Monday, June 28, 2010

"Rooftop Trellis" Michael LeClere

This project is envisioned as an investigation into mimicking the layering of life systems predominate throughout the natural world. I began examining how many living wall systems, or even green roofs, stress mostly a single plane for propagation but use subsequent layers merely as a growing medium or root barrier to separate it from the rest of the building. Although, pragmatic in many ways, I began to question how much this actually encourages our interaction and human habitation on the roof top (in a simple ornamental living plane.) Then I examined trellises and how they seem to successfully bridge that gap. Typically using vines or climbing plants a single elevated plane becomes a living habitat, but consequently a true 3-dimensional habitat is created through the shaded area under the trellis. This becomes an inviting habitat for both people and more shade loving plants or grasses alike.

I aspired to recreate this habitat system through this project. Using an old window frame, sheet rock corner-mesh, felt, wood spacer blocks, and pumice I created a growing vessel within the old frame. Using bands of the mesh and felt, I created a series of growing troughs in which sedums could grow and press through the gaps between the troughs to hang down, thereby making both surfaces a habitat for the plants. I envision this system being applied to larger frames and those frames being used to create a gabled trellis on a roof garden. In this way, sedums could grow on the surface of the frame facing the sky and the underside of the frame facing the roof. This would then ornament the underside of the structure in much the same way that a typical vine/climber ornaments both upper and underside of a typical trellis. This makes that traditional system applicable to rooftops that otherwise would be too hot to easily accommodate the traditional trellis precedent. An additional benefit would be that the shade provided from the system would not only make rooftops more habitable and enjoyable for people, but would also create additional habitat for other kinds of shade loving plants that could be introduced on the actual roof top surface increasing types of habitat that can be introduced.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have created a great prototype and a potentially succesful building system. I realize your current interest in moss and lichens will lead you away from this system, but it may serve as a conceptual model for a future design. It was interesting to hear your thoughts about orientation, material relationships, and how to apply your intuitive material sytems in the context of the assignment. I encourage you to pursue more intuitive making in the future, as it undoubtedly leads you in indeterminite directions.