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(21-02-28) Vertical Forrest Thin

White Forest

Vancouver, CA



Four-Storey Mixed-Use


A dynamic planted facade system creates a new vibrant addition to the streetscape. Built from perforated metal, the planter boxes are integrated with the building facades and provide many sustainable benefits. During the summer and winter solstice, the planters perform as a passive solar shade for the residential units reducing the heating/cooling demand of the building’s mechanical systems. The planting is all low-maintenance foliage and uses rainwater and natural condensation to water the plants without the use of the building's irrigation systems. All rainwater leaders are concealed within the building facade. The metal planter elements are carefully positioned so that each unit receives passive shading benefits, a privacy divider between their neighbors, and has a view out onto the planting.

Perforated metal is proposed for the planters because of the material's lightweight and durability.  The construction of the boxes is simple: a sheet is bent formed into a box shape and its corners are securely welded to provide the structural integrity to support the live loads of soil and water.

From afar, the facade emulates the fluidity of the winter forest.  As the seasons change, the natural properties - colors, shapes, and sizes of the foliage inside the planters will transform creating a changing experience of the building throughout the year. Though the planter boxes are modest in size, each residential unit is surrounded by planters running vertically on either side of their Juliet-balconies.   


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