures, no pumps and technology are needed, as the vegetation is planted in the ground and the walls become the growing medium. It takes time; Inhabitat has pictures of François’s Eden Bio project, which will take about seven years to grow out and look like the renderings. But some of his other projects are completely grown.
François gained fame and notoriety for his Flower Tower, with its giant pots on every balcony. The Guardian wrote: ”It looks like a giant display of potted plants, it sings in the breeze – and it’s one of the best places to live in Paris.”
An early work was his his Holiday Houses in Jupilles, where the plantings grew up to almost completely disguise the homes behind.
On his Sprout building in Montpellier, the walls are built like gabions, loose rocks enclosed by wire mesh, from which plants can grow. “The most radical aspect of the scheme is the treatment of the exterior as a massive rock face that will eventually bloom into a spectacular vertical garden.” Take a closer look at the balconies.
Les Almadies Club Med is described by Hannah Bergqvist in Planet Magazine: The 250 rooms – made of clay, wheat and wood – are perhaps best described as wooden bird’s nests, or cocoons, as they rest above ground elevated by poles. The location of the resort is stunning with the North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other. To provide the guests with a full view each of the rooms have 360-degree windows.
“In our daily life we normally only have windows facing one way, maybe two, but never all the way round. A 360-degree view means that you are free”, he says.
More on Eduoard Francois at his website and on TreeHugger:
All photographs from Édouard François