July 7, 2017

Vertical forest to pop up in Utrecht

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,Nature by Orangemaster @ 4:13 pm


In Utrecht near Central Station, in the new district of the Jaarbeursboulevard, Milanese firm Stefano Boeri Architetti will erect the ‘Hawthrone Tower’, a Dutch vertical forest after having won an international competition.

“The 90-metre-tall tower will be covered by 10,000 plants of many different species, aimed at creating ‘an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature.’ The green façade will allow Hawthorne Tower to absorb more than 5.4 tons of CO2, scrubbing the air for healthier living conditions for both residents of the tower and the wider city.

Construction will start in 2019 and should be finished in 2022. As well, on the ground floor it will also house a ‘vertical forest hub’, a research centre for the implementation and education of urban forestation worldwide, open to the public.

(Links and photo: dearchitect.nl, archdaily.com)

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January 19, 2016

Prototype back pack filters the air using plants

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 3:17 pm

Aloe Vera

Five Dutch students of the Delft University of Technology are designing a back pack with a plant in it which would replace the use of gas masks in polluted cities. “The bag allows fine particles to be filtered out and cleans the air,” said team leader Marnix de Kroon. It provides instant fresh air to the wearer thanks to a filter that sifts it through the roots of a plant inside the back pack.

Plant-wise, “it seems that aloe vera may be a possibility,” De Kroon explained. An expert was quick to cut the plant bag idea down, claiming it wouldn’t be useful and the filter itself could ‘weed out’ 99.9 percent of the fine particles.

The team still believes that in cities like Beijing and Tehran, which have serious pollution problems, could be their main market. After all, the prototype did bag a Dutch design prize.

(Link: thepeninsulaqatar.com, Photo of Aloe vera by Tom Parnell, some rights reserved)

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July 15, 2015

Artists funded to sow pot seeds in Amsterdam

Filed under: Nature,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:28 pm

The Amsterdam chapter of the Awesome Foundation that awards people money every month to realize ‘awesome initiatives that solve problems or bring joy to the world’ has given art collective Indebt Studios 1000 euro to plant marijuana seeds around town.

The group bought some 40 kilos of cannabis seeds and planted them in all kinds of green spaces in Amsterdam, from flower pots to community gardens, including the ones at the Rijksmuseum.

Why plant 40 kilos of weed? It’s an artistic statement against the increased stamping up of Amsterdam’s wild side, like trying to shut down prostitutes, coffee shops and all the things that make Amsterdam what it is in the first place. “Yoghurt bars are not going to make up for the loss, and that’s sad,” one of the guys said. Big cities like New York and London are losing or have lost their edge, and yes it would be sad if Amsterdam lost its grit, too.

(Link: nieuws.nl)

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March 27, 2014

Government buys into harnessing electricity from plants

Filed under: Nature,Sustainability,Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:58 am


Plant-e , founded by David Strik and Marjolein Helder in 2009, is a spin-off company of the Environmental Technology of Wageningen University. After obtaining her PhD in November 2012 Helder became the CEO of Plant-e, while Strik works as an assistant professor at the university, supporting Plant-e’s research and development one day a week.

On March 12, coinciding with Dutch Arbour Day (‘Nationale Boomfeestdag’), Plant-e signed a deal with the Dutch government to build a plant-driven power plant. The plants will be grown on the Hembrug military terrain in Zaandam, North Holland and will be used for outdoor lighting and charging mobile phones.

Thanks to photosynthesis, a bioenergetic process used by plants to convert light into energy, plants create organic material. The roots of these plants contain bacteria that breaks down organic material, giving off electrons. Plant-e has created technology that captures these electrons as carbon electrons, which can be used directly as electricity.

Just this month we told you about a table that uses plant energy to charge mobile phones.

Watch the promo video (in English):

(Link: www.plant-e.com, Photo of Charging station by Katja Linders, some rights reserved)

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December 9, 2011

Picture the Eiffel Tower full of green plants

Filed under: Design,Nature,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 5:54 pm

Dutch engineering consultancy Grontmij, the third largest in Europe, has come up with a plan to help Paris establish itself as one of the greenest cities in the world. It involves filling the Eiffel Tower with some 600,000 plants.

The Eiffel Tower would look like it had a green carpet, which would block the view of the tower being light up in the evening. The plants are able to absorb some 87 tonnes of CO2.

The entire plan is to cost a whopping 72 million euro, and some major companies have already agreed to contribute to the project. If they get the green light, the plants will be placed from summer 2012 until January 2013 and stay there until 2016. A system of hoses will water the plants, which will weigh about 375,000 kilos.

(Link: www.depers.nl)

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October 9, 2009

Rain barrel with built-in watering can

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 11:40 am

Like the top glass in a pyramid of champagne glasses, the watering can at the top of Bas van der Veer’s A Drop of Water is always filled the first, so that a gardener has ready access to rain water for their plants.

Excess water simply flows into the barrel, from where it can be released by a simple tap.

The 24-year-old, 2009 Design Academy Eindhoven graduate will display this project and his Bioplastic Planter at the Dutch Design Week, which starts October 17. According to Bright.nl (Dutch), the young inventor has not yet approached companies to take his designs into production, but he hopes to get a lot of attention during the exhibition where he will be all week.

(Source photo: Bas van der Veer.)

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