New York City-based design firm, Terreform ONE has unveiled a stunning design concept for an urban Monarch Butterfly sanctuary set in the bustling Big Apple. The incredible project envisions an eight-story commercial building clad in a “vertical meadow” facade made out of 3D-printed carbon components, designed to nourish butterflies.

tower featuring a green vertical meadow

close up of butterfly on green facadeKnown for their innovative portfolio that focuses on ecological urban planning, Terreform One has outdone themselves this time around, all in the name of protecting the Monarch Butterfly, which is dying off at catastrophic rates.

green plants growing out of grid-like facade

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Slated for a new commercial construction in Nolita, NYC, the eight-story, 30,000 square-feet tower would be home to retail and office space on the inside. However, the exterior facade would be a large-scale Lepidoptera terrarium covered in rich vegetation to create a vibrant Monarch Butterfly sanctuary.

green plants growing out of grid-like facade

The pioneering design would feature a 3D-printed facade with a dual skin that would weave butterfly conservation strategies through the building as well as its facade and roof. The interior would also feature a monarch atrium, creating an ecological biome geared to foster an idyllic example of how people, plants and butterflies can coexist in urban environments.

green plants growing out of grid-like facade

The building’s grid-like facade would be wrapped with glass and “pillows” of ETFE foil in order to create a base for growing a three-foot by 70-foot “vertical meadow” that will be planted with milkweed vines and flowering nectar plants chosen specifically to nourish butterflies at each stage of their life cycle.

green plants growing out of grid-like facade

The butterfly sanctuary would have two strategies, the first would be to provide a breeding ground and stopover habitat for wild monarchs on the roof and rear facade. The second goal would be to use the semi-enclosed colonies in the atrium and street side double-skin facade as an incubator of sorts to grow  monarchs. The young insects born on site will have fluid access to join the wild population, in hopes of increasing the Monarch’s overall population numbers.

+ Terreform ONE

Via Archinect

Images via Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE