Green Mosaic: Botanical Garden for Houston

Dutch landscape firm West 8 has recently planned a new botanical garden in Houston, Texas, featuring a mosaic of gardens and a bridge incorporating an arch of trees.

The Houston Botanic Garden will be on an area of  49 hectares, which is bordered by the Sims Bayou, a major waterway in Houston. West 8’s Master Plan takes its inspiration and structure from the existing site and gives forethought to the biggest environmental challenges: flooding and intense weather event. The design proposes lifting the existing topography to elevate the gardens and permanent structures out of the flood plain. With the water bodies as site-organizers, the Garden is divided into two main precincts: the “Island” and the “South Gardens”.

The “South Gardens” is the place of arrival for all visitors. It features an open lawn, which is a relaxing, day-to-day place for picnics and strolling, but also supports community events. A hike/bike trail extends along Glenview Drive, with a proposed section along Sims Bayou that would connect the Garden to the extensive network of Greater Houston hike and bike trails.  The Island will be dominated by gardens, both naturalistic and cultivated. These gardens provide year-round beauty, delight the senses, and educate young and old alike. A conservatory building extends the plant repertoire to provide a setting for exotic plants from tropical climates. Visitor-oriented amenities like educational facilities, an events pavilion, a café, and a lecture hall, are strategically located to provide destinations and provisions for guests. Construction of the first phase is slated to begin in 2018.

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Urban landscape: green project for Paris

The project “Réinventer Paris” is seeking new ideas for urban planning. The contribution of Jacques Ferrier Architecture and Chartier Dalix Architectes would like to significantly increase green space in the French capital.

“Reinventing Paris” is a project initiated by the city that hopes to give innovative ideas for the development of the metropolis a push. Architects and urban planners are invited to concern themselves with various locations in the capital, including the central ring road Boulevard Périphérique. For the connection from Paris to Neuilly, the partners Jacques Ferrier Architecture and Chartier Dalix Architectes are planning an unusually green project: a network of gardens and green areas should provide the framework for greened residential and office buildings and create space for public life.

The roofs of the expandable buildings should also be connected with one another and have lush roof gardens – a tea plantation is planned, among other things. Pavilions offer residents the possibility to work or relax, even at airy heights. In the interplay of urban landscape and greened development, the project should primarily show how greenery can be integrated even more intensively into the city and the life of Parisians. A school for urban horticulture planned for the area underlines this approach.

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