Dutch architectural firm Studio Noach and architect Anne Holtrop developed a floating spa wellness center based on recycled waste, in combination with a high tech sustainable climate system and an ecological and botanical coating of plants and flowers, which was invented by Frenchman Patrick Blanc.
‘Floating Gardens/SpaWellness Amsterdam‘ is a world first, and from February 20th to May 16th, 2010 on display during the exhibition “Architecture of Consequence’ at the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute) Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
+ Press release courtesy of Studio Noach
Floating spa from hamburger clamshells with green walls
Studio Noach founders Kizito Musampa and Michel Kreuger along with architect Anne Holtrop developed a floating spa wellness center based on recycled polystyrene – used styrofoam including hamburger clamshells and coffee cups. The walls and roofs contain a coating of flowers and plants by the inventor of the ‘living wall’, Frenchman Patrick Blanc.
‘Floating Gardens/SpaWellness Amsterdam’ is a world first, and from February 20th to May 16th, 2010 on display during the exhibition “Architecture of Consequence” at the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute) Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Patrick Blanc who designs his Living Walls all over the world explains:
Do plants really need soil? No, … Earth is no more than a tool. Just water containing minerals and nutrients, along with common daylight and carbon dioxide are necessary for plants to make photosynthesis possible.
Blanc has proven his expertise on many locations including museums around the world. From the perspective of nature it is possible for plants to grow on a surface where there is no soil. As long as there’s no shortage of water.
‘Floating Gardens / SpaWellness Amsterdam’ has been developed for the lake near the city where plenty of fresh water is available. A similar island has never been developed anywhere else. A floating sustainable biotope, using recycled materials with a vegetation coating that from its pores literally breaths oxygen and wellness is unique for our planet.
A surface is – apart from the waterside – probably the most neutral environment for architecture. It is difficult to imagine the architecture of the country to continue on the water. But what architectural form can be found for a building on the water? The approach for floating gardens is to create a construction of a landscape. Like a stone of Alberto Giacometti is a construction of a stone.
The architecture makes the walls and ceilings the outer for hills and valleys. Inside the interior follows the counter form of the landscape. Amorphous areas with faceted ceilings, all of different sizes and heights, blend as one.
A visitor will experience a sequence of baths, panoramic saunas, chill and relax areas. From the interior, the windows frame the constructed landscape and give access to outdoor terraces and pools.
The composite GreenRexwall ™ was developed in collaboration with the German constructor Aquahouse GmbH and is that strong and constructive that building cement, steel or bricks are no longer needed. The ultimate isolates, is constructive, and light – not important – it is particularly buoyant. Not just the recycling of polystyrene is environmentally friendly Floating Gardens, the vegetation on the walls and roof, CO2 is converted to oxygen, and particulate matter demolished.
The vegetation is a breeding ground for birds, butterflies and insects but most will feel at home. The innovative technical installations provide big energy savings. The surrounding water acts as a heat exchanger, like a refrigerator works conversely. It can serve as heat – and cooling source and is up 70% more efficient than conventional energy systems.
In the Netherlands, one quarter of the land is below sea level and 50% is only one meter above sea level.
Amsterdam seems well on the way with this project as the first world stage to rise to the opportunities it offers in such areas as exposure, sustainable development and quality of life.
Patrick Blanc’s ‘Living Wall’ is according to TIME Magazine in 2009 amaong the World’s 50 best inventions.
In 2008 architect Anne Holtrop received on behalf of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund the Charlotte Köhler prize for architecture.
Studio Noach was awarded for the concept of ‘floating gardens’ during the ‘Les Respiration’ conference with an ‘Oxygen Award’. Les Respiration is supported by the French Ministry of the Environment and the Committee Sustainable Energy of the European community.