Giant Green Facade Part Of Green Rehab of Portland Office Building


Image Credit: Baumberger Studio

Time to trot out that old Frank Lloyd Wright chestnut, "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." And that is what is happening at the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon; according to the Washington Post, "It hasn't gotten a great deal of respect in Portland. Bart King, author of a local guidebook to the city's architecture, said he found it ugly and boring, so he didn't include it."

So Don Eggleston of SERA architects is planting vines. He is doing a high-rise version of the green façade technique beloved of Eduoard Francois: "If you think about it, it's a planter every 25 feet," architect Don Eggleston said. "A lot of people have 10-foot trellises in their gardens."


Image Credit: Baumberger Studio

In Planet Green, we have noted that vines and trees are sophisticated climate control devices, blocking the sun during summer and miraculously falling off and allowing the sun to penetrate in winter. That's how they will work here:

The green wall concept is familiar to anyone who has planted a deciduous tree or used a vine-covered trellis on the west side of the house: In the summer the leaves provide cooling shade; in the winter, the bare limbs and stems admit comforting light.

Other new features include solar arrays, smart lighting systems and a giant hat on top to keep it cool.


Image Credit: Baumberger Studio

Unlike that embarrassment in Pittsburgh, the PNC living wall, green façades are pretty low-tech, just needing water. Some are suggesting that it will be "a challenge" to keep it alive, but it is really just a bunch of planters. I suspect it will do just fine.

Read in Azure where I compared the two types of green walls. and I promise, no more with the Frank Lloyd Wright quote.

Via Groovy Green and Jetson Green

More on Green Walls in TreeHugger:
11 Buildings Wrapped in Gorgeous Green and Living Walls

Tags: Architecture | Green Roofs | Portland