An interesting project came to our attention via Bustler recently and is certainly worth checking out. The project is titled Engineered Biotopes and was developed by London-based teammates Anthi Grapsa and Konstantinos Chalaris. We’re not completely convinced of the “robotic crane and specially designed modules where plants are grown” but the idea of attenuating the upper floors of a high-rise to accommodate not only your standard urban garden but now also habitats for birds and insects is definitely on the right track. But the most notable aspect of “Engineered Biotopes” is how much it reminds us of much of the bio-climactic skyscraper work from T.R. Hamzah and Ken Yeang (What happened to those guys?! Are they still around?) We’ve included a few shots of an older Hamzah/Yeang project in this post so that you can see for yourselves. If you aren’t familiar with the work of Hamzah and Yeang, definitely check them out, they were (again, we haven’t seen much from them lately) on the cutting edge of the eco-sensitive design and as they termed it “bio-climactic skyscrapers.”
The cities of Attica and especially Piraeus is a city with a very low proportion of open green spaces to the number of its inhabitants compared to European standards.
Our proposal for the Façade reformation of Piraeus Tower intends to use technology for the best possible adaption of nature on the building. Using modern agricultural techniques in the construction of the building we allow nature to flourish with the help of plants and birds that already exist around the city.The program of the facade varies through its vertical expression.
On the outside of the first two floors, the plant nursery consists of a grid of glass tubes used to nurture seedlings. From a distance these appear as a shimmering form, reflecting light onto the street provoking the attention of the passerby.
Floors 3-22 consist of small biotopes that produce low vegetation for the workers and visitors inside the building. This system consists of a robotic crane and specially designed modules where plants are grown. The crane is connected to a computer, which re-positions the modules based on the weather conditions, sun light and water consumption. If a crop is receiving too much sunlight, the module is moved to the shade either horizontally or vertically until finding the required position.