The new work of Kengo Kuma, the construction god, is here, and it is now popular to move forests, canyons, and farms into office buildings

"I tried very hard to get rid of Zhang Zhiming, and finally I found… I became another Zhang Zhiming"

In this classic clip of the movie "Chunjiao and Zhiming", in addition to the lines, the land of water and bamboo where Zhiming and Chunjiao talked is also impressive.

▲ Picture from: Douban

This simple yet highly artistic and charming bamboo house is called "The Commune at the Foot of the Great Wall" and was designed by 12 outstanding architects including Kengo Kuma.

▲Image from: Kengo Kuma and Associates

When it comes to Kengo Kuma, many people must have heard of it. In the hands of the famous Japanese architect who designed the main stadium of the Tokyo Olympic Games, many strange "disappearing buildings" were born.

"Negative Architecture" with "Green Lungs"

Located in the southern city of San Jose, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area, "Park Habitat" will be a new addition to the "disappearing architecture" created by Kengo Kuma and his architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates.

The reason why they are called "disappearing architecture" is that Kengo Kuma's "negative architecture" design style is imprinted in these works. Let the building integrate with the local environment with its natural features, blur the boundary between the two, so as to achieve the effect of "disappearing" the building.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

"Park Habitat" is part of the renovation of San Jose by North American mixed-use real estate development company Westbank in collaboration with Urban Community, Peterson and OPTrust, and one of the key words of the renovation is "nature".

This high-rise building in downtown San Jose, including office, retail and museum space, has a total of 1.3 million square feet (about 120,000 square meters) of interior space over 20 floors Construction of the highly integrated "park" has recently started and is expected to be completed in 2025.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

The design of "Park Habitat" hopes to integrate nature into the building and make the office park "office in the park", so plants can be seen almost everywhere in the whole building.

The façade of the building not only has shutters that are oriented according to the angle of sunlight, but also has many plants for shade. These plants both provide shade and provide a steady stream of fresh air for those who move through the building.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

The exposed south façade has denser shutters, less glazing and more shading vines than the shaded north façade. And this is just one part of the fusion of nature and architecture.

A variety of vegetation is also integrated under the corridor at the bottom of the "Park Habitat" building, which can not only be used as a public place, but also extends from the indoor to the outdoor natural environment. The sunken part of the front porch is a garden that connects the public realm to the building, bringing nature and light into the lower floors.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

At the top of "Park Habitat", there is a "small forest" where you can do outdoor activities. The terrain is specially designed to be uneven, and at the same time, it also naturally integrates a number of different functional areas. There are lounges, sculpture gardens, corners where you can sunbathe, walking paths and teahouses where you can take a break…

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

There is also a vacancy in the functionally rich "forest" above the roof. The sunlight can go all the way down this gap to reach the highlight of the building – "Green Lung" (green lung), and it will also pass through the floor on the way. A staggered outdoor terrace.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

The "green lung" is not only the large vertical atrium garden in "Park Habitat", but also the passage through which the building "breathes".

During the day, there is usually sunlight from the roof of the road that spills into the building, as well as the heat absorbed by the building. The cooler air will enter the building through the bottom "green lung", and the moving air will not only be transported to different floors, but also the warmer air will be "exhausted" from the top through this channel.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

Ian Gillespie, founder of Westbank, has mentioned that the Bay Area is blessed with a climate that allows you to be outdoors most of the year, but workspaces are ostensibly built with the primary goal of separating humans from nature. If humans are separated from nature, they will not be happy.

So he wanted to restore one of the most beautiful natural environments on earth. Kengo Kuma was chosen because the architect would blur the lines between nature and the built environment. Judging from the design of "Park Habitat", this is indeed not an independent entity separated from the environment.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

Those "disappearing buildings"

From the "Bamboo House" many years ago to today's new work "Park Habitat", from the "disappearing buildings" created by Kengo Kuma, the style of "negative architecture" has always been distinct.

▲The main venue of the Tokyo Olympics: Image from: Kengo Kuma and Associates

For example, Hongkou SOHO in Shanghai, the folds of metal make the whole building "sway" with the movement of light;

▲Shanghai Hongkou SOHO, picture from: Kengo Kuma and Associates

The Ao Nanshan store and Asakusa Cultural Center in Tokyo's mildly hot hills use a lot of wood to make the buildings stand out from the surrounding modern buildings and "hide" from nature.

▲ Sunnyhills, a slightly hot hill, picture from: Kengo Kuma and Associates

These buildings emphasize the combination of nature and architecture. Especially "Park Habitat", it "embeds" nature into the building. It is a building and an "urban jungle".

Now that people have realized how important environmental protection is, such urban forest-style "green buildings" are not uncommon.

The grid structure of the façade of the Swedish home brand IKEA in Vienna provides space for more than 100 potted and climbing plants, and there is a public roof garden on the top floor.

▲ Picture from: dezeen

The PARKROYAL Collection Pickering, an eco-friendly hotel in Garden City Singapore, has a large area of ​​plants in the hollowed-out parts of the floors, making the whole building seem like a "three-dimensional jungle" embedded in a steel city.

For all kinds of "warm" lush plants, the hotel uses comprehensive energy-saving and water-saving measures for irrigation, and it is also the first "zero energy" hotel in Singapore to be powered by solar cells.

▲ Picture from: Head for Points

The residential "Vertical Canyon" (One River North) designed and constructed by MAD Architects is located in Denver, Colorado, USA, which attracts countless mountaineering enthusiasts.

▲ Picture from: dezeen

Like a "vertical canyon" split from the middle, the public spaces and balconies full of plants are placed in the cracks, and the outdoor spaces on different floors are skillfully combined with the hiking trail-like circulation.

People "climb" in urban high-rise buildings, and what "cracks" out of urban high-rise buildings is vigorous vitality.

▲ Picture from: dezeen

In Thammasat University Rooftop Farm (TURF), the largest organic rooftop farm in Asia at Thailand's Thai Masat University, the greenery is not green, but various crops.

Landscape design firm LANDPROCESS has turned 236,806 square feet of derelict rooftop space into rooftop terraces, where more than 40 edible species, including rice, native vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees, have a new lease of life in modern architecture .

▲ Picture from: dezeen

Similar in form to the "roof farm" is the "agro-ecological skyscraper" – New Spring, which architects Michał Spólnik and Marcin Kitala won third in the 2022 skyscraper competition organized by eVolo magazine.

This skyscraper is like a large-scale device connecting the fields of nature, science and society. Modular spaces have seed and plant tissue banks, laboratories, lecture spaces, data centers, warehouses and high-tech composters… At the same time It is also a space that belongs to a specific biome.

Because in these spaces, there are also plants, soil, microorganisms, small animals and microclimates… It is not only ingeniously placing farmland in vertical space, but also rethinking the way people treat the land.

▲ Picture from: eVolo

Green building ≠ "green building"

Whether a forest or farmland is put into the building, these buildings that integrate with the environment and utilize the natural resources in the environment are undoubtedly green. The improvement of people's awareness of environmental protection has also made the terms urban farmland and green buildings appear more and more in our field of vision.

However, green buildings are not necessarily "green buildings".

"Green building" refers to a building that saves resources, protects the environment, reduces pollution, and achieves environmental friendliness and efficient use of resources during the entire life cycle of building design, construction, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. In other words, the key is not whether there are green plants, but whether it is sustainable.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

"Park Habitat," which plans to pass the LEED Platinum green building standard, is actually part of San Jose's net-zero carbon development. Changes in the air brought about by the shading of vegetation; using the angle of the shutters to adjust the sunlight exposure; "green lungs" and outdoor terraces are passive adjustment systems that improve lighting and ventilation by natural means…

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

In order to maintain the survival of so many plants in California, which is not rich in water resources, there is also a water reuse and treatment system in the building, which uses treated reclaimed water for irrigation, flushing, etc.

In addition, solar panels on the roof can also supplement part of the grid. From these aspects, the "urban forest" of "Park Habitat" is undoubtedly a "green building" in addition to being a green building.

▲ Picture from: Park Habitat

There is also the IKEA store in Vienna. The plants in the grid of the building's facade become "natural air conditioners" that regulate the temperature and air near the building, and a photovoltaic system is placed in the public roof garden on the top floor.

▲ Picture from: dezeen

The terraced terrain of TURF, a rooftop farm at the University of Thailand, allows rainwater to meander down the slope, and each floor collects runoff from the previous unit, slowing the runoff and storing it in four storage tanks. In the pool, the water used to irrigate the crops on the rooftop farm is available.

The roof is also equipped with solar panels that can generate up to 500,000 watts of electricity per hour, which is used to irrigate the farm and power the buildings below it with water drawn from a cistern.

▲ Picture from: LANDPROCESS

Although "green buildings" incorporate nature, and there are more or less methods and systems for energy saving, the production cost and energy consumption of some equipment used to achieve energy saving effects are not low.

In addition, many green buildings currently cannot fully rely on these energy-saving systems to maintain operation, which means that the building actually contains a variety of systems, and the installation of these systems also requires costs and energy consumption.

▲ Picture from: LANDPROCESS

Although there are obstacles in creating a true "green building", it cannot be "cause of choking". The road may be winding, but the future is bright. "Green buildings" may not be as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as imagined, but such buildings are indeed the trend of future development, because it will not only affect the building itself, but also affect people.

Through these buildings, the concept and way of life of green environmental protection can gradually take root in people's consciousness. With the power of consciousness, technology has the possibility of innovation. With the development of technology, the "green buildings" of the future can become more "green".

In the process of social development, people abandoned nature and got into the steel forest. But people cannot do without nature, and now is the time to slowly find the nature that has flowed away from people's hands in the city surrounded by steel and concrete.

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