Green facades are by no means a new feature in architecture. Over the last couple of years, they have been popping up everywhere, largely due to the highly influential projects of Patrick Blanc. And even though the most remarkable feature of this private laboratory in Paris is, in fact, a green facade. But R&Sie(n) took a slightly different approach with their greenery.
Normally, the "green" of a green facade is attached directly to the facade itself. In this case, the architects put a facade of 1200 ferns on the outside of the building, with some space in between. This has some advantages as far as the growth of plants goes, I presume, but the main advantage is architectural. The facade material (the ferns, in this case) can be placed in front of windows, thus completely camouflaging the building behind the plants. Because of the space between the window and the green facade, there is also a pleasant effect from the interior.
To get the (diffuse) light into the laboratory, a cunning system of blown glass beakers is used. By strategically placing these in between the ferns, light can be reflected to intrude into the building. That's not the only purpose of the beakers, however: rain water is collected in them, and they are used to grow the ferns soil-less. And the combination of these hand-crafted pieces of grass with the lucious green ferns works like a charm: both from the exterior as for the interior. Inside the laboratory, you don't have the experience of being enclosed in a Parisian court, but it gives you the experience of being enclosed in your private little hideway in nature. And the neighbors don't look upon yet another extension of the existing building block, but they see a lovely (albeit slightly wild) green garden. That's a win-win situation, isn't it?
I found this project on arch daily.