Art Deco aficionados may look to Manhattan and South Beach for the last vestiges of the fabled style, but our home of the Bronx is a little-known goldmine for these architectural classics. We’ve touched on this subject before, of course. Scouting NY just took it one step further with a jaunt through the surviving Art Deco buildings along the Grand Concourse. And if it weren’t for the pun police suspecting me of bad taste already, I’d tell you that I’m so jazzed about this. —MN
Dilston Grove by Ackroyd & Harvey
Dilston Grove (formerly known as Clare College Mission Church) located on the edge of Southwark Park in Bermondsey, London was transformed into a green chamber of living grass in collaboration with sound artist and composer Graeme Miller, Ackroyd & Harvey. This church was originally designed in early Italian style with an austere exterior which gave way to the dramatic difference created by the liveliness of the fabrics of growing grass. The clay, germinating grass seeds, water and natural light presented the sharp contrast between growth and decay, reverie and renewal. Through the interplay of light, sound and growth, this project brought resurrection to this old, inert and nonfunctional building, bringing back spiritual memories for local residence over a three week period.
I wonder if Patrick Blanc would appreciate the vertical minimalism. —MN
Victoria amazonica has been a long-running inspiration even beyond its botanical “wow” factor, not only for its structure but for its instant recognizability. Read more on it here, and check out the NYBG in summer when ours will be on display! —MN
Apparently Sir Joseph Paxton’s structural ideas for the Crystal Palace came from plants - and more specifically the Victoria Regia Lily pictured, which were later cultivated inside the palace.
This image comes from Delamotte’s Crystal Palace: A Victorian Pleasure Dome Revealed by Ian Leith.
Would you like to live in Art Deco splendor and have the Garden as your own virtual front yard? Then the Bronx just might be for you! This wonderful “Hunt” column from the New York Times looks at how one devotee of the period found his dream home just a stone’s throw from our gates. ~AR
#nybg the observatory raining beauty
The Conservatory is such an oasis on cold rainy days. ~AR
If you’re a Poison Ivy cosplayer with a yearly pilgrimage to New York Comic Con on your calendar, you’ll probably be into this. Despite being one of the largest convention centers on the east coast, that hasn’t stopped the renovators of the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side from considering environmentally sound architecture.
While some may cry “greenwashing,” the nearly 300,000-square-foot green roof (composed of sedum grown in upstate New York) soon to be installed on this aging con haven promises not only insulation and roof protection, but sizable energy savings. Something tells me NYCC tickets won’t get any cheaper, but hey, one battle at a time. Click through for the technicals. —MN
Well hey! That dome looks a little familiar, and for good reason. Both our Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and this beauty at Allan Gardens were designed by Lord & Burnham. So, if you can’t visit us in New York, it looks like you can get a similar experience up in Toronto. ~AR
10.24.2012 | Allan Gardens
So that’s why those post-apocalyptic, Earth-without-humans extrapolation series are so popular on TV. If I could turn my house into a living nest of vines without the Home Owner’s Association flipping their lid, I’d consider it. —MN
reclaimed by nature
The subtle genius of Piet Oudolf’s landscape design can be seen along the High Line, in Battery Park, and even touches the Seasonal Walk of The New York Botanical Garden. But abroad, he’s even more prolific with his mingling of form and, contrastingly, the lack of it. Now in an artistic partnership with renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, the monkish duo is taking on a challenge that will require an intense commitment of complementary talents: a 40-loft industrial living space replete with gardens, greenhouses, and growing things. Click through for the story of this lauded designer; we have a crush on him with good reason. —MN
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a fan of architectural innovation. I love the creativity feeding the design proposals that we now see everywhere, right down to their adorable cutouts of hand-drawn civilians populating the virtual space. But so often these towering farm skyscrapers and fishbowl-shaped amphitheaters are nothing more than designers’ exercises, doomed to live out their lives in the filing cabinet as developers bicker over practicality.
In this case, at least, the concept is now a reality, albeit a small step rather than a floating lily-pad cruise ship. —MN
Notice the bevy of green architectural concepts floating around the internet? I don’t mean the office building proposals with low carbon footprints, or novel approaches to solar farms. I’m talking about literal green concepts—bringing the bounty of the farm to urban landscapes.
Flavorwire has put together a stack of innovative and inspiring “plant buildings,” all with one thing in common: they’re taking after Patrick Blanc in a big way. Thanks to the French botanist’s Orchid Show designs here at the NYBG, New Yorkers are getting a taste of his creative ambition. The Green Man’s vertical gardens, or mur végétal, have directly or indirectly inspired everything from skyscraper farms to edible restaurants, and the author phrases Blanc’s legacy succinctly.
” … Our favorite green-haired botanist has helped to usher in the post-industrial era’s successor—a new design epoch that we think should be classified as The Age of the Plant.”
Click through for a few of the more daring ideas being courted in countries around the world. —MN
This installation was actually part of “Moistscape,” architectural curator Henry Urbach’s gallery showing in New York circa 2004. The recycled rubber underfoot was intended to mimic the spongy texture of the living moss. Very neat. —MN
hanging moss garden
That was a fun image to take. It was the 8th I took of the building from the walkway outside; the first 7 were much more square on the building, and then I walked about 30 more feet, looked sideways again and the slight angle of the building combined with the clouds was just right, so I took the photo again! Hah!
Just awesome! Thanks for letting us share Nick!
Have you taken a great shot at the Garden? Make sure you share it with us in our Flickr Group Pool, and if you’re planning to come for a visit soon, be sure to enter our Caribbean Garden Photography Contest for a chance to win a great prize. ~AR
Changing Seasons at the Conservatory, a year long time-lapse video from The New York Botanical Garden.
You can probably see why this house is called “The Muse.” With four rooftop gardens, dozens of trees, and its own meadow, the stony industrial edifices that surround this London home boost its inspirational value through an almost jarring contrast. — MN