How can our urban jungles be transformed into skyscraper forests that help our cities provide new forms of sustenance, from urban farms to breathing buildings?The topic is increasingly in the public eye, and the answer is already cropping up on our streets. Garden City captures the growing global movement among contemporary architects for biodesigning buildings that are less structure and façade, more living entities, capable of being ecologically autonomous, horticulturally productive, and both pleasing to the eye and relevant to our day-to-day lifestyles.
More than 100 (mostly completed) projects are presented here, a life-affirming range of design ideas that can be applied to new buildings and those needing rehabilitation. From offices that incorporate urban farms and exchange the CO2 produced by humans for food and oxygen produced by plants, to lightweight systems for growing gardens on vertical surfaces; from “tree houses” the size of city blocks to civic buildings that connect to existing water-management systems—there are rich and often unexpected ideas for every designer. The future of our urban architecture is biologically alert, naturally self-sustaining, and alive. Garden City is the visual resource charting this frontier of new urban architecture.
This large-format global selection should fascinate readers with a taste for architecture, landscape architecture, and/or the environment. Yudina believes humans must reestablish contact with nature and also points out the practical value of plants and trees as air purifiers, microclimate regulators, noise buffers, and bases for biodiversity. A number of entries are truly visionary: vertical farms, plant-generated air conditioning, biological facades hosting moss or microalgae, [and] porous concrete walls that sustainably support roots.
— Library Journal
Anna Yudina is co- founder and editor- in- chief of MONITOR magazine. She has curated design exhibitions on Zaha Hadid and Jakob + MacFarlane and has authored several books on architecture, including Furnitecture and Lumitecture. She lives in Paris.