As architects like Herzog & de Meuron and Jean Nouvel tap into the potential of vertical gardens, they’ll often seek the expertise of Patrick Blanc. For the past thirty years Blanc developed vertical gardens while researching adaptive strategies of plants at the National Center for Sceintific Research in France. His research of plant growth in nature’s more hostile environs, such as hanging off of stone cliffs or springing from rocks next to waterfalls, has yielded a uniquely urbanistic solution for gardening. For the next ten days there’s a small window of opportunity left to see the work of Blanc at its most luxurious. The botanist designed the New York Botanical Garden‘s annual Orchid Show which ends on April 22. As a bonus, this also happens to be the moment that the Gardens’ 250 acres are at the height of their springtime burst.
While it is more restrained than many of the high designed garages currently popping up in Miami, the new garage at New York Botanical Gardens, designed by Ennead‘s Suzan Rodriguez with Desman Associates, marks a distinct departure for bland lots frequently found around New York. The garage opened to the public last Friday and promises to sport a vertical garden on all four sides once the plantings catch on to and climb up the Greenscreen wire trellis. The trellis wire rests between ‘V’ shaped vertical columns that derive inspiration from tree-limbs. But one can also detect a modernist influence, perhaps Pier Luigi Nervi‘s George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal? The effort goes a bit beyond the call of greening duty, as its not actually located in the the gardens. It sits on a former industrial site across the street and over the bridge of the MTA’s North Harlem local line.