Are you sick of having to wait a whole year to learn about the latest and greatest greenroof trends? Well, wait no longer! We have decided to launch a column dedicated solely to showcasing the most chic, most hip, most creative greenroofs and living walls from around the world.
Twice a month, Linda and I will take turns profiling built projects, noteworthy ideas, competitions, and interesting people in the industry – plus some fun ones thrown in as well.
As always, no project is too small to catch our eyes or garner attention. From chicken coops (see below) to football stadiums, we want to highlight it all and bring these projects the attention they deserve.
We all know by now that living architecture is good for us and the environment. Our goal for this blog is to raise it up from its status as the cauliflower of the meal and transform it to the foie gras. We’re calling it: Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People.
And we would love your help. Do you know of any particularly cool green roof or living walls projects in the news that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are environmentally friendly? Send them in to us!
INAUGURAL CHIC SUSTAINABILITY WATCH: CHICKENS & URBAN AG
For our inaugural column, I’ve decided to focus on two trends that score high marks on the chic sustainability front – chickens and urban agriculture. Combine them with a hipper than hip green roof and suddenly you have the object of an eco-warrior’s dreams: a sustainable chicken coop that produces its own fertilizer for crops growing on its roof.
The number of green roof chicken coops that have been constructed is astounding. Do a quick Google image search and you’ll be amazed by how many of our feathered friends live under the naturally climate controlled confines of a green roof. Designs vary from rustic and simple to sleek and modern. Here are some that fall into the latter category.
The winner of a design competition by Sera Architects to build “the perfect chicken coop,” Hen Hedge combines an open rectangular structure with a vegetated roof and living wall. The result is a stylish hen house that provides shade to its occupants and blends into the surrounding landscape. The one of a kind coop by Gary Gola + Jeanie Lai was auctioned off at a gala benefitting the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.
Love the idea of a contemporary green roof chicken coop, but not quite ready to harness your inner DIY goddess? Kippen House may be just the coop for you. The goal of the coop, according to designer Traci Fontyn, is to “look good, be multi-functional and offer the ability to adapt to the small urban lot.” And the best part of her design is that the green roof holds 10″ of growing medium, enough to grow small vegetables and herbs.
ARCHITECTURE FOR THE MASSES
When architects Mitchell Snyder and Shelley Martin set out to build a coop for their three chickens, they didn’t lower their design standards. The “residence” is a stunning four foot cube that keeps the ladies warm in the winter and cool in the summer and provides them with enough space for their daily needs. It also includes a 4-by-15-foot run. Above it, the green roof is planted with native Oregon sedums.
GREEN ROOF CHICKEN COOP
“We started out selling our plans to neighbors, they convinced us to start our website…” So begins the copy at greenroofchickencoop.com, a website that sells two types of chicken coops, a “green roof chicken coop” (4′ wide by 4.5′ deep with 16 sf of growing area) and an “herb garden chicken coop” (3.5′ wide by 8′ long with 28 sf of growing area). The best part is that aspiring urban chicken farmers can choose how much of the work they want to do themselves; customers can purchase plans, kits, or fully assembled coops.
WIND-POWERED PREFAB CHICKEN COOP
A competition held by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development called for new and efficient chicken coops. Winners Peleg/Burshstein Architects and landscape architect Nathan Gulman designed a prefab coop that processes its own waste and is self-powered by renewable energy. The 200 foot long coop is outfitted with wind turbines, solar panels, and a green roof/living wall. Water tanks, silos, egg storage, and a waste-treatment system are stored within the coop’s interior.
So, have these five green roofed chicken coops inspired you to go out and design one of your own? Remember, everyone deserves the opportunity to surround themselves with chic sustainability, including your chickens!!
Until next time,