Back to Green – the Benefits of Ivy Facades

An old proverb says that if you don’t have an old man next to you , you should buy one, meaning that it is always useful to have an old and experienced person around because you can learn so many things from them. So many artists and people who work in the departments that need creation and inspiration found many resources in the past. Even in architecture and constructions this is so true. If you step back a bit and think of the old mansions and huge Victorian houses, you immediately think of ivy facades because the buildings were all covered in ivy. That was for a very good reason, not because they were too lazy to take it off: that ivy protected the walls from the extreme heat of the sun during the hot summer days and maintained a cool atmosphere inside. It got dried and fell in winter, allowing the sun rays to get inside and people to use natural light more. So after spending some dozens of years in concrete buildings and spending half of a city ‘s electricity for air conditioning in summer, architects came back to “green”, that is using ivy for the facades again.

View in gallery

View in gallery

So some visionary architects and designers tried to apply the same methods for a very new office building in Linkebeek, Belgium. They are Samyn and Partners and turned the exterior of the building in a real green garden, going one step further and using other plants, too besides ivy. They were helped in their attempt by the botanist and master in vertical gardening called Patrick Blank and he came up with the idea of using some nets made of fabric. A complex system of watering was also introduced and you can see the result for yourselves.