Tree- façades. Integrating trees in the building envelope as a new form of Façade Greening


doi.org/ 10.19229/978-88-5509-446-7/7112022


tree façade, building greening, living architecture, sustainable design, urban heat island


Temperatures are spiking up every year all over the globe. Urban areas generate more heatwaves as a result of the Urban heat island effect in combination with global warming, resulting in heat stress for the people. In central and northern European climates like e.g. in Germany, building envelopes are primarily designed for the harsh and long winters, and indoor spaces tend to become not comfortable in the summer with rising temperatures. What are sustainable alternatives to make the homes and building spaces we live in to beat the heat and at the same time provide interesting architectural experiences? Vegetation generally reduces the heat island effect, however, open green spaces in urban areas are not within the reach of every building complex. This research aims to look at the possibility of making trees a part of the building, especially façades, to improve the thermal comfort in and around the building. Furthermore, integrating trees in building envelopes could generate new aesthetic and spatial possibilities for the design. By building on the methods of research by designing and research through drawing, tree façades are investigated in different scenarios concerning the building-tree interaction. The outcome of the study is that tree façades could become a new approach for designers of a so far unexplored, aesthetical, and microclimatic aspect of architecture. When implemented in an urban planning scale, tree façades could create networks of habitats that are otherwise typically fractured in the urban fabric. The idea of tree façades is somewhat new and revolutionary not only for future architecture in Germany but for other countries in the world. This basic research could open more doors in architecture and infrastructure. It could contribute to reformulating the way we merge our built environment with natural systems.


Architecture | Research & Experimentation

pp. 192-213


Lisa Höpfl, Divya Pilla, Florian Köhl, Christian Burkhard, Julian Lienhard, Ferdinand Ludwig

Author(s) Biography

Lisa Höpfl,Landscape Architect, is a Research Associate at the Professorship for Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) and a Founder of the landscape architecture practice Studio Grünberg in Munich. Her focus is on living architecture, tree façades and the symbiosis between architectural and landscape systems. Email: lisa.hoepfl@mytum.de

Divya Pilla, Architect and Landscape Architect, is a Master’s Student at the Department of Landscape Architecture, TUM (Germany). She is working for the Professorship of Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture at TUM. In her five years of experience as a Landscape Architect, she has been involved in designing and executing several landscape projects in India. Email: divya.pilla91@gmail.com

Florian Köhl is a Deputy Professor for Building Economics and Project Development at the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Planning at the University of Kassel (Germany) where he investigates and works on models of architectural production for affordable and sustainable urban development in the context of urban ecosystems. He is the Founder of fatkoehl architects and Co-founder of Quest in Berlin. Email: koehl@asl.uni-kassel.de

Christian Burkhard is a Research Associate at the Professorship for Building Economics and Project Development at the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Planning, University of Kassel (Germany) and a Partner of Quest (Berlin, Germany) where he develops applicable strategies for a spatial, use-oriented and living exchange of architecture with the city. Architecture is considered a building block of urban ecosystems, in terms of its form, construction, use, economic model of affordability, and ecological impact on its inhabitants and its surroundings. Email: cb@qst.eco

Julian Lienhard is a Structural Engineer and since 2019 the Head of the Institute for Structural Design (TWE) at the University of Kassel (Germany). His interest is in innovative and resource-efficient structures created at the intersection of research, development, and practice. In 2008, Lienhard co-founded the engineering and design practice studioLD now str.ucture GmbH. Email: lienhard@uni-kassel.de

Ferdinand Ludwig is a Professor of Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) since 2017. At the cutting edge of design, natural sciences and engineering his work centres on architectural concepts in which plants play a central role, thereby broadening architectural knowledge by confronting aspects of growth and decay, probability and chance in architectural and landscape design. Email: Ferdinand.ludwig@tum.de


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