DELFT (NL) - In 1995, Stylos, the architecture students' association at Delft Technical University, launched a project that enables its members to put the theory they have learned into practice. Every five years a new multi-purpose pavilion for lectures and parties is built on the faculty grounds after the previous one has been demolished. The lifespan corresponds to the length of the study so that every architecture student is assured of an opportunity to work on the design or construction of a pavilion during their course.
In the 2005 pavilion the students expressed the flexible and temporary character of the project in a green facade. This is no ordinary green wall of climbing plants but a vertical garden planted with a variety of plant species, each with its own flowering period.
Before settling on the final design, the students conducted extensive research and sought the advice of botanists, biologists and landscape designers. They finally opted for sheets of 'compressed rock wool', a material widely used as a substrate in Dutch greenhouse construction. The innovative aspect of this project is that the material is used vertically, resulting in a shell into which the plants can be inserted. Water pumped from a nearby ditch is delivered to the plants by a system of narrow-gauge pipes integrated into the pavilion's envelope. The green facade passes through its own cycle, which is very appropriate given that the pavilion, too, has a life cycle. (Dominik van Mierlo)