With the recently approved Green Roofs law, the expansion of bike paths, and zero waste plans, the current government has taken sustainability practices as part of its ideology. Therefore, when it was announced that they would be advancing sustainability in a public building it was more than symbolic of the city’s new perspective.
The Public Prosecutor building, Ministerio Público Fiscal, located in the Paseo Colón Avenue, at the heart of Buenos Aires, was chosen as the first of many public buildings to undergo “greening.”
When the idea came from the government, the Architecture studio of García-Balza & González - authors of the project - were already working on the comprehensive program of signage and façade graphics for the new headquarters of the building of the institution. Then the request for greening arrived and the idea of a vertical garden arose in order to complement the quality of the façades being designed.
"We did not want to design more graphics or dividing banners like the ones already in the city. Then we came to an alternative that would avoid contributing to the visual pollution of the environment, and at the same time be transformed into a device for improving the environment and quality of the urban landscape." says García-Balza.
These type of graphic banners are common even in government buildings:
The area is strongly affected by pollution due to its proximity to the avenue and the great arteries of traffic flow, so the idea was immediately accepted by the Department of Infrastructure and Operational Support of the Public Prosecutor Ministry and the feasibility of the project was studied and approved.
The vertical garden will occupy 500 square meters, with a light structure, roofing felts adapted to vegetation, and a hydroponic irrigation system. Also, the vegetation includes a large number of native plant species to strengthen the environmental impact of the garden.
To be built in 2015, this building promises to be one of a kind and a referent for future interventions for greening government buildings.
Are there any buildings with green facades in your city or a city you've visited? If so, which is your favorite?
Credits: Images provided by García Balza & González, Estudio de Diseño. Data linked to sources.