Thursday, November 19, 2009

If you’ve passed by One Bryant Park in the past month or so, you may have noticed what looks like a kind of leafy-green Stonehenge clustered in the lobby of the Bank of America building. The three monoliths and twenty-five foot tall archway are made of galvanized steel frames seeded with thousands of ferns, mosses, and lichens, an installation designed by a team from Wallace Roberts & Todd, led by designer Margie Ruddick and sculptor Dorothy Ruddick. The piece is meant as a reminder of the building’s green cred, as the Cook + Fox tower achieved LEED Platinum. Unlike the original Stonehenge, we don’t have to wonder how this one was built. In fact, you can watch it being assembled in the above time-lapse clip, which compresses the entire 42 hours of installation into a mere 30 seconds. Watch as the mysterious shruboliths rise before your eyes, and check some photos after the jump.

A walk in the park. (Larry Lederman)

A walk in the park. (Larry Lederman)

Brought to you by the designers who say NEE!

Brought to you by the designers who say "NEE!"

One Response to “Shrubhenge”

  1. bruce says:

    Fake instant green vertical gardens of this sort “growing” in cells on a steel frame are the antithesis of sustainability. There is no possible way these plants will survive in the lobby for any length of time. No consideration was given to the ambient conditions, light direction, etc. As an ephemeral sculpture it is fine, but don’t pretend it is a landscape.

    The current fad for skin thin “green roofs” and prepackaged “vertical gardens” are nothing but greenwashing and make the standard suburban lawn look sustainable by comparison. Green paint would cost less and last longer.

    If you want sustainability in a vertical garden simply plant ivy or Parthenocissus adjacent to a south facing masonry wall then wait a few decades. Given that treatment even a brutalist abomination will eventually look good.

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