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The Vertical Gardens of BSH20A

After thorough preparations we presented the green concept for the residential building BSH20A by the architect Olaf Gipser, as part of the Amsterdam City lab Buiksloterham. The enthusiastic audience was the group of future residents, the actual clients in this CPO project. All under the watchful eye of the old dockers of the IJ ports.

The green concept of this building consists of water-storing green roofs and a patchwork of green niches on the facades, a double storey each. These green niches contain different elements, like a tree, some bushes, herbs and grasses, hanging- and climbing plants. Along with the balconies and winter gardens they form a diverse three-dimensional green shell around the core of the building.

The green niches provide filtering of the air in the homes, oxygen, cooling and noise reduction, but they also provide nature up close, sound of leaves, smell of flowers and the colors of the seasons. The green roofs serve as cooling and insulation, energy supply, water storage and a green image, which the residents can later extend to a functional roof garden.

The basis for the vegetation in the facade is formed by a sufficient amount of substrate and a fully automated water supply. The composition of species was to a large degree determined on the basis of the wind and heat resistance, since a tower is subject to extreme conditions sometimes. Within this selection of species a landscape concept is applied. The project is located in the old northern IJ ports, formerly the banks of the sea arm IJ. This puts the building at the end of the landscape gradient, from the hinterland to the sea. This horizontal landscape was put up vertically, with in top the species of the hills and on the ground floor species of the estuary. It creates a diverse and dynamic image, with a surprising play of spring and autumn colors and a winter image in which the evergreen shrubs set the scene.

By integrating landscape, ecology and water in the building, the concept fits perfectly in the whole sustainable and circular ambitions of Buiksloterham, as the Amsterdam laboratory for green urban development.

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