Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » Articles by: Leif Hallerbach

„Boomfeestdag“: Bobbing Forest in Rotterdam

The art collective Mothership will plant trees that will bob in the harbor of Rotterdam. The “Bobbing Forest” will be unveiled on 16 March 2016 during the “Nationale Boomfeestdag” (National Arbor Day) in the Netherlands.

“Bobbing Forest” is a collection of trees that are floating in the harbour of Rotterdam. The project was inspired by a smaller sculpture by Dutch artist Jorge Bakker in an aquarium that had miniature models of trees. A team of artists, designers and other experts spent three years working on a prototype for “Bobbing Forest”, planting test trees in old buoys recycled from the North Sea. “The Bobbing Forest will be made mostly from pre-existing materials,” states the project webpage.

One of the main goals of the „Boomfeestdag“ this year is getting focus on the city forest. The Port of Rotterdam includes a number of currently unused harbour basins. For Mothership the “Bobbing Forest” is an opportunity to honour the harbour basin in a special way. In addition to this, the project also feeds the support for more green in the city centre, and the city forest especially.

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Plantable Objects: “Seed” by Taeg Nishimoto

There is a new way to make your home greener: Plant green on the wall! The Architect and Designer Taeg Nishimoto has invented “Seed” – objects to be hung on the wall incorporating small plants as the focus.

The container part of the soil for the plant is attached in the back, lifting the concrete tile of “Seed” about 2cm to 4.5cm from the wall, giving the presence of the tile floating in front of the wall. “Seed” comes in many variations of profile and surface texture. Each profile is taken from different river stones’ outline, which is a result of a long smoothing process the stones go through in water flow of the river.

“Seed” is made of fast drying cast concrete using the crumpled Tyvek as the mold. The Tyvek is first crumpled to create a particular crease pattern and stretched inside the cut out of the profile. The spontaneous crumpling pattern of paper is totally unpredictable, and yet it evokes certain geological formations we observe in the satellite images. Concrete mix is poured with about 5mm – 8mm thick while the center of the Tyvek is lifted to make a hole. Any plant that can fit inside the hole can be used, though various different kinds of succulents are great for it.

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Refin: Stoneware Tiles for Outdoor Floors

Italian brand Refin offers porcelain stoneware tiles suitable for outdoor floors with traditional and raised installation. The 20mm thick tiles “OUT2.0“ guarantee a high resistance to loads and are perfect for residential and commercial outdoor flooring.

Perfect for gardens, swimming pools and outdoor areas, “OUT2.0“ is the result of Refin’s research into solutions for outdoors offering the ideal combination of performance, looks and versatility. Resistant to frost, chemicals and harsh weather conditions, the tiles are the ideal choice for residential or commercial applications out of doors.

“OUT2.0“ is also synonymous with versatility: it is lighter and more practical than cement-based concrete and natural stone, guaranteeing an excellent load-bearing capacity and resistance to breakage, while enabling design continuity with any flooring fitted indoors.

The exceptional technical features of the tiles are not affected by the passing of time. “OUT2.0“ can be fitted using one of the three following methods: raised flooring with supports, directly on top of gravel or soil, or using the traditional solution with adhesive. A full range of trim tiles completes the line, making it possible to obtain a truly excellent finished result.

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Garden Expo in China: Project by Penda

Selected as the winner of an international competition, Penda´s landscape pavilion for the 10th international Garden Expo in China seeks to highlight the importance of clean water and protecting the environment. The project is called “Where the River runs“ and takes visitors through a landscape on a pathway resembling a river.

The project is an ode to water. Penda´s task has been to find a reasonable way for a sensible use of our natural resources. Their proposal for the garden expo has been a natural statement for the importance of clean water and a healthy environment. A river-like pathway guides visitors through an artificial landscape of hills and valleys. Penda sees the location as a connection in between other pavilions and it can be entered from three sides. Visitors are naturally guided through the riverbed. On their way they will pass by various landscape formations, like a narrow shore, high cliffs or a natural cave. As visitors are strolling through the pavilion, all paths are leading to the central plaza, where people have time to rest, reflect or have a drink. A natural canopy offers shadow to the plaza.

Seeds of different plants are given to the visitors at each entrance and they get the opportunity to plant local flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs along the “riverbed”. As people are hiking through the landscape and seeding their plants, they take over the function of a river as they bring life to the pavilion. Like the river does in an natural environment, the visitors become the starting point in the lifecycle of plants. They are an essential part to design the pavilion and that will increase the sensibility towards the importance of clean water and clean air. On their walk through the pavilion, the landscape offers the visitors a wide variety of visual, haptic and scented expression from different terrain-formations to various colourful plants, while they become an essential part in the circle of life.

Green Sculpture: The Biesbosch Museum in the Netherlands

For most visitors, the Biesbosch Museum is the starting point for exploring the Biesbosch National Park. Like a green sculpture the museum has been completely transformed and extended with a new wing by Studio Marco Vermeulen.

Both the new wing of the museum and existing volume are designed to minimize energy consumption. On cold days, a biomass stove maintains the building at the right temperature through floor heating. On warm days, water from the river flows through the same piping to cool the building. Sanitary wastewater is purified through a willow filter: the first in the Netherlands. The old and new sections of the museum are surrounded by earthworks and covered with a roof of grass and herbs. The roof adds ecological value, creating a sculptural object that reads as land art and, at the same time, manifests itself in the surrounding landscape.

Water safety was the key reason for the development of the Biesbosch Museum Island. As part of a national water safety programme, the 4450-hectare Noordwaard polder has been turned into a water-retention area. The Museum Island, which will be realized in the spring of 2016, is a freshwater tidal park that receives river water through a newly dug creek. A meandering path provides access to the island, which continuously changes in appearance because of the changing water levels.

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