Green Blade - Jean Nouvel

Green is big business these days. I reckon that there will be a rapport to be found somewhere that states that the sheer mentioning of terms, such as "sustainable", or "green" or "ecological" will raise sales by X% or something.

Therefore, it does make sense that everybody tries to take a piece of the pie - and label their object of desire "green". Like, in this case, a tower of luxurious appartments of 45 levels height. This building was recently unveiled by Jean Nouvel for a site in Los Angeles. And honestly, the building is looking rather slick: it's only about 12 metres wide, allowing for all the appartments to have windows on both north and south facades. This calls for the "blade" in the name of the building.
But what about the "green" part of the Green Blade? Well, every single house gets two green extended platforms with vegetation on it on both north and southside. To go with the typical Californian division, Nouvel provides for desert vegetation on the south, and lushious greenery on the north. This could either be done by a soil-less system by Patrick Blanc, or a more traditional soil system.

Honestly, it looks pretty awesome as a building. Sure, the appartments will be extremely pricy, but that's beside the point.
The real issue is whether placing some plants on a balcony (to take things to an extreme) suffices for a building to be "green". Let me be a narrow-minded eco-warrior for a second: I think it doesn't. Green isn't only about the look, but is also about water-systems, the energy balance of the building, the materials involved and a whole lot more. I don't know the ins and outs of this design, so I should probably give this project the benefit of the doubt and assume that Nouvel is going to make it as sustainable as humanly possible, but chances are that the greenness of this building is just a cheap trick to please the eco-consciousness of the yuppies that'll live in the Green Blade...

I found this project on The Architect's Newspaper.

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