Europe's largest green facade hosts 30,000 hedges
Ingenhoven Architects has turned an area of inner-city Düsseldorf from gray to green with its recently completed Kö-Bogen II. The mixed-use project is centered around a large building that hosts an incredible 8 km (5 miles) of hedges on its exterior, making it Europe's largest green facade, according to the firm.
Kö-Bogen II includes retail space, restaurants, and office space, plus underground parking, and is located on a site that used to be home to a motorway. Unfortunately, there are no interior images available as of writing, though it's really the exterior that's the main draw with this one.
The overall design of the project is inspired by the Land Art movement, says Ingenhoven Architects, and consists of the main building, plus a smaller adjacent triangular building which is also covered in greenery and slopes down to the ground to allow passersby to access its rooftop area to relax.
The main building measures 42,000 sq m (roughly 452,000 sq ft) and reaches a maximum height of 27 m (88.5 ft). Over 30,000 hedges are planted on its exterior, which were first grown in a nursery so that they could be delivered with fully developed roots.
"The hornbeam was chosen as a native hardwood, and the selected varieties keep their leaves in winter," explains Ingenhoven Architects. "In spring the hedges glisten with their fresh, light green foliage, which deepen to rich, dark green in summer, then to golden brown in autumn. This greenery improves the city's microclimate – it protects against the Sun's rays in summer and reduces urban heat, binds carbon dioxide, stores moisture, absorbs noise, and supports biodiversity. The ecological benefit of the hornbeam hedges equals that of approximately 80 fully grown deciduous trees."
Naturally, all that greenery will need significant maintenance and a representative told us that the hedges will be trimmed three times a year by gardeners using typical trimming tools. Rainwater is being collected on the roof and used to irrigate the hedges. Additionally, a sensor-aided water supply is installed to make sure the hedges continue to get enough water when it doesn't rain. As everything settles in, the entire green facade is being closely monitored and each plant can be manually inspected using walkways situated behind the hedges.
Source: Ingenhoven Architects