The Dark Side of Green Architecture in Paris

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Although it’s camouflaged by a cloak of ferns, a different kind of green architecture in the French capital is gaining attention. “I’m Lost in Paris” is a private house designed by an avant garde architecture firm, R&Sie(n), and uses dense green roofs and walls to enclose a concrete 1,400 square foot house. The three-story home to a family of four is covered in an integrated network of ferns. The green walls are hydroponic (sustained without soil) and include hanging acorn-shaped bottles that house a bacteria farm used to fertilize the house’s 1,200 hanging ferns. In comments to Icon Eye magazine, François Roche, the principal designer, said: “People don’t know if it’s Darth Vader or Yoda, something gentle or something a little bit nasty, a little bit dangerous.” According to Icon Eye magazine, it’s more Yoda — the bacteria assists the plants in fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere.

The system is designed to be self-sustaining – water is collected via the roof, where tubes then carry water from the roof to the living wall. 300 glass containers, or “beakers”, contain water and rhizobia bacteria, which brews in the sunlight and is later used to fertilize the ferns.

François Roche describes the project as an effort to examine the meaning of ”green architecture,” as well as nature itself. “Do we want nature to be domesticated and purely sympathetic and predictable or do we want nature which brings some aspect of fear or danger or psycho-repulsion?”

While it is unknown how eco-friendly the rest of the house is, this plant network accomplishes what other green roofs and green walls do: lower the internal temperature of the house and cool and clean the surrounding air.

Read the article and see more photos.

Image credit: Icon Eye magazine