GPW: Musée du quai Branly

September 26, 2011 at 12:07 am

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 9/19/11
Musée du quai Branly Greenwall
Paris, France
8,600 sf. Greenwall

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Year: 2005
Owner: Musée du quai Branly
Location: Paris, France
Building Type: Museum
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 8,600 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Situated close to the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du quai Branly features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum complex contains several buildings, as well as a mediatheque and a garden. The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel, and the façade measures approximately 13,000 sf (1,200 m). Yet its most noticeable feature is the stunning and now iconic 200 m long by 12 m tall living wall covering the entire northwest façade, punctured by large windows.

Designed by Patrick Blanc using his hydroponic Le Mur Végétal system, the Musée du quai Branly greenwall is one of Blanc’s most famous vertical gardens, and one of the most highly photographed in the world. Facing the River Seine with a park and small streets in between, the micro-climate creates a good environment for a large variety of plants. A range of species were selected from the world’s main temperate zones, including North America, Europe, the Himalayas, China, Japan, Chile, and South Africa. Patrick insisted that the biodiversity represented in this vertical garden echo the cultural diversity of artists the world over, whose works were on exhibit in that very museum.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Jean Nouvel
Green Wall Designer: Patrick Blanc
Green Wall System: Le Mur Végétal
Planning Phase Project Director: Françoise Raynaud
Construction Project Director: Isabelle Guillauic

Google Maps Link

Additional Info

Nicknamed MQB, the Musée du quai Branly opened in June, 2006. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts a variety of shows, concerts, cinema and cultural activities all year round. Behind a sound-proofed glass wall is a secluded garden where visitors can sit and relax after their tour.

At first, residents were unsure of the new living wall cloaking the four-story building, and now they are highly protective of it.

I was in Paris last year in May and of course I made sure to visit the Musée du quai Branly, not the inside, just the outside. To say I was fascinated is an understatement! As I examined plant species at eye level I started following flowing drifts of plant communities diagonally, upwards, downwards…

The building was enveloped in different shades and sizes of green, red, yellow, lilac, pink and white. I started to feel like the reflective windows were just getting in the way of the beautiful picture, yet after a while of observing the colors of the sky change and white billowy clouds pass by, the juxtaposition of modern architecture and the look of a primeval forest was somewhat surreal.

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Writing in the 2006 New York Times article “Quai Branly: A perverse, magical space” Nicolai Ouroussoff says, “By contrast, the exterior of the administration building is swallowed up by a vertical carpet of exotic plants punctured by big windows. On some stories, the plants invade the building, crawling down the interior walls. (“When you put in little flowers, people are happy,” Nouvel said of his design.)”

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I can see that. The building is almost magical in its irreverent disregard for the status quo of boring flat façades of “normal” buildings – the undulating plant masses, the lushness of the sensuous sweeping bands of vegetation, and the desire to touch them all draws the visitor into the façade itself, as if it were a sub-tropical forest floor on its side. Photos above and below by contributing editor Christine Thuring in 2009.

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One of the very best qualities about Patrick Blanc’s works is that the plants really look like they are the structure – not just planted on top of it. Integrated design at its finest!  Patrick is a great proponent of plant biodiversity – the wall contains over 15,000 plants and 150 different species from around the world.

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It was fun watching some people’s reactions as they passed by – the thoroughfare that runs along the left bank of the Seine is very close to the Eiffel Tower, and the street is heavily populated with tourists.  I guess Parisians have had a few years to become accustomed to the rather large structure and have since become nonplussed – but I noticed that most passersby had to stop, look at the wall and then touch it, as if to make sure the plants were real!

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A lot of people gingerly felt the many varieties of species, and in fact Patrick Blanc told me that he and architect Jean Nouvel not only expected people to touch them, they hoped they would! Some wanted to put up a screen or see-through barrier so people couldn’t access the plants, but Patrick stood his ground and said most certainly not, that it was part of the experience to use all the senses to really appreciate this living work of art.

As a result, some portions of the living wall need to be replaced occasionally, and Patrick said he was fine with that – sometimes folks pick the “pretty flowers and leaves” and don’t realize it’s a living being.

I saw several areas where the felt had obviously been replaced and stapled in new – to be honest, I’ve seen this in numerous applications of this type of living wall system, although this is the first (but certainly not last) and only Patrick Blanc greenwall I’ve seen.

The patented Mur Végétal system has been around for about 15 years now, and there are many knock-offs.  Patrick says he’s flattered and welcomes the opportunity for others to learn from his many years of research an experience with the hydroponic system.

Paris is a refined global city always seeking new ideas and ideals, and the Musée du quai Branly is a modern museum living in this classic setting, yet it also has been designed to contradict and inspire.  Just like Patrick Blanc’s magical vertical garden wall.

“This is a museum built around a specific collection, where everything is designed to evoke an emotional response to the primary object, to protect it from light, but also to capture that rare ray of light indispensable to make it vibrate and awaken its spirituality. In a place inhabited by symbols of forests and rivers, by obsessions of death and oblivion, it is an asylum for censored and cast off works from Australia and the Americas. It is a loaded place haunted with dialogues between the ancestral spirits of men, who, in discovering their human condition, invented gods and beliefs. It is a place that is unique and strange, poetic and unsettling.” ~ Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Read about my visit with Patrick Blanc a couple of weeks ago here, and don’t miss my exclusive video interview with Patrick Blanc and his “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities” video presentation at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 on September 27 & 28.

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

 

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: August 12, 2011

August 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from August 12, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for this week, August 12th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the BCIT Green Roof Research Facility built in 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The British Columbia Institute of Technology designed a dedicated Green Roof Research Facility with the support of regional government, organizations, industry associations and material suppliers to help address the major barriers to market penetration of green roofs in BC. The BCIT Green Roof Research Facility was constructed to evaluate green roof performance for stormwater source control and thermal efficiency.   It has three independent roof surfaces – one reference roof and two green roofs – each with their own weather poles to measure climatic parameters. In addition to researching stormwater source control and thermal performance of green roofs, the BCIT Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Technology also conducts product performance testing, serves for demonstration, and offers research-based education and training across disciplines. The Centre is a leading sustainable initiative that will help re-define how buildings are designed, and how land and water can be more effectively managed.

–  To learn more about the BCIT Green Roof Research Facility, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–   Due to a series of unexpected events, we have rescheduled our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 to September 27th & 28th. We are very excited about our exceptional line-up of speakers and exhibitors and the extra time will ensure that the event will be a unique experience like no other. The extra time will be well worth it in the end to allow our speakers more time to prepare their presentations, people to be back from vacations, and for all of us to start spreading the word! So, our Early Bird Pre-Registration has also been extended and now you have until September 9th to pre-register and be entered to win an iPad2!

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

–   AIA Credits Available at Boston GreenFest for the GLTi “Green Roof Installations” Lecture with George Irwin.

–   Community College of Philadelphia Selects LiveRoof ® for Two New Green Roofs at its Main Campus.

–  Industry News

–   The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) has agreed to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems & treatment plants, at an estimated cost of $4.7 billion over 23 years, to eliminate illegal overflows of untreated raw sewage, including basement backups; and to reduce pollution levels in urban rivers and streams.

 

–   Over at Sky Gardens, read Linda’s latest posts: “Date Change for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011,” TWIR for 8.5.11 and our GPW.

– “Upcoming Events“

–   August 16th: there is a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – GRP Exam in Washington, DC.

–   August 16th-18th: is Ag Progress Days, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in Rock Springs, Pennsylvania.

 

–   And August 18th-20th: is Boston GreenFest 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

–   And check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

–   Darah Hansen of The Vancouver Sun talks about “Car dealership buzzing with sweet activity.” In 2007, the 62,000-sq.-ft. Auto West BMW dealership in Richmond opened with more than $1 million in sustainable features, including a 16-meter-tall wind turbine, solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a rooftop garden. Honey bees came two years later, following the rise of alarming news articles on the global collapse of honey bee colonies. The rooftop garden includes more than 3,500 bee-friendly plants, from lavender, wild strawberries and red currant to pink carpet roses, blueberries and apple blossoms. The project is also part of a study led by York University exploring how the urban environment affects the nesting habits of honey bees.

–   The Your News Now, web staff says “Downtown building gets new green roof.” The roof of the Monroe Building in downtown Syracuse now has a new environmentally-friendly roof with stormwater management capabilities projected to capture more than 90,000 gallons of water each year. The building’s owner applied for and received help from Onondaga County’s Green Improvement Fund, which is part of the county’s Save the Rain campaign. Its goal is to help reduce storm water pollution and clean up Onondaga Lake. The Green Improvement Fund covers several areas in the City of Syracuse.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or newslinks section of our website.

– Have something you think we should know about and post on our website? You can send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com.

– Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at Greenroofs.com by subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and being a member of our network on LinkedIn.

– This has been This Week in Review for August 12th,  2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*

Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: August 5, 2011

August 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from August 5, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for this week, August 5th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the  ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall built in 1994 in Fukuoka, Japan – and it’s one of the earliest contemporary examples of creating living architecture with plants within the greenroof & Wall industry!  Architect Emilio Ambasz designed a 100,000-square-meter park in the city center onto 15 stepped terraces of the ACROS, or “Asian Crossroads Over the Sea,” building. Underneath the park’s fifteen one-story terraces is over one million square feet of multipurpose space with an exhibition hall, a museum, a 2,000-seat proscenium theater, conference facilities, governmental and private offices, and several underground levels of parking and retail space. Along the edge of the park, the building steps up, floor-by-floor, in an arrangement of low, landscaped terraces. Each terrace floor contains an assortment of gardens for meditation, relaxation, and escape from the congestion of the city, while the top terrace becomes a grand beautiful view of the bay of Fukuoka and the surrounding mountains. A stepped series of reflecting pools on the terraces are connected by upwardly spraying jets of water, to create a ladder-like climbing waterfall to cover-up the ambient noise of the city beyond.

– To learn more about the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall  , click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–   There are only 5 days left to pre-register for our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design. Pre-register by August 10th and to be eligible to win an iPad2!  If you want to know the latest news about the event search for #virtualsummit2011 on Twitter.

–  Industry News:    The Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed an ordinance adopting changes to the Land Development Code sponsored by Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh. The changes also encourage builders & developers to orient their buildings to account for the sun, reduce energy used on lighting and to reduce surface water runoff by using green roofs or adding open space.

–   Joblinks Update:    Apex Green Roofs is seeking a Green Roof Installer for a job position in Somerville, Massachusetts.

–   Head over to the Sky Gardens blog to read Linda’s latest posts: “GGW Virtual Summit 2011: Connecting with Content!,” “Go Green with Greenroofs and Patrick Carey!” where Patrick, who’s one of our contributing editors here, is interviewed, “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: July 29th, 2011,” and our GPW.

– “Upcoming Events“

–   August 7th: is the Salt Spring’s Eco-Living and Home Tour in Salt Springs Island, British Columbia, Canada.

–   August 7th-10th: is GovEnergy 2011 – The Premier Energy Training Workshop and Trade Show for Federal Agencies in Cincinnati, Ohio.

–   August 7th-12th: is the 96th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Austin, Texas.

–   And, as you should know by now, August 23rd & 24th: is our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 held online around the world!

–   And check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

–   Dean Fosdick of the nwitimes.com says “”˜Living walls’ are a great backdrops for floral tapestry.” Landscaper Darien Ball built a living wall to highlight the Tiffany stained-glass lamp exhibit at the Biltmore Estate this summer with colorful vegetation. The vertical garden has 6 by 24 feet floral tapestry panels and was made with a plant-by-numbers system. The colors are those of butterflies, tree branches and dragonflies, all staples of the Tiffany lamps, windows, vases and bowls that were created for the wealthy in the late 19th century. Lorrie Baird, a senior gardener who cares for another living wall at Longwood Gardens says that gardeners can create their own living walls at home. There are kits with planters, water barriers, pumps and soaker hoses are available via the Internet.

–   Melissa Jenco of TribLocal reports on “Library installs green rooftop.” The Gail Borden Public Library planted a message of sustainability that will help to absorb rainwater, produce oxygen and provide extra insulation for its building. Due to the added layer of insulation, director of marketing, development and communications, Denise Raleigh said the library expects some energy savings and that they will be happy with any kind of savings, even if its small, because they see themselves as a kind of a leader or partner in sustainability in Elgin, Illinois. For a first hand view, library goers can see the greenery from Studio 270 or the Literacy Connection or they can also ask a member of the communication staff at the administration office on the second floor to check it out.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or newslinks section of our website.

– Have something you think we should know about and post on our website? You can send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com.

– Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at Greenroofs.com by subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and being a member of our network on LinkedIn.

– This has been This Week in Review for August 5th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*

Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: July 29, 2011

July 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from July 29, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for this week, July  29th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the Church Street Station, built in 2002 in Evanston, Illinois.  Focus Development wanted to build their 17-story postmodern Church Street Station Condominiums not only with beautiful interiors but also to be a place that their customers would love to call home.  They also had future needs in mind by putting in a garden roof where condo owners could go to get away from the day-to-day stresses.  Adding natural beauty to the 5th floor roof atop the residents’ parking structure, this 8,500 s.f. garden roof sits alongside a beautiful pool and fitness room.  American Hydrotech provided the Garden Roof Assembly, which is a seamless, hot-applied rubberized asphalt membrane that provides long-lasting protection and incorporates a minimum of 25% recycled materials – along with retaining moisture, irrigating the vegetation from the underside, helping to recreate the plants’ natural growing environment on the roof.  Birch, maple and evergreen trees, tall grasses, and flowering shrubs and perennials create a naturalistic backdrop to the lush lawn and beautiful arbors, making the garden roof a benefit for the building owner, its occupants, and the whole neighborhood.

To learn more about the Church Street Station garden roof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–    Pre-Registration is now open for our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011! Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, a Greenroofs.com Virtual Conference and Expo, which will be held on August 23rd & 24th of this year!  Remember to Pre-Register by the Early Bird Registration date of August 10th and you’ll be entered to win one of two iPad2’s that we’ll be giving away!

–   Also here on Greenroofs.com:   Our monthly eNewsletter is going out today, so look for it in your inboxes!

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

–   CitySoil™: New Growing Media for Green Roofs and Urban Agriculture now in the market.

–  Industry News

–   This week state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that urban forestry grants totaling $966,489 are being awarded to communities & organizations across New York.  The NY State Urban & Community Forestry Program provides technical assistance to communities through local Urban Foresters & ReLeaf volunteers.

– You can apply for a Greening Western Queens Fund Grant by submitting an application to the North Star Fund by September 12, 2011.  Special consideration will be given to the planning and/or creation of greenroofs and other newly created green spaces that demonstrate multiple benefits, for example, energy conservation and increased local food production.

–   Joblinks Update:

New York Green Roofs is looking for a Foreman-in-training and a Green Roof Installation Laborer in New York, NY.

– At the Sky Gardens Blog,  read Linda’s latest posts:   “CitiesAlive Early Bird Registration Ends Tomorrow, August 29!” – which is today, so make sure you register to save $150 off the registration rate; “Virtual Summit 2011: Participating with the SCN!,” “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: July 22nd, 2011,” and our GPW!

– “Upcoming Events“

– August 23rd & 24th: is our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 held online around the world!

–   And check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

–   Alexandra and Elena Hall, of blogTO talk “Atop the Sky Garden of UofT.”  They say, “initiated by the Urban Agriculture Society and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and urban agriculture enthusiasts, the Sky Garden is one of Toronto’s largest rooftop vegetable gardens and the first of its kind on a Canadian university rooftop.”  The garden has grown fresh produce for the student community and all harvested vegetables and herbs are donated to the University of Toronto’s food banks, Hot Yam!, a student-run vegan cafe, and/or divided among the volunteers.  Reducing the amount of time and labour necessary for maintenance, the garden’s built-in irrigation system makes sure that water and organic fertilizers are evenly distributed.  Read the full article to find out how you can take a tour of the Sky Garden!

–   Wade Malcolm of The News Journal announces, “First green roof on UD campus will keep class comfortable.”  Annette Shine, a chemical engineering associate professor at the University of Delaware, decided to grown a garden on the roof of the Colburn building.  The 14,000 square feet of small sedums planted in trays with 4 to 8 inches of soil is UD’s first greenroof.  Rooftop gardens are popping up on campuses around the country and are a great way to cool buildings in hot weather and teach faculty and students about the benefits of greening their buildings.  In the case of the Colburn building at UD, the plants cause the peak temperature on the roof to occur later in the day, at a time when they don’t have many classes.  Another greenroof is currently under construction at the university.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or newslinks section of our website.

– Have something you think we should know about and post on our website? You can send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com.

– Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at Greenroofs.com by subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and being a member of our network on LinkedIn.

– This has been This Week in Review for July 29th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*

Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.