Monday, November 12, 2007

// launch

MFO Park Planting Diagram by Raderschall Landschaftsarchitekten AG

Excerpt from Launch chapter introduction:
“The growth of plants, from initial planting to maturation, is characterized by a continuous gain in height, mass and strength over time. The challenge often lies in the plant's infancy stage where its structural fragility requires external support in order to withstand wind and erosive forces. The concept of Launch is a combination of living and nonliving systems: a progression of vegetal growth and its correspondent structural scaffolding that is required to guide the plant’s form and trajectory until it reaches stability.

The scaffold may be a transitional structure, i.e. biodegradable; permanent; or designed to evolve symbiotically. The material systems include aboveground structures, such as a tensile cable, a mesh, and beam frameworks that allow for plant attachment, as well as subsoil materials, such as geotextiles. While cable frameworks are not typically grouped with subsoil reinforcement systems, Launch proposes the potential to merge both below- and above-ground support structures in a vertical continuum: a unified system that can reinforce and direct the development of the plant's entire composition.

Launch demonstrates a rising interest in vertical landscapes. Within the fields of landscape and architecture, this interest in typologies such as hanging gardens, tensile vine structures, and multi-tiered green façades emerges from the desire to expand the definition of landscape solely as a horizontal ground plane, and capitalizes on the inherent plasticity of plants to adapt and redirect their growth toward any supporting surface or source of nutrition, light and water.”

Projects in Launch display a gradient of structural conditions, ranging the spectacular architectonic displays of MFO Park (Multi-Tiered Vine Park) in Zurich, by Raderschall Landschaftsarchitekten AG. vegetative structures that parasitize, consume, and improve upon the structural and program of their constructed scaffolds, as in MAK t6 Vacant (Parasitic Vegetal Structure) by David Fletcher and Juan Azulay. scaffold systems that consider varied spatial and expressive conditions, such as the twisted hyperbolic structure of the Palio de Bougainvilleas (Wind Adapted Road Canopy Structure) scaffold that concurrently reacts to both the visual speed of the road and the likelihood of hurricane force winds in Puerto Rico.

And the playfully cursive and free form misting pergola (Misting Vine Pergola) of Parque de Diagonal Mar, Barcelona, Spain by Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue, EMBT Arquitectes Associates (Photograph courtesy of Alex Gaultier).

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