Future green wall at The Green Building
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The Green Building in the heart of the East Market Street gallery corridor isn’t just a catchy name to describe the sustainable architecture of the potentially LEED Platinum structure. In the back courtyard of The Green Building, a plain painted block wall doesn’t look like much today, but eventually, it will be transformed into a “green wall” overflowing with plants. You may have heard of a green roof, like the one just installed at the Metro Development Center on Fifth Street, but these plants will literally be growing from the walls… intentionally. Louisville has seen many of examples of unintended green walls over the years, but this will be the first installation of a green wall in the city.

Green walls or living walls add significantly to the sustainability of a building, potentially providing enhanced thermal and acoustical insulation, shelter from destructive UV rays, reduce the urban heat island effect, absorb rainwater runoff, and provide a habitat for local wildlife. Not to mention they can be extremely beautiful. Below is an example of a complete “living facade” at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. The museum was designed by Jean Nouvel, but the green wall was the work of Patrick Blanc, the world’s preeminent green wall artist.

While the wall likely won’t be installed until warmer weather arrives, the project is an exciting one and proves Louisville, and especially Gill Holland, mastermind behind The Green Building, is serious about sustainable architecture. We’re looking forward to see this one progress.

Green Facade of the Quai Branly Museum
Green Facade of the Quai Branly Museum.
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Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

2 COMMENTS

  1. While Tim is busy disfiguring the “green” building on market street, his place on Bardstown and Longest is in a sad state. The cornice is leaking onto the wall which will destroy the whole thing eventually. Nothing green about letting old-growth timber and heritage masonry wither away from neglect.

  2. I've tried to convince people to use some sense with renewables, conservation and something that is sustainable for a long time. If anyone thinks that the costs for keeping old structures in shape is not a big number, they don't know what they're talking about. Disfiguring? Kurt needs to show us his projects so we can get some good ideas. Tim's building may need work, but it is by far not the worst case of neglect that is easy to find. Income usually dictates how much someone can put into a building. Major investment money usually ends up with the same old conventional tired work. Has Kurt asked Tim what his longer range plans are? Did he see this building before they reworked it? Give me a break!

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