living houses.

Tower Flower, Paris, France, 2004

“And unbelievable though it may be, the real thing is even more impressive than the models. When viewed from certain angles, the two-toned grey exterior disappears behind a veritable jungle of vegetation. To see each floor as a distinct unit, the observer must face the building, on one side or another, head on. Staggered storeys form a high-rise that resembles a temporary stack of Lego blocks. Tall bamboo plants rise from rows of 1.2-metre-high white flowerpots (400 in all) that line the narrow balcony ledges of the building. In full foliage, the plants project the remarkable image of a verdure-clad building – a mass of rampant growth that lacked, at the outset, an unerringly predictable outcome. One preliminary study depicts a giant cloud of fading, yellowish-white candyfloss, indicating the fluffy appearance of a plant-covered building gasping in the final stages of a long, hot summer. The real building looks more like a fresh, green day in spring, and will continue to do so, says the (slightly hesitant) architect. Whatever course nature takes, the building seems both familiar and natural – and, of course, exceedingly strange.”
FRAME, Louise Schouwenberg, November 2004

L`Immeuble qui Pousse, Montpellier, France, 2000

“Attempting to invest in speculative housing with a measure of formal invention is generally a thankless enterprise. However, the design for this new apartment block uninhibitedly explores materials and nature. […] The architect’s proposal followed a logical pattern based on making the most economical use of the site and exploiting techniques of prefabrication. […] 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.”

Needless to say, that I do adore Monsieur Edouard Francois` fantastic architectural work. He´s always got an eye on the surrounding landscape and especially on its inhabitants. I attended his lecture at Vienna University of Technology in 2009. It became clear, that behind this holistic and often unconventional  approach to architecture and landscape planning, there`s a humorous mind to find, knowing how to treat the audience right. Francois demonstrates, how to make the most of projects with small budgets like social housing: I remember the intriguing housing project “Eden Bio” (2009) for people with deprived backgrounds in Paris, where he planned a vertical garden in the block – NOT forgetting to furnish each flat with some flowerpots, so that everybody got the chance to grow his/her own plant on the window board! (see pictures of “Eden Bio” and text by Edouard Francois here)

Eden Bio, Paris, France, 2008

credits: Edouard Francois




2 responses to “living houses.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention living houses. « m.e.t.r.o.n.o.m. --

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