09-1016 | Gresham City Hall Light Shading

As with every review, the discussions which followed each presentation helped me evaluate my own project, giving me more insight to other possibilities and highlighting my own concept’s shortcomings.

Though I think deciduous planting is a great way to defuse sunlight; creating shade during the summer, then allowing surplus light into spaces during the winter, there were definite drawbacks which may make planters, trees or other plants difficult.

The most obvious problem to me is dependability. Plants do not follow a specific pattern each year, growing exactly as planned, or repeating last year’s performance. Different years will, undoubtedly, yield different outcomes in the plant’s form. Different forms may be more, or less efficient than what was originally hoped and planned for.

Obviously there is a maintenance issue, but honestly I do not believe there is a no-maintenance option here. Even projections off the façade will require occasional checkups; connection problems will grow the more seasons the device weathers (freezing/thawing through winter, expansion/contraction in summer heat) and of course like windows there will be cleaning needs.

I felt there were viable elements to each solution presented, but planting provides the most aesthetically pleasing experience (assuming ideal growth patterns) both inside and outside the building. Of course this is all subjective, but then again, this is architecture…


~ by billkirkwood on October 21, 2009.

One Response to “09-1016 | Gresham City Hall Light Shading”

  1. Bill,

    I appreciate your effort in making the vegetated wall solution look believable. You did a nice job with the

    renderings. More detailing about how the water and maintenance could work would help sway the audience.

    You created an aesthetically pleasing analytic section drawing – you need to be careful about the sun angles, sill height and vegetation placement. Your sectional drawing could be much more effective in making a case for planters on the southwest facade if you

    showed the low 4pm summer sun coming in. That is when a thicket of greenery would be a welcome alternative

    to hot, glaring sun.

    With the floor level planters, you are providing deep overhangs that are help shadow the floors

    below. These appear to be well integrated with the building and would provide good shading for high mid-day summer sunlight.

    You wrote a thoughtful reflection about the project and put a lot of informative graphics onto your blog posting. The images would look better with a quietly aligned graphic layout. One way to do this is to set the width the same, then left align. Even better, create a hierarchy of image sizes, especially since you have some images, such as your large panorama that would look great zoomed in. A text interpretation of the two Ecotect images would help us understand them better.

    Two links that could be of interest, especially the first supports your case that a green wall is a reasonable solutions.

    Green Walls

    Calculating a Site’s Solar Potential (with a link to a custom Sun Path Chart creator)

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